Sponsored activity administration includes grant, contract or gift funding for research and creative activity, co-curricular, curricular, and community-based projects.

Many at the Sam Fox School have roles to play at various points in the process depending on the type of funded activity that is sought and secured for the school. The designated Principal Investigators (PI) plays a primary role in managing and leading the sponsored activity. A more detailed list of responsibilities and definitions for PI and other participants can be found at this link. A guideline of financial expenditure and management for sponsored activity can be found at this link.

The following are two phase with important approval and management steps.

1. Pre-Award Phase (Planning to Apply for Funding)

The pre-award phase consists of identifying funding, preparing the proposal, and submitting the proposal. The steps are coordinated through the Sam Fox School (SFS) Research Office, approved by the Deans office and the University Office of Sponsored Research Services (OSRS).

Identify Funding

  • The Sam Fox School Research Office, in collaboration with Foundation & Corporate Relations Offices and University funding databases, assists PI in identifying funding.
  • Additional funding sources can be found at wustl.edu and at the funding library guide.
  • SFS Research Office assists PI with evaluating appropriate funding fit, policies and compliance.
  • Pursuing a specific foundation or corporation must have approval from the Foundation &
    Corporate Relations Office and will also assist in pursuing, evaluation of appropriate funders, and submittal of application.
  • Due to long lead times, PI’s should plan six to twelve months ahead a funding need.

Depending on the type of sponsored activity, such as co-curricular, curricular, or community-based; working with other administration offices may be required to evaluate appropriate fit for the initiative.

Prepare Proposal (Basic Process)

Step 1: SFS Research Office assists PI in funding opportunity selection as needed.
Step 2: PI notifies SFS Research Office of desired funding opportunity to apply for.
Step 3: PI/SFS Research Office reviews solicitation; SFS Research Office sends copy to OSRS for review.
Step 4: PI develops scope of work including narrative and budget.
Step 5: PI confirms collaborators and relevant agreements; SFS Research Office reviews agreements as needed.
Step 6: PI prepares budget and budget justification. Pre-Approval by Dean may be required depending on specifics of grant, such as buy out time and or curricular impact.
Step 7: PI completes application per solicitation with review and assistance by SFS Research Office and assembly of any institutional requirements or other university office approvals.
Step 8: SFS Research Office assists with preparing forms and obtain the following signatures as required:

  • Sam Fox School “Sponsored Activity Form
    (Form is submitted SFS Research Office prior to any application)
  • OSRS Proposal Certification (PC) (develop for all external grant funding only)
  • Conflict of Interest (COI) financial disclosure statement (annual); Complete in Research Gateway
  • Financial conflict of interest (FCOI) training (one-time only); Compete in Research Gateway

Reminder: If funding is for a non-research type activity, such as co-curricular, sponsored studio/class, community-based or a school wide initiative, documentation via a “Sponsored Activity Form”, email documentation or letter of understanding is required.

Submit Proposal

  • Dean approves proposal via the Proposal Certification (PC) form (No external proposal may be submitted without Dean approval if funding will be managed by the school).
  • Federal grants require that all files and approval documentation go through the OSRS for submittal to Grants.gov.
  • Foundation and Corporate Relation proposal rout through those respective offices.
  • Internal WU grant may be submitted directly to the granting source, such as Provost Office or other Centers.
  • If submitting an internal grant, Dean approval is required when faculty release time is requested or has significant impact to programmatic activity or requires matching funds.
  • SFS Research Office assist with all items above as require by PI.

Reminder: If another WU school invites a PI to participate on a grant or provides funding after a grant is received documentation is required. The SFS Research Office needs to be notified in advance to assist with relevant documentation prior to sending any request to the Business Office for account creation.

2. Post-Award Phase (Managing the funding)

Receive Award

  • Notify Sam Fox School Research Office if award is accepted or declined.
  • Sam Fox School Research Office sends award budget details to OSRS and Business Office for account creation.
  • Dean/Director/Communication and other relevant team members are notified of award and roles.
  • If funding has a community-based component, the Office for Socially Engaged Practice will work with PI to draft and complete specific partnership agreements, student acknowledgements, and any necessary documentation.

Manage Project

  • PI monitors funds and directs use as require by project.
  • Research Office assists with project fund management; resolves problems/concerns with award/fund administration and relevant university compliances.
  • Business Office processes expenditures, payroll sourcing and other financial data reports as needed by PI.
  • Business Office must have a copy of specific spending parameters and/or restrictions specific to the award due to different agencies having different requirements/restrictions. No funding is the same.
  • Processing payments for expenses such as interns, travel, external services or purchasing of materials must follow generally accepted Business Office practices as well as any specific stipulations mandated by the awarding agency.
  • If special expense circumstances occur PI must check with the Research Office to verify documentation requirements of Sponsor Project Accounting (SPA) or OSRS.
  • If project engages a community-based partnership, Office for Socially Engaged Practice will assist with partnership, including resolving problems/concerns that arise with off- and on-campus partners and informing relevant internal University parties (including faculty working with the same or similar partner and the Office of Government & Community Relations).

 Close-out Project

  • PI writes final report of project as required by sponsored activity guidelines.
  • PI makes certain all documentation for expenses are submitted to the Business Office in a timely manner to process prior to the project deadline.
  • Research Office facilitates reporting and close out as need with Foundation Relations, OSRS, SPA or other university partners.
  • If the grant is internal to WU with no reporting required, PI reports close out and use of any remaining funds to SFS Research and Business Office as required.
  • If the project engages a community partnership, Office for Socially Engaged Practice will complete an evaluation of the partnership and outcomes. OCC may also work with the PI to produce and document a case study of the completed work.

Additional FAQ’s and institutional resources can be found here.