Start Project

Start Date

The University is not authorized to spend funds prior to the official start date as outlined in your proposal. This date is predicated upon acceptance of all terms of the award by both parties.

Effective dates for grants are usually set by the award's funder. Faculty members have access to the funds as soon as the account number is issued by the accounting office. Contracts are not as predictable; in some cases the start date is specific and in others it is determined by the final signature date. The final signatory may be the University or the sponsor, depending on the contract. All contracts must be reviewed and approved by the University's legal counsel.

For day-to-day fiscal management of the project, please review the Grants/Contracts Accounting Procedure. Questions can be directed to the grant accountant in the Accounting Department.


The University's Accounting Department will prepare and submit standard financial reports to the funder as required. Some funders have granted Pacific expanded authority for changes without seeking prior approvals. Changes in the budget that have been approved by the funder must be submitted to the grant accountant and grants officers.

Account numbers may be granted prior to an award's receipt when there is a solid commitment from the funder. An example of this would be the Murdock Trust's Faculty Research Startup Grant program where the commitment is made and requests for reimbursement of fund expenditures are submitted to the foundation to reimburse costs associated with research that has already taken place. However, you should know that the PI's department assumes ALL risk in covering expenditures in advance of receipt of the award.

Please refer to the University's policy for allowable and unallowable costs and Purchasing Policies & Procedures.

Faculty Responsibilities

  • The first step a PI should take is to create a Personnel Action Form(s) for all University faculty, staff, and student assistants who will be compensated from the externally funded grant or contract. These forms will be submitted to Human Resources. Note that all positions must be approved by cabinet prior to applying for the grant, which is why you will work directly with your grant officer to obtain this approval.
  • The PI is responsible for the management and conduct of research activities, including reporting activities. The grant officers are happy to assist in this process.
  • All technical, interim and final reports and project deliverables are the full responsibility of the PI.
  • The PI must initiate, in cooperation with the grant officer, correspondence with the funder's administrative or program officer to request programmatic or budgetary changes if necessary.
  • All approved budgetary changes must be submitted to the grant accountant and grant officer.
  • The PI must initiate requests to Accounts Payable in the Business Office to issue subawards for collaborations with external entities. W-9s are required.


Funding requested for external organizations that are participants in the project (e.g., other universities, nonprofit organizations, individuals, or companies), should be well-defined. Pacific University requires that the proposed partners confirm their commitment to the project in writing, signed by an authorized representative of the organization. All contracts must be reviewed and approved by the University's legal counsel. Consult with Accounts Payable in the Business Office for vendor status.


A subrecipient is a non-federal entity that expends federal awards received from a pass-through entity to carry out a Federal program.

If Pacific is the subrecipient, we provide:

  • Budget and budget justification
  • Biographical information on key personnel
  • Work scope description
  • Indirect cost rate agreement
  • Signed teaming agreement or equivalent document

Equipment and Supplies

Equipment purchases should include requests for funds for maintenance and repairs that might be anticipated over the course of the project. If equipment is requested, the PI should:

  • Demonstrate that the equipment is essential to the project
  • Demonstrate that the equipment is not likely to be funded by the department
  • Determine that the equipment is not available for use elsewhere on campus
  • Describe possible continued uses for the equipment upon completion of the project


In most cases, Pacific University's policies and procedures will determine the reimbursement for travel. Maximum reimbursements for lodging, per diem, and local mileage rates may differ from those available at other institutions or from the federal government. Check with Accounts Payable in the Business Office for specific reimbursement and per diem rates.

High Value Expenditures (Over $5,000)

For capital items over $5,000, or large contracts, a purchase requisition is required. The requisition must include the faculty PI’s signature, along with details on the expected purchase. If a contract is necessary, then the University's legal counsel must review and approve the contract before the requisition may be submitted. It may also require the signature of the Dean or area Vice President.

Pacific University also requires a competitive bidding/quotation process for higher value expenditures. Typically, three bids are sought from contractors for services, or vendors for equipment purchases. It is customary for the University to retain the same vendors/contractors for similar requests as they are accustom to working with us and this process keeps them competitive. If a specific contractor/vendor is decided upon, it is customary to still obtain two to three additional bids and negotiate with that contractor/vendor to leverage the best possible price.