C.E.S.P. 3-31: Grant Administration
Date Revised: 4-23-2001
Summary: Establishes guidelines for preparing and administering grants and agreements.
Grants and agreements may be administered through the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service or the University of Arkansas Foundation Inc. Agricultural Development Council. If the grant includes deliverables or has salaries to be paid, the funding must be awarded to the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.
All grants and agreements require administrative approval. All grant proposals require the signatures of both the Associate Vice President for Agriculture - Extension and the Vice President for Agriculture, even if the funding agency does not require a signature from an authorized organizational representative. The Assistant Vice President for Finance must approve and sign all proposed budgets.
Preliminary or Pre-Proposals
An increasing number of preliminary or pre-proposals are being submitted to potential founders. These allow faculty members to determine sponsor's interests without the time and effort required for complete proposal development. Preliminary or pre-proposals usually only require a title, brief description of the project, clear identification of the potential sponsor, a statement that the proposal is preliminary and a single lump-sum cost estimate, without specific detail. Prior to submission of preliminary or pre-proposals, the faculty member will need to work with the Grants Officer in the development of the tentative budget to determine the single lump-sum cost estimate provided in the contact with the potential donor. Even though the budget is presented as an estimate, it often becomes the maximum financial amount for the grant. The faculty member developing the project should discuss the project plan, associated costs, and time commitment with the appropriate Associate Director and/or District Team, identifying individuals who will be involved in the project, and secure administrative approval as indicated by completion of the signature page prior to submission.
1. Prior to preparing the proposal, Cooperative Extension Service faculty initiating grant proposals should discuss the project plan with the appropriate Associate Director and/or District Team, identifying individuals who will be involved in the program. Agreement should be secured from each of these individuals and their supervisors relative to their roles in the project and the appropriate time commitment to the project for them.
2. Matching in excess of the required amount is highly discouraged, because it commits those resources, thus making them ineligible for future projects, and requires maintaining auditable records of their expenditure.
3. The Principal Investigator/Project Director (P.I.) will need to work with the Grants Officer in the development of the budget for the proposal.
4. Anticipated program income or overhead should be identified and an agreement reached for its disbursement in connection with the project. Unless program income is identified in the proposal submitted on federal awards, the government will reduce the amount of the federal funds by the amount of the program income.
5. Contacts should be made to obtain letters of support and/or commitment needed from collaborating agencies. These should be signed by a person authorized to commit organization funds and on agency letterhead.
6. Submit a draft copy of the proposal, along with the grant guidelines and the accompanying budget, to the Grants Officer for review.
7. Prior to the application submission date, check schedules of individuals whose signatures are needed on the proposal. The exact number of signatures required will vary depending upon the funding agency or group.
8. All final proposals must include an Internal Grant approval Form, FINANCE - 312, available on computer template. The signatures of the Associate Vice President for Agriculture - Extension and the Vice President for Agriculture or the Vice President for Finance and Administration should also be on the application in the sections for organization representative signatures. The Vice President for Agriculture's signature should be used on the assurances required with some applications (examples: debarment, drug-free workplace, etc.).
9. The business office must approve the budget page.
10. Include in the final proposal copy distribution (as submitted to the sponsor), one copy for the supervisor, one for the appropriate Grants Accountant, three for the Grants Officer and one for the state single point of contact (if required for the specific program).
11. If the proposal is to be sent, rather than delivered, retain a copy of the bill of lading from the overnight courier for proof of the mailing date. Metered postmarks are not acceptable as proof of mailing date for most funders.
Official Acceptance and Award Establishment
1. All grant acceptance forms, contracts, etc. should be sent to the Sponsored Projects Accounting Office prior to being forwarded to legal for review and official signature by the Vice President for Agriculture or the Vice President for Finance and Administration.
2. The authorized representative for official acceptance of all awards for the Cooperative Extension Service is the Vice President for Agriculture or the Vice President for Finance and Administration for any grants exceeding $250,0000 amount. All grant acceptance forms, professional service contracts, etc. should be signed by one of these individuals. This applies whether the award is to a county office or to the state office.
3. Upon receipt of approval notification from a granting agency, the sponsored projects accounting office will forward a copy of the award letter, award number and information on the ultimate source of the money (federal, federal pass-through, state, county, private, etc.) to the Grants Officer.
4. The Principal Investigator (P.I.) should schedule a Pre/Post Award Bridge Conference with the appropriate Grants Accountant in the Sponsored Projects Accounting Office and the Grants Officer to plan the details of administering the funding. The P.I.'s secretary should also be included in this meeting.
5. The Sponsored Projects Accounting Office will notify the principal investigator of the banner account funds that have been established for the project and any matching during the Bridge Conference.
6. Monthly expenditure reports will be provided to the Principal Investigator to assist in managing the project.
FINANCE-312: Internal Grant Approval Form