Occasionally, situations may arise where the University chooses to incur project costs prior to receiving Sponsor authorization. Examples include:
- The need to start work on a project upon written notice from the Sponsor that the grant/contract is projected to be funded at a later date, thus incurring costs prior to receiving official Sponsor approval;
- The need to continue work on a project past the end date prior to receiving Sponsor approval for an extension
When this happens, Grants and Contracts Administration’s (GCA) Post Award Management Unit may issue a Banner Fund number with a specified at-risk amount after receiving an Assumption of Risk Form (AOR). All AORs are submitted to GCA Post Awards Management electronically via NORM, once the College approves the AOR.
Assumption of Risk (AOR) Submission Guidelines
The following items need to accompany the AOR in order for GCA to review/approve the AOR:
- Letter of Intent from the sponsoring agency•
- Period of Performance dates (AOR is limited to 90-day period)
- Guarantee fund number (This can be any non-sponsored or non-state fund from the department/college)
- Budget (either in the AOR description or a separate budget attached in NORM / the requested budget cannot exceed $30,000 in direct costs)
The AOR will be rejected if IRB, IACUC, COI, or Biosafety has not been approved.
Note: If an AOR is authorized, the College shall bear the risk in the event that the Sponsor ultimately does not provide authorization for any of the costs incurred. Such costs shall be deducted from the Guarantee Fund provided.
Assumption of Risk (AOR) Approval and Setup Process
Upon receipt of a completed AOR packet, the designated Research Administrator in Grants and Contracts Administration (GCA) will submit the packet for approval by GCA Management. Once approved the following will happen:
- If submitted prior to receipt of the original award, a new fund number will be set up in BANNER. Once complete, the Research Administrator will notify the College Research Office/Department of the fund.
- If submitting between budget periods on an existing award, the Research Administrator will extend the end date of the award and add the additional budget (if applicable).
Once the award is received, the Research Administrator will remove the AOR attribute from the award and update the budget and end date per the award document.
Grants and Contracts Administration (GCA) receives additional funding or supplemental funding notifications from the contracts specialist. The contracts specialist notifies the PI and College Research Officer of the additional funding. Then the contract specialist releases the award for post award management. Once released, the designated Research Administrator has 3 business days to process the request and update BANNER with the additional/supplemental funding.
In some special cases, a new fund number may need to be created (for example, if the contract number/terms have changed). In this case, the College Research Office/Department will be notified of this change and a new fund will be created.
*Please note that all budgets are entered in accordance with the budget included in the award document, if applicable. If there is a discrepancy between the internal budget and award document budget, the award document budget will be used as this is the official approved budget from the sponsor.
Log into Banner and use FRIGITD screen to search. FRIGITD is used for the following information:
- Current budget for grant funds;
- Grant activities and expenses from grant inception to present date or for a certain timeframe;
- Shows total encumbrances for purchase orders per account code; go to eprint report FGROPNE to see open encumbrances by PO.
- Available balances for each account and the total remaining fund;
- To drill down on activities to see expenses per account code in Banner to compare with SAM expenses when doing the reconciliation.
In Malibu, go to the "Finance Team" screen, select department, then choose the fund number. Long Form and Short Form Reports are avaialble, as well as the Data Entry. Check expenses details in each account code and see whether the total expenses match Banner for each account line items.
To check whether the graduate RA receives the salary and by how much, go to "Report Central", choose the "Department Financial/HR Reporting" at the bottom of the second column. Log in with UNCC credentials. Enter the information in the "Payroll Distribution Report" for the graduate student, choose Transaction Date on the top of the screen. Then click submit. A box will show up at the bottom of the next screen where you will click "Open". This will show you how much the graduate student earned through the time period.
Budget Revisions are subject to approval by the granting agency. Some granting agencies provide UNCC with the flexibility to handle budget revisions to a certain degree. In these cases, the Office of Grants and Contracts will approve the budget revisions on behalf of the granting agency. In other cases, the Office of Grants and Contracts will have to make an official request to the granting agency.
Prior Approval Request to Granting Agency (College Research Office/Department Responsibility):
- The Principal Investigator (PI) will determine and approve the need for a budget revision.
- The college research office/department will submit the budget revision request and PI approval through the Grants_Contracts@uncc.edu email address. A checklist can be found on GCA’s website. We also listed following this subject.
Prior Approval Request to Granting Agency (GCA Responsibility):
- The Reporting and Sub-recipient Compliance Specialist will review the budget request and follow-up with the college/department if additional information is required.
