Project Closeout

Post-Award analysts assist principal investigators with the tasks required for closing out their projects when they have completed their research. Sponsoring agencies require final progress and technical reports and deliverables when the research project is completed; failure to submit required reports in a timely manner could result in the sponsor denying payment of Research Foundation invoices and could potentially jeopardize future funding from the sponsor.

Tasks, Milestones, and Deliverables

The completion of tasks, milestones, and specific deliverables must be evidenced by a report or a copy of the deliverable itself (if appropriate), to the Research Foundation to establish an official record of compliance.

PIs must work with their designated Post-Award analyst to ensure the following for all projects including projects that involve subawards:

  • Any expense, budget, or management related issues are communicated to the designated Post-Award analyst before the end date of the award.
  • The final invoice and financial report reflect all expenses to the project and are submitted to the sponsor by the due date.
  • Cost-shared resources have been allocated to the project.
  • All sponsor requirements (technical, programmatic, and financial) have been completed.
  • Cash receipts for the final expenses have been reconciled in the accounting financial system and to the amount reported on the final report (Cash Receipts= Expenses = Final Report).

Account Balances

The Research Foundation does not allow overrun on the funded projects. The principal investigator is responsible for ensuring that the project does not incur a deficit. If there is a deficit at the end of the project, the PIs must work with their college dean and department chair to identify other funding sources to cover the deficit. The Pl, their college dean, and the department chair must  agree on the funding source to cover the deficit.

Occasionally, fixed price agreements are entered into with sponsoring agencies by the Research Foundation. The agreements permit the Research Foundation to retain the unexpended (cash) balance at project expiration. The remaining balance should be minimal (less than 5-10% of the total award in general).  Agreements should include a statement to indicate that if a cash balance exists after the project is completed and all costs have been fully paid, all deliverables have been met as required by the grant or contract.

If the F&A rate on the project is less than the federally negotiated rate, before any remaining balance of the fixed price contract is transferred to the PI’s discretionary account, the Research Foundation will charge the difference between the F&A rate assessed on the sponsored award and the Research Foundation’s federally negotiated rate.

Progress and Technical Reports

Preparation of all required progress and technical reports is the responsibility of the principal investigator. Reports must be submitted by the sponsor’s established deadlines, otherwise they may jeopardize future funding or payment of invoices by the sponsoring agency for future SJSU sponsored projects, including the projects of other PIs.

Principal investigators can submit their report to the sponsoring agency or they can provide a copy of the completed report to their designated  Research Foundation Post-Award analyst to be submitted to the sponsor on their behalf. If the PI submits their report directly to the sponsor, they must provide a copy of the report to their Post-Award analyst along with proof of submission to establish an official record of compliance.

Financial Reports

Most sponsors require a final financial report 60-90 days after the project termination date. It is critical that PIs submit all final expenditures to the Post-Award analyst within 30 days of the project end date to ensure that all costs are properly reimbursed and that the financial report is accurate, complete, and ready for submission.

Failure to submit a financial report within the specified timeframe puts the Research Foundation at risk of having remedial actions imposed. Such actions can include an awarding agency withholding an award(s) to an investigator or to the Research Foundation, withholding of invoice payments, or revocation of the Expanded Authorities Agreement, which affords the Research Foundation latitude in the budgeting and management of federally awarded grant funds.

Notification of Project Completion

Federal agencies generally require that project accounts be closed within 90 days of the scheduled project award end date. In an effort to ensure that accounts are closed within the required timeframe the Research Foundation sends an email notification to principal investigators 60 days prior to the end date of the budget.  Research Foundation teams work with principal investigators to do the following:

  • Ensure that all cash is collected on the final invoice, 
  • Ensure that legally mandated documentation and actions for termination are processed,
  • Ensure that final compensation is processed in a timely manner,
  • Deactivate the project in the financial management system,
  • Provide fixed asset/property accounting services,
  • Provide risk management closeout services,
  • Provide procurement closeout services.

Please contact us for questions or more information on the Project Closeout phase.

Other Steps and Resources