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MANAGEMENT GUIDE FOR THE GRANT WRITER

This management guide is designed to include some basic information on the State of West Virginia Procurement Policies and Procedures. The guide is intended to be used as a quick reference tool to help answer questions that often arise during the course of the grant.


Audit Requirements and Records Retention

Grants that are funded with public money (federal, state and local government and subcontracts from other entities receiving public money) are subject to full review of all project activity, both program and financial. All grant activities must be conducted in accordance with terms and conditions of the grant as well as all applicable regulations.

Auditors may have questions long after the project is completed about details of program performance and project changes. We must maintain complete and full records on your project and retain these records at least three years after all project activities including final report have been completed and final payment have been received.


Costs
What is allowable and what is not allowable to include in grant proposals.

Allowable Costs

Compensation for Personal Services: When calculating personal services compensation, you should cover all amounts paid currently by the institution for personal services. Such amounts include salaries, wages, and fringe benefits which includes insurance. Calculate approximately 23% for fringe benefits.

Communications Costs: Communications costs incurred for local and long distance telephone calls, cellular phones, postage, etc., are allowable. Additional local telephone service charge fees, equipment rental, voice mail, etc. are not allowable unless specifically in the grant.

Equipment: The costs of permanent or special purpose equipment such as microscopes are allowable when such purchases are provided for by the terms of the grant. General purpose equipment is generally defined as equipment that is not limited in use only to research, medical, scientific, or other technical activities such as office equipment, cameras, and refrigerators. Unless specifically provided for in the grant, general purpose equipment must have prior approval in the grant. Equipment must have a useful life of one year or more. Acquisition costs include invoice amount, transportation, installation, and insurance charges of $1000.00 or greater must be tagged for Shepherd University Inventory. Fixed assets purchased from grant funds belong to the State of West Virginia and Shepherd University. You may not assume ownership of the purchased equipment.

Insurance and Indemnification: Costs of insurance required or approved pursuant to the grant are allowable.

Maintenance and Repair Costs: Maintenance and repair costs incurred which are necessary for an efficient operating condition are allowable.

Material Costs: Costs incurred for purchases of materials and supplies directly related to the grant are allowable.

Meetings and Conference Costs: Costs of meetings and conferences, when the primary purpose is the dissemination of technical information, are allowable as long as travel has been approved in the grant. This includes costs of meals for multi-day travel, transportation, rental of facilities, and other items incidental to such meetings or conferences based on the State of West Virginia and Shepherd University Travel Policies and Procedures.

Transportation Costs: Transportation costs incurred for freight, express, postage and other transportation services relating to purchased goods are allowable.

Travel Costs: Travel costs are allowable when they are directly attributable to specific work in the grant and as long as the travel has been approved in the grant. All travel must adhere to the State of West Virginia and Shepherd University Travel Policies and Procedures. Foreign travel is generally defined as any travel outside of Canada and the United States and its territories and possessions. Foreign travel costs are allowable. However, all foreign travel must adhere to the State of West Virginia and Shepherd University Travel Policies and Procedures.

Unallowable Costs

Alcoholic Beverages: Costs for such beverages are not allowable.

Capital Expenditures: The costs of equipment, buildings, and repairs that materially increase the value or usefulness of buildings or equipment are unallowable except when provided for in the grant.

Entertainment Costs: Costs incurred for amusement, social activities, entertainment, and any related items such as meals, lodging, rentals, alcoholic beverages, transportation, and gratuities are unallowable.

Pre-Agreement Costs: Costs incurred prior to the effective date of the grant, whether or not they would have been allowable, are unallowable unless specifically set forth and identified in the grant, or approved through prior approval procedures.

Memberships and Subscriptions: Costs for an individual's membership in civic business, technical, and professional organizations are normally not allowable as a direct cost unless specifically identified in the grant or unless prior approval is obtained based on project need. Costs of individual subscriptions to civic, business, professional, and technical periodicals are normally not allowable as a direct cost unless specifically identified in the grant or unless approval is obtained based on project need.


Final Reports

In order to maintain a complete record on your grant, please submit a copy of your monthly, quarterly, annual and/or completion of project report to the Office for Administration and Finance.


Financial Closeout Activities

Federal regulations require the final financial report and final request for reimbursements be filed 90 days after the end date of the award. In order to facilitate the timely filing of these reports, all financial activity must be completed within 30 days of the end date of the grant. Any financial activity not completed in this time period may become a financial responsibility of the department even if the expenditure would otherwise have been allowable in the grant. All obligations of the grant must be recorded in the institutional accounting system prior to the end date of the grant.

