Review of Project Termination

When the term of a grant or contract approaches completion, certain administrative actions are required. The completion of technical, fiscal, property and invention reports are often required. Delays in submitting these reports and closing awards may affect the RF’s and

Principal Investigator’s credibility and future funding opportunities with the sponsor. The following guidance is provided to assist projects with the actions they must take to fulfill the sponsor requirements and ensure the successful closure of an award.

Two Months Prior to Term

The Sponsored Funds Financial Management (SFFM) office will notify the Principal Investigator of the approaching term date. The intent of this notification is to give the Principal Investigator time to review the project expenses and ensure that all allocable transactions have been posted to allow for timely submission of any financial reports and final closing of the award. Additionally, it provides for timely transfer of project personnel to either continuation funds or new awards.

If there are employees who are affected by the approaching termination of an award, the Research Administrator in the Office for Sponsored Programs (OSP) will contact either the Principal Investigator or his/her staff assistant to discuss the Principal Investigator’s plan to identify a new account to pay the affected employee(s). An employee must be transferred onto another account at the expiration of the award period, or the employee’s payroll check may be at risk. If project employees will not be transferred to a new account and if their employment will instead be terminated, the Principal Investigator must contact Sponsored Funds Personnel (SFP) to discuss employee termination procedures.

The Office of Purchasing and Contracts begins to take a closer look at requisitions at this point, to ensure that all expenditures can be ordered, received and expensed within the time period set by the award.

One Month Prior to Term

During the final month of the award, the SFFM Grant Administrator will contact the project personnel to remind them that the award is closing and that the Principal Investigator must ensure the following:
  • All allocable transactions have been posted
  • All open purchase orders have been resolved
  • If required, all appropriate cost sharing documentation has been submitted

Following approval from Sponsored Funds Personnel, employee termination forms should be completed and employees should be notified of the employment action.

In addition to the previous review for timely receipt and payment, the Office of Purchasing and Contracts reviews any requisitions for appropriateness that are near the close of the award. Criteria used in this review include whether or not the purchase benefits the sponsor, has a life beyond the award term and is appropriate to the purpose of the award.

At Term of Award

The Principal Investigator or his/her staff assistant must certify that the above actions are all complete and that the award is ready for closure. This certification should be sent to the SFFM Grant Administrator.

Also at this time, the Principal Investigator should prepare and submit the final progress or technical report (if required) to the sponsor. A copy of the transmittal letter or the email that was sent to the sponsor should be sent to the OSP Research Administrator.

If the sponsor requires the submission of a final patent and invention statement, the OSP Research Administrator will contact the Principal Investigator or his/her staff assistant, to find out if any patents and inventions resulted from the award. The OSP Research Administrator will contact the Office for Innovations Development and Commercialization for assistance completing the form, as warranted.

Disposition of the Award

The disposition of any unspent funds depends on the type of award and the sponsor requirements.

Cost Reimbursable Awards – any unspent balance remains with the sponsor. Depending on the sponsor, the Principal Investigator may be permitted to request a no cost extension or a carry forward of the balance to the subsequent project year. The Principal Investigator should discuss these options with the OSP Research Administrator well before the term of the award.

Fixed Price Awards – if the remaining direct cost balance is greater than $200, it will be transferred to a balance multiple sponsor award established for the Principal Investigator. Please note that significant direct cost balances (greater than 20% of the award) can have the appearance of improper management. A justification must be provided and an additional level of review by SFFM in conjunction with OSP will be required before any balance transfer can be approved.

Multiple Sponsor Awards- Should the Principal Investigator or Department still have a need for the existence of the award, a request for continuation (or new account) should be submitted to OSP prior to the termination date of the current account. Requests based solely to maintain access to available funds (no additional revenue) should be limited to accounts with balances in excess of $200. Awards with less than $200 available balance and no continued revenue identified will be closed.

Adopted: May 19, 2008
Provider: Office for Sponsored Programs, Sponsored Funds Financial Management, Sponsored Funds Personnel, and Office of Purchasing and Contracts, University at Albany
Contact: Associate Vice President for Research
Last Updated: February 17, 2009