Revisions and Reporting

During a project, changes in scope or needs might occur. This section explains how to request revisions, including cost transfers, as well as how to document the changes and what to include in the reports.

Cost Transfers

Cost transfers and journal vouchers are transactions that move expenditures previously recorded from one fund to another or between line items within a fund. Cost transfers may be considered for:

  • Correction of clerical or input error
  • Transfer of pre-award costs from department accounts
  • Reallocation efforts to reflect actual costs
  • Activity to clear overdrafts from federally sponsored project to
    unrestricted funds
  • Routine allocations of shared services


In compliance with the cost allowability and allocability federal requirements, it is important to obtain a full explanation and justification that addresses why the cost transfer is necessary. That explanation should address the
following questions:

  • Why was the expense originally charged to the fund from which it is now being transferred?
  • Why should the expense be transferred to the proposed fund?
  • If the transfer being requested is more than 90 days after the expense was initially charged, what is the reason for the delay?

Typically, cost transfer requests more than 60-90 days after the end date of the federal funding shall be considered unallowable, particularly when the final invoice or final fiscal report was already submitted to the sponsor. Extenuating circumstances will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Research Foundation and must be clearly and substantially documented.

Budget Revisions

When a project has been funded all expenditures must align with the approved proposal budget. If a change becomes necessary after the project has been funded due to equipment price changes or scope of work changes, prior approval from the SJSU Research Foundation is required. Additional documentation and approval(s) from the sponsoring agency may also be required. Post-Award analysts will work with principal investigators to prepare and submit budget revisions to the sponsoring agency.

Revisions in the Proposed Scope

Changes that affect the scope of work, direction, or other areas that necessitate a change from the proposed project plan require sponsoring agency approval.

Project Extensions

If additional time is needed beyond the original project end date to complete the proposed scope of work, the principal investigator must request that their assigned Post-Award analyst submit (on their behalf) a no cost extension request to the sponsoring agency. Updates to all certifications, including conflict of interest, financial disclosures, human subjects and animal welfare covering the additional time period are required. The principal investigator must submit requests for no cost extensions by the due date established by the sponsor. Please note that due dates for no cost extension requests vary by sponsor. As an  example, the National Science Foundation requires that awardees submit their requests at least 45 days prior to the award’s expiration date.

Change in Personnel

Any changes to key personnel, whose skills, knowledge, and expertise are critical to the success of the project require prior approval. Post-Award analysts will work with principal investigators to prepare and submit a request to approve the change in personnel.

Project Reporting

These are the various reporting requirements for SJSU Research Foundation projects.

Time and Effort Reports

Required to verify that the individual is performing the work, and that the effort distribution in the HR/Payroll system is a reasonable reflection of how the individual’s effort was actually performed on the federally funded project.

Time and effort reports should reflect activities that are specific to each sponsored agreement, general operations, and other applicable indirect activities.

Technical Status Reports

Prepared by the principal investigator and submitted to the sponsoring agency based on the sponsor’s requirements. For audit purposes, a copy of the report must also be forwarded to the Post-Award analyst.

Financial Reports

Provided to sponsoring agencies as required. Post-Award analysts work with principal investigators to prepare and submit the reports.

Monthly Account Status Reports

Generated by the Research Foundation at the close of each month; provides a financial report to principal investigators for their account(s). The report reflects transaction details of the previous month and is processed and printed during the first week of the following month. Principal investigators will typically receive the report via intercampus or electronic mail during the second week of the month. Principal investigators should promptly review the report and contact their Post-Award analyst with any discrepancies. The Monthly Account Status Report contains three sections:

  • A Cumulative Summary of the Account
  • Transaction Details for the Month
  • Outstanding Encumbrances

For assistance or additional information on the project management phase, please contact us.

Other Steps and Resources