A frequently misunderstood issue arises regarding the use of encumbrances with departmental purchasing card and purchase orders. Federal regulation requires all expenditures to be directly allocable to the grant. Therefore, the receipt of merchandise or the completion of the service must occur on or prior to the end date of the grant. Items encumbered prior to the end date but not received are not allocable expenditures to the grant. You are strongly encouraged to limit your purchases during the last month of the award.

The Office for Administration and Finance is responsible for filing the final request for reimbursement and the final financial reports.


Project Closeout Activities

Closing a grant account is a vital part of the overall research process. Therefore, you must communicate with the Office for Administration and Finance to ensure that all phases of the closeout process are completed in a timely manner. As with any major endeavor, your grant cannot be closed until all activities are completed.

Approximately 90 days before the end date of the award, you must determine if the grant will be completed on schedule. If all activities cannot be completed by the end date of the award, it is vital to immediately inform the Office for Administration and Finance to determine and discuss if there is a method to obtain an extension.

The end product of almost every grant is the final report. In addition, during the course of many grants certain periodic reports either monthly, quarterly, annually will need to be submitted. Timely submission of these reports is expected and is the responsibility of the principal investigator. Check your award documentation for specific requirements.


Project Support Areas

Campus Mail: Provides mail service to all faculty and staff at Shepherd University. A postage number for exclusive use of the grant must be established. All postage numbers should expire on the end date of the grant. To establish a postage number, please call the Budget Office at extension 5494.

Environmental Health and Safety: To assure compliance with federal, state and local health and safety agencies, you should contact Dan Yanna, Facilities Director at extension 5236.

Office for Administration & Finance: The Office for Administration and Finance provides support services and helps to establish procedures to meet both the grantor and the grantee administrative requirements. The Office for Administration and Finance works closely with the principal investigator to ensure compliance with all terms and conditions of a grant, for efficiently and effectively managing grant funds within approved budgets, and for completing the grant requirements in a diligent and professional manner.

Telecommunications: Project related long distance calls should be charged to the grant. When long distance calls are charged to departmental accounts for convenience purposes, you will need to transfer the charges to the grant. It is the responsibility of the principal investigator to notify the Office for Administration and Finance of any budget change requests.

Service Center: Provides copier service to all faculty and staff at Shepherd University. A copier service number will be assigned for exclusive use of the grant. All copier service numbers should expire on the end date of the grant. To establish a copier service number, call the Budget Office at extension 5494.


Procurement Guidelines

Procurement for Contractual Services: When additional contractual services are needed to complete a project, all State of West Virginia and Shepherd University policies and procedures are applicable. For further information, call the Office for Administration and Finance at extension 5052.

Purchasing: All purchasing must be submitted to the Office for Administration and Finance to confirm available funding prior to the purchase. It is necessary for you to realize that the use of any requisitions be avoided in the last 30 days of a grant. In all cases, the receipt of goods or services must occur on or prior to the end date of the grant. Invoice processing must occur within 30 days of the award end date. Otherwise, the University and your department may incur financial responsibility for the purchases.

Single or Sole-Source Procurement: A written request letter for single or sole-source procurement must be submitted to the Office for Administration and Finance prior to the purchase. The letter must be signed by the principal investigator and include the following information: specific justification why competition is not possible or appropriate; basis for contractor selection; basis for award cost or price and an original signature of the principal investigator.

Small and Minority-Owned Businesses: There may be stipulations in federally funded grants that specifically reference that dollars to be expended to small women-owned and minority-owned businesses in the acquisition of commodities or services. You should be cognizant of any small business requirements accompanying a federal award and the percentage of dollars from the award to be expended toward meeting those goals.

Split Funding: Split funding is defined as the mixing of state and federal dollars for purchases. Should acquisitions involve both federal/private and state funds for a single purchase, all State of West Virginia regulations must apply.

Subcontracting: Subcontracting a portion of the grant is subject to explicit and inalterable procedures. It is incumbent on you to anticipate as early as possible the need to enter into a subcontract. For subcontracts that are described in the grant proposal and the grant proposal approval form, the Office for Administration and Finance will prepare the appropriate state documents. To begin this process, you must contact the Office for Administration and Finance to ensure that adequate budgetary funds are available to create an appropriate agreement. The use of specific consultants or contractors must be explicitly noted and approved in the grant. Additionally, the procurement of consultants and/or contractors are subject to the process that is outlined and described in the State of West Virginia Purchasing Manual. For further information, call the Office for Administration and Finance at extension 5052.


