Award Management

"Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist.
They are wrong; it is character."

~ Albert Einstein


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Best Practices for Award Management

  • Don’t take it personally.  Sometimes we have to ask you for information about your award – purchases you want to make, travel you want to take, for example – to ensure that the funds we’ve received are being spent appropriately.  We do this for several reasons (to be prepared for an audit, to be in compliance with regulations, to understand how to process requests, etc.) none of which are meant to frustrate or hobble you or your research.  We genuinely have your best interests at heart.  If we fail at our jobs, the consequences can be astronomical
  • Recognize that the funds come with some strings attached. When you accept sponsored funding, you accept all the rules and requirements that go along with it.  ORAA and your business office will do as much as we can to minimize your administrative burden but some things require your assistance and involvement.  Getting you out of these requirements, no matter how inane they may seem, literally requires an act of Congress.
  • Know your accounts. Your projects are set up to achieve the goals you proposed to the sponsor for a particular award.  Accounts are not interchangeable, even those from the same funding agency for similar research.  Moving charges from one project to another, especially payroll, is like waiving a red flag in front of an auditor.
  • Remember the Newspaper Test. If you aren’t sure a charge is appropriate to put on an award, imagine explaining the expenditure to a bunch of reporters.  If you would not be comfortable having the details of your decisions posted for the world to see, rethink the decision. 
  • Remember to file your reports on time. When a PI does not file progress or close-out reports on time, the PI (and UMCES) is in breach of contract.  Federal sponsors in particular are tracking late PI submissions and have started to withhold funding until those late reports have been filed.  And they aren’t just withholding the funding for that one award with the overdue report or even all the awards the one late PI has with them; they are withholding all of their funding for all the awards of all the PIs at that institution. 
  • Know the consequences. Click here for Federal References, including links to the Offices of the Inspectors General and Grants Policy statements for several federal agencies, as well as links to pertinent laws and regulations regarding sponsored projects.  
  • Stay involved and informed. You as the PI are responsible for the proper management of your award.  Stay in touch with your business office and the ORAA office to get assistance and support in managing your award.

Notice: Pursuant to the FAQs regarding the new uniform guidance in OMB 2.CFR.200 and the OMB announcement dated September 10, 2015, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science has chosen to delay implementation of the new procurement requirements in OMB 2.CFR.200.320 until July 1, 2017. All other regulations in OMB 2.CFR.200 are applicable to new federal awards issued after 12/26/14 and may be applicable to existing federal awards depending on agency implementation plans.

Federal Contract & Grant Regulations

Federal Guidance

Agency Guidance

UMCES Guidance