Office of Internal Audit

Sponsored Programs Administration

1. Are Principal Investigators (PI)/Project Directors (PD) and those responsible for sponsored programs administration familiar with Federal OMB Circulars A-21 and A-110?

  • Ideal Answer: Yes. It is very important that those responsible for sponsored programs administration are familiar with these regulations. OMB Circulars A-21 and A-110 are the federal regulations that govern sponsored programs for higher education. They detail requirements for allowable costs, effort reporting, and other requirements. These Circulars can be located at the Federal Office of Management and Budget website. Please see the Office of Sponsored Programs' (OSP) website for other sponsored program information.

2. Is each sponsored project's financial statement of account and grant and contract financial accounting summary reconciled monthly?

  • Ideal Answer: Yes. This is the responsibility of each PI/PD. It should be done by the PI/PD, or someone on their staff who is responsible for the administration of the project. This should be done monthly so discrepancies can be resolved in a timely manner. Please see the OSP website for additional sponsored program information.

3. Is the most recent, federally negotiated Facilities and Administrative (F&A) cost percentage being used in research proposals?

  • Ideal Answer: Yes. This rate can change every two to three years, so it is good to refer to the following webpage as it provides updates on the current F&A rate: UNI F&A Rate Agreement. Please see the OSP website for additional sponsored program information.
4. Is written approval obtained from federal sponsors prior to reducing effort by more than 25% of what was committed, or when the PI/PD are going to be absent from the project for more than 3 months?
  • Ideal Answer: Yes. The federal government requires that written approval is requested and granted prior to either of these situations. Please see the OSP website for additional sponsored program information.
5. Is non-faculty support staff effort certified by the PI/PD or direct supervisor?
  • Ideal Answer: Yes. The person certifying effort must have "first hand" knowledge of the effort expended. The PI/PD or direct supervisor should certify effort for non-faculty support staff. Additional effort reporting information can be located at OSP’s Effort Reporting webpage. Please see the OSP website for additional sponsored program information.
6. Is effort certification based on total University funded effort?
  • Ideal Answer: Yes. The definition of 100% effort is total University funded effort. This includes all effort required to complete the tasks of one's position, regardless of hours worked per week. Additional effort reporting information can be located at OSP’s Effort Reporting webpage. Please see the OSP website for additional sponsored program information.