Regulated Activities

Human Subject Guidelines: Programs involving human subjects require review and approval of the Research Ethics Committee. The grant will not be initiated without approval of this committee.

Use of Animals in Research: Grants that involve the use of living vertebrate animals require review and approval by the Research Ethics Committee. The grant will not be initiated without the approval of this committee.

Biohazards: Review and approval of all grants that involve the use of recombinant DNA, infectious agents of plants, animals and/or serum/tissues from humans or subhuman primates. This review and approval should be completed before the submission of the proposal.


Travel

Travel: All travel expenses must adhere to State of West Virginia and Shepherd University Travel Guidelines. This also applies to the reimbursement of travel expenses for non-employees such as consultants, lecturers, etc.).

Travel Arrangements: All travel arrangements must be booked through the contracted travel agency. The current travel agency is National Travel. Approval to travel must be secured in advance. Under no circumstances should travel occur without proper approval.

Travel Documentation: Documentation is required for the following items. Without the proper documentation, you will not be reimbursed for travel expenses.

Air transportation: Travelers are expected to use the least expensive logical fare via the most direct route or other reasonable route that results in a lower fare. Travelers may not specify particular airlines in order to accumulate mileage under promotional plans such as frequent flyer programs.

Rail transportation: Travelers are expected to use the least expensive fare via the most direct route or other reasonable route that results in a lower fare.

Ground transportation: If a traveler chooses to drive rather than fly, reimbursement will be based on actual in-transit expenses not to exceed the lowest available commercial air fare plus local transportation to and from the airport.

Privately Owned Vehicles: Privately owned vehicles may be used. Reimbursement will be made at the per mile rate established by the Internal Revenue Service. This rate is intended to cover inclusively all operating costs of the vehicle including gas, maintenance, depreciation, insurance, etc. The present rate is 34.5 cents per mile.

Commercial Rental Vehicles: Reimbursement for commercial rental vehicles will include the rental fee for an appropriate size vehicle, mileage fee, and gasoline costs. Rental vehicles must be reserved through the contracted service vendor. The current agency is National Travel. Travelers are requested to fill the gasoline tank prior to returning the vehicle.

Miscellaneous Ground Transportation: Reimbursable expenses include, but are not limited to, garage and parking fees, toll charges, taxis, and public transportation for service to airports, hotels, meetings and appointments. Travelers are encouraged to use courtesy transportation if provided by a hotel, event sponsor, or other facility. Receipts are required.

Lodging: Hotel expense reimbursement is made for standard rooms at the least expensive single rate available. All taxes and occupancy charges are included. In cases of double occupancy, where one of the occupants is not traveling for the State of West Virginia, hotel reimbursement will be based on the least expensive available single rate. Hotel receipts are required to show a zero balance.

Registration Fees: Registration fees at conferences may be charged to the State of West Virginia Purchasing Card. This advanced payment should be requested through the Office for Administration and Finance. Registration receipt is required to show that the registration has been paid. The traveler will not receive any allowance for meals that has been included in registration fees.

Cancellation or Modification: Costs associated with the cancellation or modification of travel arrangements are reimbursable expenses only when incurred to obtain a lower overall trip cost or as the result of an event outside the control of the traveler. Costs incurred for cancellation and modification of travel arrangements made for the convenience of the traveler are not reimbursable. Documentation is required.

Allowances that NO documentation is required:

Meal Allowances: Reimbursement for meals is limited to actual expenses for food, services and gratitude up to the rate authorized by the State of West Virginia and Shepherd University. Specifically excluded from reimbursements are alcoholic beverages and entertainment expenses. The total daily maximum for in state travel is $35.00 and for out of state travel is $50.00. There will be no meal expense compensation for single day travel (when there is no overnight stay). Per IRS regulations, this is a taxable item and would need to be included in the employee's taxable wages if the employee were to seek reimbursement.

Travel Payments: A travel expense settlement form must be completed with the proper documentation and receipts for reimbursement. All receipts must be submitted to the Office for Administration and Finance within a reasonable period of one (1) week from last day of approved travel. Failure to comply will result in delayed payment of expenses. When personal travel is combined with business travel, the traveler must maintain careful records to separate the non-business from the business expenses.

For more information, please e-mail pwamsley@shepherd.edu


Other Links

www.nationaltravel.com

www.ncura.edu


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