- The Reporting and Sub-recipient Compliance Specialist will review the information; formulate an email to forward the request to the granting agency for approval (review the prior approval submission requirements for each agency in Niner Research).
After Receiving Agency Response:
- The Reporting and Sub-recipient Compliance Specialist will contact the Principal Investigator, College Research Officer, GCA Associate Director, and GCA Research Administrator upon receiving the approval/denial from the granting agency.
- If approved, the GCA Research Administrator will complete the budget revision request in BANNER and notify the department that the revision has been completed and funds are available as requested.
Agency (External) Budget Change Request Checklist
I. College Research Office/Departmental Process
- Identify grant and fund numbers.
- Obtain Principal Investigator/Project Director approval in a written email
- Explain in detail a justification for the request.
- An outline of the budget change request, specifying each category in detail
- Submit all requests through Grants_Contracts@uncc.edu
II. GCA Preparation Process and Submission- Seven (7) to ten (10) business days
- In order to conform to GCA procedures, complete all actions listed above. The checklist ensures the requests meets College goals and priorities, and requires approval by College and University personnel prior to submission
- The Research Compliance Accountant will review the request (request may be delayed if Accountant needs to obtain additional information from the College/Department)
- The Research Compliance Accountant will submit the request to the Sponsor/Agency.
- The Research Compliance Accountant will notify the PI and College/Department upon submission.
- Upon approval/denial, the Research Compliance Accountant will notify the PI, college/department, Research Administrator and Contracts Specialist of the outcome.
Budget Revisions are subject to approval by the granting agency. Some granting agencies provide UNCC with the flexibility to handle budget revisions to a certain degree. In these cases, the Grants and Contracts Administration (GCA) will approve the budget revisions on behalf of the granting agency.
Uniform Guidance states: “The budget means the financial plan of the project or program as approved during the award process.” The University is required to report deviations from the budget and program when such deviations cause:
1. Change in scope or the objectives of the project;
2. Change in key personnel;
3. The absence of three months or more or a 25% reduction in time spent on the project by the PI;
4. The need for additional funding;
5. The inclusion of costs that require prior approval;
6. The transfer of funds allotted to training allowances or participant costs.
NOTE: Sponsoring agencies can make budget revision terms more or less restrictive.
If any of the conditions listed above exist, an external budget revision will be needed. If not, proceed with the steps below for an internal budget revision.
Internal budget revisions are submitted electronically through the ImageNow system as an FTR Budget Revision. This link can be found here
Before beginning a budget revision, ensure that:
- Funding is available in the account lines that you plan to re-budget;
- Proper documentation and support from the PI are attached;
- An explanation/reasoning for the revision is included;
- The correct approvers, including the PI, are added;
- The debits and credits balance so that the transaction has a Net total of $0.
Once approved by the college research office and the PI, the budget revision passes through the system to the Grants and Contracts office to review/approve. Your designated Research Administrator in Grants and Contracts Administration (GCA) will notify you of any problems or issues with the budget revision, if applicable. If the budget revision follows all guidelines, the Research Administrator will approve. Research Administrators have 5 business days to approve items in ImageNow (i.e. Budget Revisions).
Note: Please contact your Research Administrator if PI needs to move funds from the parent fund to sub-fund Ex: 560539 to 56A539. This may require a sponsor approval.
A change in Principal Investigator (PI) must be reviewed and processed through Grants and Contracts Administration (GCA) and cannot be submitted for review until the following documents are received. A checklist can be found here to assist with this process.
- An email (sent to Grants_Contracts@uncc.edu) from the departing Principal Investigator explaining why they are no longer able to perform the role of Principal Investigator.
- The email should include:
- Agency name
- Sponsor ID number
- UNCC fund number
- New PI Biography Sketch
- New PI Current Pending Support
Once GCA has received the above information, they will submit an email with the attached supporting documentation to the sponsor for approval. After submission, GCA will do the following:
- Email the current PI, the new PI, the College Research Office/Department, the Research Administrator, Contracts Specialist, and Associate Director of GCA regarding the submission and approval of the request.
- If approved, the designated Research Administrator in GCA will complete the necessary changes in BANNER and notify the College Research Office/Department when complete.
*Please note, if this change is contained in the same organization code, the fund number will remain the same. If the new PI is in a different unit (new organization code), the old fund will need to be closed and a new fund number set up in BANNER.
Upon receipt of a new award, Grants and Contracts Administration (GCA) will review each project for cost sharing requirements. The total amount required is recorded on the FRAGRNT screen in BANNER under “total recipient share”.
Salary cost share is certified once a year: • Academic (07/01/XX-06/30/XX)
Note: Some agencies require the report on a quarterly basis, the college/department will treat each requirement case by case.
