ORSP Newsletter : October 4, 2006 : issue 1

We are starting this modest publication to provide information to the campus community regarding changes in ORSP, our new services, and agency-related information.

In May 2006 we embarked on the task to implement important changes in our grant administration. We identified a total of 134 specific tasks, and are now focusing on some of the priorities. We have completed 21 tasks and 24 are in progress.

As we continue to implement new procedures and with your cooperation, we will improve our level of service to all SFSU faculty. We hope to enlist your support to complement our effort.

Here you will find useful information regarding each of the sections within ORSP. Please print this newsletter to keep contact and deadline information.

Enrique Riveros-Schäfer
Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs

In this issue:

Upcoming ORSP Dates & Deadlines
Implementation Team

Upcoming ORSP Dates & Deadlines


Date Section Notes
Oct. 6 Personnel

RRT requests due for AY faculty and for calendar year faculty
Time period: July 1, Dec. 31, 2006

Oct. 20 Personnel Absence Reports due for salaried staff and faculty
Oct. 20 Personnel Time sheets due for Student Assistants and hourly staff
Oct. 24 Pre-Award Grants.gov training (please pre-register by calling 8-6478)
Oct. 25 Pre-Award Grants.gov training (please pre-register by calling 8-6478)
Oct. 31 Personnel Deadline for submitting on-line request for Thanksgiving Break Pay
Nov. 1 Compliance Time and effort reports for faculty who received summer salary (reports distributed to PI's in early October)

Post-Award Deadlines
All cost transfers, including LCD transfers, must be completed within 90 days of their origination.

For projects approaching their end date, all cost transfers, including LCD transfers, must be submitted within 90 days of their origination, but no later than 45 days after the end of the project.

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Personnel Announcements
Absence Reports for Staff
  • Please make sure that Absence Reports for staff and time sheets for students on your projects are submitted on time so that employees can be paid in a timely manner.
  • Absence Reports for salaried staff must be submitted on time so that Human Resources (HR) can update each employee's sick and vacation leave balances. This is particularly critical when employees resign or are separated from University employment.  If an employee separates from the University, HR must be able to accurately calculate the amount of vacation leave pay for that employee.  HR follows strict federal and state employment laws to produce an employee’s final paycheck in a timely manner.  If Absence Reports are not submitted, this process is delayed.
  • In addition, grant accounts are charged for sick and vacation leave accruals each month.  When employees claim sick or vacation time, this results in a CREDIT to the grant.  On-time reports ensure that accurate financial reports can be generated.
Academic Year Faculty Pay for Thanksgiving Break 2006
  • The Academic Year (AY) schedule for 2006/07 has been adjusted.   This year's AY Schedule lists November 20, 21, and 22 as non-work days, therefore academic year faculty are entitled to receive additional salary from grants/contracts during these three days.  The deadline to request additional pay during Thanksgiving Break is October 31, 2006.
  • Because this is a new intercession period, current grants and contract budgets do not include funds to cover these costs.  If you plan to be paid for these three additional days, or plan to pay other faculty, please contact your Grant Administrator to ensure that adequate funds are available, and to rebudget for these costs.
  • To estimate your daily rate of pay for Thanksgiving Break Appointments, please use the following calculation:   
    Annual AY salary / 9 months (September - May) = Calendar Year (CY) Monthly Salary
    Then take the CY Monthly Salary / 22 days (total no. of working days in the Nov. pay period) = Daily Rate
  • The benefit rate for full-time Academic Year Faculty is 12%.  The benefit rate for faculty with less than full-time appointments during the AY (and eligible for CALPERS) is 34.68%.
  • If you are planning on requesting additional pay from your grant during Thanksgiving Break, or plan to pay other faculty members, please submit your request on-line at the ORSP Personnel site.  This applies to faculty with Academic Year Appointments only.
  • Upon receiving your on-line request, appointment documents will be prepared by an ORSP Personnel Specialist and sent as a PDF via e-mail to you. The appointment document will specify the estimated cost of both salary and benefits for your convenience.  Once you have reviewed and signed the Appointment Document, please return the form to the ORSP office in ADM 471.
If you have questions about personnel policies or procedures, please contact Victoria Narkewicz at extension 8-1973 or at toria@sfsu.edu.

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Post-Award Announcements
Policy Regarding Grants and Contractual Agreements

Principal Investigators at SFSU submitting applications for grants or entering into contractual agreements are required to:
  1. Submit a PI checklist through the Pre-Award section of the ORSP website.
  2. Meet with a Proposal Services Specialist from ORSP Pre-Award Office to prepare a proposal/project budget to include direct costs, facilities and administrative (F&A) costs, cost sharing/matching funds (if required by funding agency), subcontracts (if applicable) and program income.
  3. Submit all proposals (electronic or paper submissions) through the Proposal Services Specialist in the ORSP Pre-Award Office. 

This is required in order to ensure compliance with the Trustees of the California State CSU, SFSU, federal, state and local agency policies, procedures and guidelines concerning sponsored programs.

