Policy 7105 – Communications with Funding Agencies

Revision Date: 9/6/2005

Responsible Office: Office of Research and Innovation 

All correspondence regarding the University’s contractual commitments and obligations,
including notice of award, revisions, extensions, continua­tions, and project terminations,
should be handled by a central office. The Office of Sponsored Projects has been designated
as being responsible for this function. This policy does not preclude correspondence
between a project Director and the program staff of a funding organization. However,
if the correspondence involves the commitments of the University or the University’s
compliance with laws and regulations, then the correspondence needs to come through
the Office of Sponsored Projects.

All fiscal reports and invoices to be submitted to the funding agency are to be prepared
and submitted by the Office of Sponsored Projects. Since each granting agency stipulates
its individual requirements in this matter, Project Directors should make specific
arrangements with the Office of Sponsored Projects for the preparation of reports
required by the funding agency.

All personnel requests, faculty overloads, consultant expenditures, purchase requisitions,
confirming purchase requisitions, intracampus requisitions, travel vouchers, and petty
cash vouchers using grant and contract funds need to be sent to the Office of Sponsored
Projects. If co-project Directors represent different Colleges, requests for expenditure
of funds must be reviewed and signed by involved PI’s, Unit Heads, and College Deans
prior to submission to Sponsored Projects. The Comptroller, Personnel, and Purchasing
will not accept requests that have not been approved by University Research. The purpose
of routing all expenditures through the Office of Sponsored Projects is to provide
assistance to Project Directors in using the purchasing and personnel systems and
to help Project Directors keep their books accurate. The established purchasing, personnel,
and accounting policies, procedures, and practices of Louisiana Tech University are
to be followed in all sponsored projects. This compliance is a mandate in both Federal
and State regulations.

Accounting: For accounting purposes, sponsored programs are classified as Restricted Funds.
The Director of each project receives a monthly financial statement of the project
prepared by the Comptroller, which provides a current, detailed accounting of all
project funds and expenditures.

Personnel Services: Research and other sponsored projects are normally undertaken on a released-time
basis or as a part of the faculty member’s regular load. An Appointment Request Form
should be processed in order that a portion of an individual’s salary may be charged
to a grant. The form should show the percentages and dollar amounts of an individual’s
salary charged to a sponsored project and to the operating budget. Only in those instances
where it is not possible for a faculty member to be released from regular duties,
overload employment may be allowable under policies adopted in February 1970. An Overload
Salary Authorization Form should be processed before actual employment of persons
working on a project for extra compensation. When the sponsor for a project is a public
agency, a letter or a copy of a policy statement from that agency that specifically
authorizes overload compensation must accompany the Overload Salary Authorization
Form. Persons proposing to undertake overload employment should consult the overload
policies and procedures statements found in this handbook.

In November 1991, the Federal Office of Management and Budget published Revised Circular
A-21 which requires 100% Effort Reporting by University employees to account for the
distribution of salary and wages on all federally funded projects, including state
grants that have federal flow-through funds. Effort, for the purpose of Time and Effort
Reporting, is all work performed for compensation and received from Louisiana Tech
University with the exception of work done for supplemental pay. Effort is always
stated in percentages of total effort, which is always equal to 100% even if it is
part-time or a portion of the reporting period.

Time and Effort Reports should be completed by all individuals–faculty, clerical,
undergraduate, and graduate students–who receive compensation or have cost-sharing
obligations on federally sponsored projects. Cost sharing refers to the percent of
effort worked on a project in excess of pay received from that project which represents
the University’s share of the funding for that award. These reports should be submitted
to the Office of Sponsored Projects at the end of each academic quarter.

Classified (Civil Service) employees are not permitted to receive additional compensation
except as a result of overtime in those instances where some classes of employees
may be paid time and a half. The Overload Employment section of this handbook should
be consulted concerning the policies and procedures for the employment of Civil Service
personnel on sponsored programs.

In order for a student to be employed as a student worker on a sponsored program,
an application for student employment must be filed with the Financial Aid Office.
The information required for employment on such a project is minimal. Only the student’s
name, social security number, permanent student number, and income tax withholding
information are required. A student participating in federally funded programs of
financial assistance cannot be employed by a sponsored project unless the financial
aid already awarded does not meet the need for assistance or, if it does, unless the
program of financial assistance can be and is reduced by the amount to be earned in
employment on a sponsored project. Once the application for employment is filed by
the student and a request is received in the Financial Aid Office from a Project Director,
the certification form will be sent to the employer authorizing the student to be
employed.This form must be completed, signed appropriately, and returned to the Financial
Aid Office. The issuance of all student employment checks depends on the receipt of
properly completed and timely filed time cards.

Contractual Services, Travel, Materials and Supplies, and Equipment: Expenditures for contractual services and travel, as well as materials and supplies
and equipment funds, must be conducted under the policies and procedures established
by the Division of Administrative Affairs. The same methods and procedures (e.g.,
purchase requisitions) are used for transacting business for sponsored programs as
are used for transacting business for operating accounts. It is the responsibility
of the Project Director to ensure that the grant or contractual agreement and funding
agency’s guidelines allow for any given expenditure. Many funding agencies also require
that prior approval on specific items of equipment be obtained from them before equipment
may be purchased, and frequently title to such equipment rests with the sponsoring
agency. Purchase requisitions must be placed in process well in advance of a project
termination date. Due allowances should be made for taxes and shipping charges in
setting up equipment estimates.

It is fully recognized that the nature of work on sponsored programs is such that
expeditious purchasing procedures must be made available for certain emergency purchases.
The present purchasing regulations include provisions for this type of transaction
if the action is in keeping with the guidelines of the funding agency and is approved
by the Purchasing Officer.

A number of forms are available from Purchasing to utilize the purchasing procedures
at the University as mandated by the State of Louisiana Purchasing Regulations. These
include the Purchase Requisition and Petty Cash forms. There are specialized forms
for Word Processing Services, Printing Services, and Office Services.

An Intracampus Requisition Form should be used for purchasing supplies and services
internally such as bookstore, plant stores, and photographic services. Telephone calls
charged to an operating account may be transferred to an agency account by contacting
the Office of Sponsored Projects.

Travel must be performed within the grant period. Travel cannot be encumbered beyond
the closing date of a project or reimbursed when performed before the opening date.
Individual trips must receive approval on a Travel Authorization Form before the travel
is actually accomplished. All other types of expenditures must be encumbered during
the grant period.

Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs: F&A costs are actual cash expenses of the University related to research and other
activities. These costs are part of the total cost of providing services and must
be paid. Funded research projects need to pay their share of these costs, thus the
need for indirect cost rates. The U.S. Department of the Navy, Office of Naval Research
has been designated as the cognizant Federal agency with which the University establishes
an indirect cost rate. The Federal F&A cost rate is computed as percentage of direct
labor costs (i.e., direct salaries, wages, and student labor). The current F&A cost
rate may be obtained from the Office of Sponsored Projects.

It is University policy that the appropriate F&A rate shall be used with all funded
projects except when a waiver is requested and justified in writing by the faculty
member and approved by the Chief Research and Innovation Officer. The basis for requesting
a waiver in part or in whole of F&A costs is that the proposed project will directly
contribute to an academic program or is prohibited by the funding agency. A form for
requesting waiver of F&A costs is available from the Office of Sponsored Projects
and must accompany the proposal routing form. If F&A costs are waived, the amount
waived should be represented as a University contribution to the project in the budget.

Fringe Benefits: Proposals should contain adequate provision for the employer’s share of fringe benefits.
The current fringe benefit rate may be obtained from the Office of Sponsored Projects.