Principal Investigator/Project Director Responsibilities For
Financial Management Of Sponsored Projects Policy
Principal Investigators/Project Directors (PI/PD) of all sponsored projects, whether funded from federal or non-federal sources.
General Policy Statement
As a recipient of grants and awards from the federal government and other third-party sponsors,
Syracuse University (the "University") is required to provide accurate, timely, and complete
disclosure of the financial results of sponsored awards and programs. The United States Office
of Management and Budget (OMB) Uniform Guidance requires an adequate internal control
structure be in place at the University to support appropriate and prudent spending of sponsor
funds. This Policy sets forth the internal control requirements for Principal Investigators and
Project Directors involved with financial management of individual awards.
Reason for Policy/Purpose
The University must comply with the OMB Uniform Guidance and related federal regulations
governing financial management of sponsored projects. This Policy sets forth the duties and
responsibilities of Principal Investigators and Project Directors regarding financial management
of sponsored projects.
- Principal Investigator (PI) or Project Director (PD) Duties and Responsibilities
The PI or PD is ultimately responsible to: (1) oversee the overall finances of his or her award; (2)
ensure compliance with University and sponsored award financial management practices; (3)
direct financial transactions; and (4) monitor the financial status of each sponsored project.
These responsibilities are required to ensure that the costs charged to each award:
- Comply with sponsor and University policies and procedures, meaning the costs are:
- allowable under the terms and conditions of the award; and
- necessary for completion of project objectives;
- Do not exceed the proportionate benefit received by the award, meaning:
- personnel costs are consistent with the effort as certified by the individuals working
on the award; and
- other costs, including institutional contributions (cost sharing), are appropriately
- Are made in a timely manner;
- Are limited to funds awarded; and
- Are adequately documented.
- Allowable Costs
Executing these financial management responsibilities requires that the PI or PD be aware of costs
that are and are not allowable under federal regulations, University policies, and the terms of an
award, and clearly communicate instructions to those performing the day-to-day administrative
tasks on how to allocate charges among various funding sources.
- Delegation of Duties
The PI or PD may delegate responsibility for the day-to-day financial management of a project to
one or more individuals within the department, program, or unit; such delegation does not relieve
the PI or PD from the stated responsibilities associated with award management. The University
encourages the use of unit or departmental administrative staff to perform routine activities related
to award management, such as ordering supplies, processing salary distributions and vendor
invoices to minimize the administrative burden of award management on the PI or PD.
The PI or PD is not responsible for the preparation and submission of financial reports. Those are
the responsibilities of the Office of Sponsored Accounting.
PIs or PDs who consistently fall short of the above responsibilities to adequately manage
sponsored projects as determined by the Offices of Sponsored Programs or Sponsored Accounting
may be subject to University sanctions by the Vice President for Research, including, but not
limited to, loss of privileges to apply for external support.
Appendices (as applicable)
Procedures for financial management of sponsored projects or programs can be found in
the Pre-Award Manual published by the Office of Sponsored Programs and available at
- Other Related Policies and Documents
Date: June 26, 2014
Amended:April 25, 2016