Project Closing Options
As the project period comes to a close, ask yourself:
- What options do I have?
- Can I continue with the project? Who do I have to contact to make aware of my plans?
- What about no-cost extensions to continue working on the project? Are there requirements and permissions needed to request a no-cost extension?
- Can I request additional funds from the funder to continue my research? Are other funders interested in supporting my research?
As your project nears completion, you should start planning ahead as to the various things necessary for the project's end. Who needs to be contacted? What reporting requirements are needed (Financial and Research or Project report)? Is a continuation needed, and what kinds of information are required to submit to the funder?
- All reports (project and financial) should be reviewed by the PI and submitted to the funder by the deadline or within 90 calendar days. They must be reconciled with the grant accountant in the Accounting Department before submitting them to the funder. A copy of the submitted documents must be forwarded to the grant accountant to close Pacific University's account.
- If there are outstanding reimbursable expenses, you should submit your final reimbursement request to the funder.
- Unused funds should be returned to the funder, unless, the funder approves one of two options: Option one, the funder may approve a request from the PI to use the remaining funds for a similar purpose at the University. In this case, the grant accountant in the Accounting Department will require written confirmation of this agreement and will move the funds to a predetermined account for this purpose. Option two, the PI may request that the funder extend the term of the grant or project. In this case, the grant accountant in the Accounting Department will require written confirmation of the extension.
- Be advised, the funder has the right to recover unallowable expenses. (pdf)
Note that Federal agencies require recipients to submit the SF-269 or SF-269A forms (original and no more than two copies) before 30 days after the end of each specified reporting period for quarterly and semi-annual reports, and 90 calendar days for annual and final reports. These forms can be found on the Grants.gov web site. Extensions of reporting due dates may be approved by the Federal agency upon request of the recipient. In the case of federal grants, see OMB Circular A-21 for Financial Status Reporting requirements.
The University retention policy for grants is six years plus current fiscal year after the grant has been closed. See Record Retention Policy. (pdf)
Please note that the grant accountant will keep these files. Your grant officer may also keep a copy of these files in the Offices of Research and Corporate & Foundation Relations.
The PI, Offices of Research and Corporate & Foundation Relations, and Accounting Department all have specific responsibilities with regard to closing out your grant.
- Complete project within timeline specified and agreed upon, including all experiments, surveys, data analysis, and other final reports.
- Complete all Interim and Final Reports. These are performed according to the schedule determined by the funder or on a quarterly basis and at the end of the project.
- Submit all final technical reports and any other deliverables (contracted research).
- Work with the grant accountant to assure the accuracy of all financial transactions and reporting.
- Assure that all records are accounted for and filed for historical purposes with both the Accounting Office and Office of Research or Office of Corporate & Foundation Relations
Offices of Research or Corporate & Foundation Relations
- Work with PI and accounting office to reconcile accounts
- Work with PI on editing and submitting all required reports
- If grant is philanthropic, work with Advancement Services to closeout account
- Work with Marketing & Communications Office to disseminate grant information (if deemed necessary)
- Responsible for financial closeout of account based on the contracted agreements
- Ensure all financial records are accounted for and filed for historical purposes
- Saves records for audit purposes which can occur several years after the account is closed, so is it very important that accurate records are kept and archived
Adjustments and Continuing Responsibilities
It is important to consider the stewardship of a donor post-award. Keeping them apprised of your research progress can have an affect on future awards made to your project or to the University.
In the case of federal awards, a relationship created may be modified or ended in whole or in part with the consent of the awarding agency and the recipient, provided the responsibilities of the recipient do not affect any of the following:
- The right of the Federal awarding agency to disallow costs and recover funds on the basis of a later audit or other review.
- The obligation of the recipient to return any funds due as a result of later refunds, corrections, or other transactions.
- Audit requirements
- Property management requirements, and
- Records retention as required including those for property management as applicable, are considered and provisions made for continuing responsibilities of the recipient, as appropriate.
Creative works or ideas embodied in a form that can be shared or can enable others to recreate, emulate, or manufacture them are considered by the University as "Intellectual Property." There are four ways to protect intellectual property: patents, trademarks, copyrights or trade secrets. Reference: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Glossary of Terms.
Contact the Office of Research to explore the possibility of developing such a document executed between or among collaborating institutions that sets forth the rights and responsibilities of each institution pertaining to the intellectual property that may be created during the term of the collaboration. The University's legal counsel is likely to be involved as well.
An Intellectual Property Agreement will address the rights associated with intellectual property that are created jointly by the collaborating researchers as well as intellectual property created independently by each.
To the extent practical and at the earliest possible time, the inventor (PI) should discuss with the Office of Research, with reasonable specificity, the preferred utility and possible applicability of the invention and the nature of the industry that might be in the position to make beneficial use of the invention.
This will enable all parties to begin discussion with a patent attorney, so as to perform a proper patentability search, evaluate the search, and to be prepared and ready to pursue the patent application.
Any discovery or invention must be disclosed promptly to the Provost by means of an Invention Disclosure Form, available in the Provost's Office. After this form is submitted, the University or its designate will make an evaluation in order to decide whether to apply for a patent. The University will notify the inventor in writing in a timely manner of its final decision. If it fails to do so within six months of receiving a properly executed disclosure, or if it decides not to pursue a patent application, the invention will become the property of the inventor subject to the rights of any outside sponsor, if applicable.
Technology transfer is the process of exchanging or sharing knowledge, skills, processes, or technologies across different organizations to facilitate new products, processes, applications, materials or services. (Reference: National Science Foundation, Research and Development Glossary).
The PI must receive approval from the Office of Research before transferring University technologies to the market to generate benefits for the University, the community and the general public.
This process can cover the following.
- Disclosure Facilitation
- Patenting and Other Protections
- Legal Support
- Decision Support