All non-salary cost share is certified on calendar quarters. The calendar quarters are:
- (January to March)
- (April to June)
- (July to September)
- (October to December)
All cost share must be submitted by the College Research Office/Department and the GCA Research Administrators will enter the information into the cost share database. GCA will send the cost share reports to the College Research Offices/Departments on a quarterly basis.
Salary Cost Share
Until payroll certification is in place, salary cost share is submitted on the Certified Effort Statement. Please work with your designated Research Administrator to access this form. Salary information should be pulled from Report Central using the Payroll Distribution screen. Be sure to select Payroll Transactions to use the correct reporting information. The reporting period selected in the Payroll Distribution screen should match the reporting period on the Certified Effort Statement form so that the percentages are correct.
Once complete and signed by the PI, this form should be sent to your designated Research Administrator who will complete the cost share certification for salary, including benefits and fringe information.
Non-salary Cost Share
All non-salary cost share must be submitted to GCA using the Cost Share Non-Personnel Form, which can be found here. Backup documentation should accompany this form, documenting the items being cost-shared and their source funding (the non-grant fund). This documentation should be submitted by the College Research Office/Department to GCA on a quarterly basis.
Met Cost Share
Once cost share on an award is fully met, GCA will send the PI and College Research Office/Department the Fully Committed Cost Share Notification form.
Unmet Cost Share
It is the responsibility of the College/Department to notify the PI if the cost share is not met by the end of the project. The sponsor may not pay the final invoice of the award if the cost share is unmet. If this should occur, then the College/Department will be responsible for the unpaid amount.
Grants & Contracts Administration (GCA) Financial Transfer Request (FTR) eForms
Financial Transaction Request Forms (FTR)
FTRs can be used to transfer expenses on or off of a grant fund or to reallocate expenses to the correct account line if they were initially charge incorrectly. When submitting a FTR, please be sure that the following conditions have been met:1. Include any supporting documentation to identify and verify the expenses on the FTR.
This could include: cost transfer justification form, travel documentation, purchase
orders, Banner screen shot, documentation from PI, etc.
2. Ensure that there are sufficient funds available and that the transfer is acceptable.
3. Include the identified expense using the ‘Correcting Entry Document #’ field in the
When submitted to GCA through the ImageNow system, your Research Administrator will review the document for accuracy. If allowable, the FTR will be approved and routed forward. If additional information is needed, your Research Administrator will contact the requestor. Research Administrators have 5 business days to approve documents in ImageNow. If information is not received in the allotted time, the document will be denied (with a reason for denial). If you have any questions, please reach out to your Research Administrator in GCA for further clarification.
Interdepartmental Invoices (IDI)
Interdepartmental Invoices can be used to pay for services such as recharge unit services or other expenses that are billed to another department on campus that should be paid on a grant fund. When submitting an interdepartmental invoice, please be sure that the following conditions have been met:
- Funding is available in the correct account code on the grant fund to pay for the expense.
- The expense is allowable and budgeted on the grant.
- Include any supporting documentation to identify the charge, such as a department invoice or statement showing the charges.
When submitted to GCA through the ImageNow system, your Research Administrator will review the document for accuracy, following the same procedures as listed above for FTR approvals.
When to use the EPAF system and special conditions with an EPAF
EPAF is an online system that is used to process payroll for hiring of part-time faculty (E50PTF), special pay to full time employees including summer pay (E45SP), and students hires (S70N) and reappointments (S70R).
EPAF’s are originated by the college/department and submitted thru a multiple approval process. Part-Time Faculty and Faculty Summer Salary, the following conditions must be met:
- For EPAF Query dates of the 1st of the month, the EPAF must be submitted by the 4th day of the month.
- For EPAF Query dates of the 16th of the month, the EPAF must be submitted by the 19th day of the month.
For Student and Temporary Employees, EPAFs can be submitted and approved within the month for the EPAF dates. (ex. For EPAF Query date of 09/01/XX, the EPAF must be approved by 09/30/XX, or before in order for the student to be paid on 10/15/XX).
Please refer to the Payroll calendar, located on the UNCC website under Payroll, as the dates may change each fiscal year.
Procedure for an EPAF
Login to the EPAF system through ‘My UNC Charlotte’ located on the top right hand of the UNCC homepage. Click on Banner Self-Serve and if prompted to login, use the same login and password as your system login.
The EPAF system is located under the ‘Employee’ tab in Banner Self- Service.
