During the course of a sponsored project, there may be the need to make changes or alterations to the project as originally proposed to the sponsor. These changes may be financial in nature, relate to project personnel, or reflect the timing of project milestones. Generally, a sponsor will impose restrictions on certain types of changes, requiring the project director and the University to obtain approval in advance of the change. For federal grants, the minimal requirements for sponsoring agency prior approval are contained in OMB Circular A-110, Subpart C -- Postaward Requirements: Financial and Program Management, navigating to Section 25: Revision of Budget and Program Plans. Note that specific federal awards and private funding awards may include other procedures and requirements. The University of Iowa may also have established procedures and requirements. Please see the following for information on common postaward changes and procedures:

The Award Instrument

The award instrument formally acknowledges the award of funds by an authorized representative of the funding agency. The award instrument will contain, at a minimum, such information as the

  • Grant Number assigned by the agency;
  • Project Title;
  • Amount of the Award;
  • Name of the Principal Investigator/Project Director;
  • Name of the Agency's Program/Technical Officer assigned to the grant;
  • Name of the Agency's Grant/Fiscal Officer assigned to the grant;
  • Period of the Award (Start and End Dates).

A copy of the award instrument is provided to the Principal Investigator/Project Director, the Assistant Vice President for Grants Management, and the Office of the Vice President for Business Affairs and Treasurer by the Director of Sponsored Programs.

Financial Accounting System

The University's accounting system operates in compliance with OMB Circular A-21 which facilitates the monitoring of grant expenditures as well as the preparation of required reports. It is extremely important that both the Principal Investigator and Grants Management Officer cooperate in the budget management process to ensure that budgets are not exceeded. Equally important is the need to limit the under-expenditure of funds which might denote efficiency of operation but at the same time indicate that the sponsor is not receiving the level of expected output.
Upon receipt of the award instrument and a request from the Grants Management Officer, the Fiscal Officer will assign a University Account Number identifying the award. The budget will be placed in the Financial Records System to facilitate both purchasing and accounting procedures. On-line access to these accounts is also available to directors and budget executives via the Banner Financial Records System.
All required financial reports are prepared in the Office of the Vice President for Business Affairs and Treasurer. Project Directors/Investigators may not submit such reports on behalf of the University. They are asked to assist the Business Office in verifying expenditures.

Technical/Progress Reports

All federal agencies require grant recipients to report periodically on the progress of work being supported in compliance with Attachment H of OMB Circular A-110. A complete copy of these reporting requirements is on file in the Office of the Assistant Vice President for Grants Management. Award documents include information on reporting requirements. Additional information is provided in agency publications such as the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR), the National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant Policy Manual, the Public Health Service (PHS) Grant Policy Statement, and the NASA Grants and Cooperative Agreements Handbook.

Project Changes

The ability of the Project Director to make budget adjustments, alter planned activities, or extend the project period is governed first by the regulations of the funding agency, and then by the policies and procedures of the University. A copy of the regulations governing each award usually accompanies the award document. Investigators/Directors are required to read and adhere to the regulations governing their awards.

A "Request to Revise a Grant/Contract" form (Appendix H) must be initiated by the principal investigator and approved prior to making any project changes. The Request form may be found online at the Hampton University website or may be obtained from the Office of Governmental Relations. Questions on the allowability of certain activities or expenditures (which cannot be answered at the University) will be addressed to the designated project officer at the funding agency. Written requests for information or approvals must be signed by both the principal investigator and the Vice President for Business Affairs and Treasurer. Both the inquiry and the response must be in writing.