Improving Research Administration - Targeted Processes
The Sponsored Projects Office (SPO) maintains a page on its website to help PIs use commercial search engines to locate external sponsors. The Berkeley Research Development Office (BRDO) also provides assistance in identifying sponsors, as does Corporate and Foundation Relations. The Industry Alliances Office (IAO) receives and circulates industry request for proposal announcements and other expressions of industry interest and helps match faculty with industry sponsors.
Proposal Development, Review, and Submission (including exceptional PI status)
Process begins with a PI developing a proposal for submission, including work with a research administrator (RA) to complete all required forms and the proposal budget. SPO or IAO reviews proposal elements required by the sponsor to ensure application completion and responsiveness, and provides feedback to the PI and CSS RA on changes needed. SPO or IAO reviews final proposal and submits to sponsor.
Conflict of Interest (COI)
PIs file disclosure of financial interest for review and sign-off by the COI committee. Process redesign complete. Changes implemented July 2016. Assessment of the impact of the changes is underway.
(Initial improvement process is complete)
Human Subjects Protocols/ Animal Subjects
Protocols for use of human subjects or animals are reviewed and approved by campus compliance committees prior to award set-up.
This process begins with notification that the sponsor intends to fund the project. SPO or IAO negotiates award and transmits Notice of Award (NOA) data to the financial system. RA uploads the budget and Contracts and Grants Accounting (CGA) completes award set up in the financial system & sends authorization to spend to the PI and RA.
(Process mapping and troubleshooting complete. Work groups are completing improvement implementation plans)
Fund Advance Process
Fund advance requests are initiated by the PI -> approved by the Chair/Dean/Director of the PI’s department/unit -> SPO or IAO evaluates and processes the fund advance request.
(significant subprocess of Award Set-up)
Payroll Funding Changes
Campus Shared Services (CSS) works with departments/PIs to move personnel to different grants or fund sources.
Hiring/Appointing Personnel to Projects
CSS works with departments/PIs to hire personnel
Carry Forward Balance
Project balances that carryforward from one project year to the next.
Semi-annually PIs certify effort reports; status of compliance is communicated via PI Portfolio
Invoicing, Accounts Receivable Collection & Reporting
CGA sends out invoices to sponsors per award requirements (monthly, quarterly, annually, per schedule/deliverable, etc), follows up with collection letters as necessary.
The Sponsored Projects Office (SPO) issues modifications which follows the same process as new awards
CGA prepares and monitors closeout statistics for compliance and accounts receivable statistics
Contracts and Grants Accounting (CGA) is responsible for submitting final financial reports to the sponsor. Equipment Management is responsible for submitting required equipment reports. The PI is responsible for submitting final technical reports and notifying the Office of Technology Licensing (OTL) of any inventions resulting from the project. The Sponsored Projects Office (SPO) coordinates the University response to sponsor requests for financial, equipment, and invention reports as well as technical reports from the PI. SPO notifies the appropriate individuals and offices when a sponsor indicates that any of these reports are delinquent.
Invention Disclosure Process
The PI reports inventions to OTL. OTL uploads this information into iEdison for federal awards. Upon receipt of request for an invention report from a federal sponsor SPO checks with iEdison to find any inventions listed for the PI under the sponsor's project. SPO completes and submits the invention report by the sponsor's deadline.
Industry Sponsored Research Agreements
The Industry Alliances Office (IAO) is contacted by either PI or prospective industry sponsor. IAO discusses with prospective industry sponsor and PI to clarify intent, sponsor collaboration, funding, intellectual property (background and foreground), and receipt of any sponsor materials, data, software, equipment, or visiting industrial fellows. IAO may help shape the opportunity to fit university structure and policy. IAO may draft a research agreement de novo, reshape an IAO template, or modify a sponsor contract. IAO negotiates terms and conditions with sponsor in support of PI's project and University's requirements. IAO signs and sets up the negotiated agreement.
This process is the same as for other awards, but is complicated by the fact that awards are negotiated in foreign currency terms. Exchange rate varies depending on the award terms and net adjustments to the award are applied if the value of the currency fluctuates. This can be a major issue if the foreign currency suffers a significant loss in value.
Subcontractors, Consultants, External Collaborators (this process spans both pre- and post-award)
PI indicates that they intend to include external collaborators on their application -> Research Administrator (RA) reviews SPO policies and the PI's request and provides guidance on what relationship classification exists (subcontract, consultant/vendor, letter of support, 3rd party cost share, etc) -> RA steers PI to the correct paperwork/compliance consideration (additional time needed for subcontracts) -> RA collects detailed budget, paperwork, statement of work, budget justification, etc from external collaborators -> RA incorporates into the proposal draft and Phoebe system upload...After an award has been made the PI submits a request for establishment of a new subaward or a modification to SPO or IAO. SPO or IAO reviews proposed subrecipient's financial/audit information as well as data from the system for award management (SAM) and the excluded parties list to determine if subrecipient is viable partner. SPO or IAO develops subaward based on prime award flow down clauses and submits to subrecipient. SPO or IAO obtains insurance certificate and negotiates terms and conditions with subrecipient. When terms are acceptable to both parties, SPO or IAO establishes the subaward. If federally sponsored SPO reports via the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Reporting System (FSRS).
Research Gifts (including accepting and processing wire transfers for gift research)
RA works with the PI on completion and sign-off of the statement of financial interest (700U). Campus Shared Services or the department submits to University Development and Alumni Relations (UDAR). Paperwork, check/wire instructions are entered into the Campus Deposit System and Cal Advancement Data System for processing. CSS or the department tracks the transaction and when the funds are deposited, alerts the research administrator and PI.
Transfer of Grants To/From Other Universities
Grant transfers occur when a PI is moving to a new institution and plans to take their extramural research funding. This process closes an award at one institution and reassigns administration to a different university.
Deficit Clearing Process
The Deficit Clearing Process calculates the deficit at the award level, and clear balances (deficits or surpluses) in the contract & grants fund. Deficits are transferred from contracts and grants awards via journal entry to a new, designated fund and the award’s primary department.
To facilitate a PI's receipt or mutual exchange of confident information with a prospective or current sponsor, the Industry Alliances Office (IAO) provides a template confidentiality agreement to sponsor, or receives sponsor's template, and negotiates and signs the agreement. IAO attends to all compliance matters like checking for export restrictions. IAO preserves PI ability to publish.
Material Transfer Agreements, Data Use Agreements, or Software Agreements
To receive incoming material, data, or software for use in research, the Industry Alliances Office (IAO) provides or receives an agreement from a sponsor or provider, negotiates, and signs. IAO facilitates all compliance matters, including environmental health & safety, human subjects, animal care and use, conflict of interest, data security, and export control restrictions.