Click on ‘Employee Information" then choose EPAF – Electronic Personnel Action Form’, then ‘New EPAF’
For detailed EPAF instructions, please consult the University EPAF manual. This manual will provide detailed instructions for requirements in each field of the EPAF.
For Faculty Summer Salary, please review/complete the following steps to ensure that summer salary is allowed and allocated correctly per grant and PI guidelines:
- Check the award for the inclusion of the EPAF payment. The employee or position should be listed in the award and amount that has been budgeted.
- Review the BANNER screens FRIGITD and FRAGRNT to check for availability of funding and dates of the award. An EPAF payment should not extend past the end date of the award even if there is an extension forthcoming but not processed.
- Review the salary in Banner screen NBAJOBS. The annual salary should be calculated accordingly to the length of time. Ex. $75,000 for a 9-month employee would be $4,166.67 per pay period as their contract is only for 9 months, but are paid over 12 months.
- The amount of pay for full-time faculty should not be more than their per pay period amount multiplied by the number of pay periods. Ex. EPAF with dates of 7/1-7/30/XX equals two pay periods. 9 Month Employee with an annual salary of $90,000 should not be paid more than $10,000 for this period.
- For summer pay, the dates should between 5/16/XX-8/15/XX.
For part-time faculty, the following applies:
- The pay for part-time faculty will be the same as their contract. Review the dates on the EPAF. The personnel dates are the dates the employee works for the special pay. The job effective dates are the dates the employee will be paid for the work. Ideally these dates should be the same, but in some circumstances the dates will be different.
For all EPAFs on 5XXXXX funds (grant funds) the following applies:
- Please ensure that your College Research Office is listed as an approver and that Valerie Crickard is listed as the fund approver for Grants and Contracts Administration (GCA). If not, the EPAF will be returned for correction by Academic Affairs. All the GCA Research Administrators and the Associate Director are proxies for Valerie Crickard.
When to use the PD7 Form
The PD7 form is a payroll document that should be used for Faculty appointment (9 & 12 month) and changes in their payroll status (supersedes including EPAF’s and terminations). The PD7 form is also used for Part-Time or EHRA Temporary appointments and Post Docs.
The PD7 form and instructions can be found here
PD7’s on Grant Funds
PD7’s that include payment on a grant fund will be routed to GCA for approval through campus mail. Original PD7’s are YELLOW. Superseding PD7’s are PINK. (All superseding PD7’s require a copy of the original attached) Before GCA can process a PD7, it must be signed by the requester, approver, and Academic Affairs. Some Colleges may also elect to have their College Research Office/Department approve the form first. If the form is missing ANY of the above signatures, GCA will route the form back to the appropriate person/department.
To be approved by GCA, the following conditions must be met:
- The grant must be active during the entire appointment period.
- There must be available funds in the appropriate account line on the grant.
- The person or position must be listed in the award.
If all these conditions are met, the PD7 will be approved by GCA and forwarded to the Budget Office for the next step in the approval process. GCA research administrators have 5 business days to process accurate PD7’s from the date they are received in GCA. Please ensure that these documents are submitted in a timely fashion to avoid delay in processing/missed payroll periods/access problems for employees who may be between contract periods.
A no cost extension (NCE) is submitted when a project is ending, but work on the project is not completed and additional time is needed. Many agencies have requirements for NCEs, so it is important to check the award information to ensure the accurate submission of the request.
The following general rules apply when completing a NCE request:
- Most federal agencies require that a NCE be submitted at least 45 days prior to the end date of the grant. This allows time to process the request before the designated end date.
- For some awards, UNC Charlotte has designated authority to grant the first NCE. All second NCE requests are required to have approval by the sponsor.
- NCE requests should be submitted via email (Grants-Contracts@uncc.edu) using the NCE request form found online.
- If needing to move funds as part of the NCE, a budget revision request should accompany the NCE so that they can be processed together (as a NCE does not equal a change in budget).
Once the sponsor has made a decision regarding the NCE request, GCA will notify the PI, College Research Office/Department, and the Research Administrators. The designated
Research Administrator will update the award documentation in BANNER and notify the PI and College Research Office/Department when the updates are complete so that work can continue on the project (if approved).
If the NCE request has not been approved before the end date of the project, the College Research Office/Department will need to process an AOR on the award in order to keep the fund open.
A sponsored activity release time form is used to process the faculty member’s pay for the designated period to charge to the grant fund, thus releasing state funds that would normally pay the individual’s salary. Release time cannot cross fiscal years. A copy of the Sponsored Activity Release Time Form can be found here
Instructions for Processing
When completing the Sponsored Activity Release Time Form, please be sure the following conditions have been met:
- The dates of the release time are within the award’s period of performance.