Deadlines for Cost Transfers/Labor Cost Distribution (LCD) Transfers/Reimbursements
  • ORSP is subject to federal guidelines that require grantee institutions to demonstrate sound business practices in the management of sponsored funds.  Expenditures submitted after that 90-day window of time are generally unallowable. Justifications for late submission of payment documents are considered high risk and very seldom pass audit standards.  The PI and project staff are responsible for submitting all payment documents in a timely manner to their assigned GA.  Grant Administrators may request additional justification for payment of documents submitted outside of the 90-day window, as they may be considered unallowable.
  • All cost transfers, including LCD transfers, must be completed within 90 days of their origination.  All requests for reimbursements, P-Card reports, personnel appointments and reimbursements for payments to vendors should be submitted within 90 days of their origination.
  • For projects approaching their end date, all cost transfers, reimbursements, P-card reports, and reimbursements for payments to vendors must be submitted within 90 days of their origination, but no later than 45 days after the end of the project to ensure timely submission of financial reports to funders.  In some cases, agencies require final financial reports within 30 days from the end date.  For those agencies, all cost transfers, reimbursements, P-card reports and reimbursements for payments to vendors must be received within 90 days of their origination, but no later that the last day of the project end date
  • Any requests for reimbursements, P-Card reports, personnel appointments and reimbursements for payments to vendors outside of the deadline timeframe may be disallowed and those expenses will be redirected to the PI's department.
90 Day Closeout Notices
  • In early October, notices are sent out to all Principal Investigators via email for projects ending December 2006. 
  • Principal Investigators should work with their Grant Administrator during this time to forecast final expenditures, finalize any cost-sharing documentation, request a no-cost time extension, or request carryover of unobligated funds to a subsequent budget period.  
  • If you have any questions concerning the 90-day closeout notices, please contact your Grant Administrator. 
Hiring a Fifth Grant Administrator
  • The ORSP Post-Award team is pleased to announce that we have received funding for another Grant Administrator position. We have already begun to recruit for this new position.  Our objective is to further streamline the post award process and provide better customer service to Principal Investigators and project staff.
If you have any questions concerning Post-Award policies or procedures, please contact Diane Coseo at extension 8-7090 or dcoseo@sfsu.edu.

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  • The Compliance link on the ORSP website has been updated.  Information on grant related compliance matter such as effort reporting and cost-sharing policies will be posted and updated regularly.
  • ORSP has concluded the Spring 2006 time and effort reporting period. In early October, Summer 2006 time and effort reports will be sent out for review and signature.  If you are a faculty member and you received Additional Pay during the summer (Summer Salary), you will receive an effort report.  Effort reports must be signed and returned to ORSP by November 1.
If you have questions about compliance issues, please contact Alison Sanders at extension 5-3943 or asanders@sfsu.edu.

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Pre-Award Announcements
Grants.gov Training

Please join ORSP in the unveiling of Grants.gov to the campus community.  Presenters will be Jackie White, Pre-Award Manager, and Josh Calder, Proposal Specialist.  Training on getting started with Grants.gov will be held:
  • Tuesday, Oct. 24, 12:15-1:15 in ADM 460
  • Wednesday, Oct. 25, 12:15-1:15 in ADM 460
We expect a large turn out, so please RSVP to our Program Coordinator, Christine Ramos at cbramos@sfsu.edu or call extension 8-6478. Feel free to bring your lunch. ORSP will provide beverages.

Registration for an eRA Commons Account

If you wish to use the Commons system, you must be registered through ORSP.  To register, please contact Jackie White at extension 8-3578 or whitej@sfsu.edu.  The NIH Commons may be accessed at: http://commons.era.nih.gov.

PI's can use the Commons to update their personal profiles, check the status of applications or awards, prepare Just-In-Time information, and prepare an electronic version of a Type 5 (non-competing) grant progress report to NIH - (eSNAP).

New Proposal Services Specialist

Nina Tsoi, formerly a student assistant in Pre-Award, has agreed to temporarily fulfill the position of Proposal Specialist.  Nina replaces Diane Coseo who is currently the Acting Post-Award Manager.  Nina can be reached at extension 5-3979 or ntsoi@sfsu.edu.

If you have any questions concerning Pre-Award policies or procedures, please contact Christine Ramos at extension 8-6478 or cbramos@sfsu.edu.

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Implementation Team

Out of 134 tasks in our current action plan, 17 are completed and 24 are in progress.  We expect to continue to refine the tasks, and to finalize the prioritization process in the next month.  A spreadsheet of the information and Action Plan based on Huron’s assessment and recommendations is available on the ORSP website.

We have posted a chart showing each one of the specific tasks in the implementation as well as a text version of the Huron recommendations which are available on a newly revamped website.

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San Francisco State University

ORSP: Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
For comments or questions about this newsletter, please contact Alison Ng at alisonng@sfsu.edu.