- The start date of the release time form matches the payroll dates (ex. Release time must start on either the 1st or 16th of the month).
- Funds are available in the correct account line (911100) on the grant fund.
- The person is listed in the award document to receive release time on the grant fund.
- The salary amount cannot exceed 100% of their normal salary amount per pay period.
If the above conditions have been met, the College Research Office/Department should have the form signed by all necessary parties and submit to their designated Research Administrator in GCA for approval. The Research Administrator will review the form and submit to GCA management for approval and submit to the budget office for processing.
If the Release Time Form is received AFTER the date of the start of the release time, a Cost Transfer Justification Form must accompany the Release Time Form, documenting why the form is being submitted late.
*Please note, GCA Research Administrators have 5 business days to process accurate Release Time Forms. Any forms received with incorrect information will be returned to the College Research Office/Department and will need to be resubmitted.
All sponsored budget requests that include graduate assistantship salary must also include full tuition and fees at the current in-state rate, unless disallowed by the sponsoring agency. If the sponsor’s awarded budget includes tuition and fees, the tuition and fees must be charged to the sponsor for graduate student(s) assigned to the project, per UNC Charlotte Policy 50.5.
However, occasionally the circumstance arises where funds for tuition and fees need to be rebudgeted to facilitate the successful completion of a project. In that case a Tuition and Fees Rebudget Justification Form must be submitted and approved by the GCA Executive Director before an internal rebudget can be requested and processed.
Please note this procedure is only required prior to requesting an Internal Rebudget. If sponsor approval is required for a rebudget of Tuition and Fees please refer to our External Rebudget Request documentation for guidance.
Tuition and Fees Rebudget Justification Form:
- The Principal Investigator (PI) will determine and approve the need for Tuition and Fees to be rebudgeted on their sponsored award.
- The college research office/department will complete the Tuition and Fees Rebudget Justification Form which must include a scientific/programmatic justification for the change.
- The college research office/department should submit the completed form to the Grants-Contracts@uncc.edu email address or by hitting the “Submit” button at the bottom of the form.
- Please note the form needs to be downloaded to your computer for the Submit button to work.
If there is any additional documentation that would be helpful for reviewing the request please attach it to your submission email.
The Executive Director of the Grants and Contracts Accounting office will review each request on a case-by-case basis, and respond back to the requester with an approval,
denial, or additional questions.
Internal Rebudget Request:
- Once the Tuition and Fees Rebudget Justification Form is approved by the Executive Director, the college research office/department may then submit an official internal rebudget request.
- Please refer to the Internal Rebudget Procedure for additional information.
- The approved Tuition and Fees Rebudget Justification Form must be attached to any internal rebudget request. If it is not attached the Post-Award Research Administrator will reject the request.
Overview of Award Closeout
The award closeout process starts approximately 90 days prior to an award end date and continues until the award is inactivated in BANNER. During this process, Research Administrators in GCA are working with the Grant Billing and Reporting Specialist to coordinate the final invoice and financial reports. If the reporting deadline is earlier than 90 AFTER the end date, the closeout process will be expedited in order to meet the invoicing and reporting deadlines.
Advance Closeout Notification
A report is sent to each College Research Office and Principal Investigator 90 prior to an award ending. The College Research Office will notify GCA if a no cost extension (NCE) will be requested. Please see Policy 70.1 regarding the award close-out process.
Closeout of Award
Once the award period has ended, your designated Research Administrator in GCA will begin the official closeout process. The Research Administrator will review expenses for accuracy and legitimacy, calculate the facilities and administration (F&A) costs, and prepare the final expenditure report for review. The Research Administrator will notify the PI and College Research Office/Department if the grant is overspent or if there are unallowable charges on the grant that need to be moved prior to final reconciliation.
When the award is ready to close, the Research Administrator will send the final expenditure report to the PI and the College Research Office/Department for confirmation. Both the PI and College Research Office/Department need to confirm that the expenses are correct and the award is ready to close.
For fixed price awards, the residual balance (up to 25%) will be returned to the PI per the residual balance policy. Policy 70.2 on Residual Balances provides additional information.
After the award closeout has been confirmed, the Research Administrator will continue the closeout process in GCA. Please note that the award cannot be inactivated in BANNER until all billing and invoicing is complete. Therefore, please ensure that once closeout has been confirmed, nothing is charged to the grant fund. Once closed and inactivated, records must be kept in accordance with Sponsor Agency and University guidelines. For any questions, please contact your designated Research Administrator in GCA.