Procedures for Advances for Externally Funded Projects
Effective Date: March 5, 2019
This document establishes procedures to implement the University’s Policy on Advances for Externally Funded Projects (Policy). In accordance with the Policy, if the University does not have a fully-executed award, no work is to be initiated and subcontractors cannot be authorized to start work without an advance authorized by Sponsored Research Administration, or the FSU Research Foundation as appropriate ("SRA/FSURF"). Costs incurred prior to SRA/FSURF approval of an advance will not be allowed to be charged or transferred to the anticipated new or continuation project budget, or any other sponsored project (excluding SRAD funds).
For new awards and competitive renewals, Department Chair and respective Dean must approve the advance request. This approval is not required for incrementally funded continuation awards.
Departments must provide financial backing for the direct cost amount to be advanced. The department is advised to limit its exposure to risk by limiting the amount of advance and/or the period of the advance. Financial backing is not required for incrementally funded continuation awards but the Department still assumes the risk for any costs incurred prior to the receipt of executed award.
Projects with cost share require the cost share budget to be set up concurrently with the advance.
Procedures for Requesting Advance on New Award
- Before the arrival or full execution of an anticipated award, the Principal Investigator (PI) should confer with the Chair and Dean to determine if it is prudent to request an advance budget based on the criteria outlined in the Policy. SRA/FSURF recommends beginning this process as early as 45 days before the desired/requested start date (at least 90 days if pre-award costs are to be requested).
- If the PI, Chair and Dean determine an advance is justified, the PI will submit a completed and approved Institutional Prior Approval form and any supporting documents to SRA/FSURF. Supporting documents include IRB and IACUC approval, cost share documentation, and a budget amendment. Incomplete requests will be returned to the department for proper corrective action.
- SRA/FSURF will review the request and its supporting documentation. If the advance is approved, the project’s dates and/or available funding will be updated in accordance with internal procedures.
- SRA will establish the OMNI Award and Project in accordance with internal procedures and the approved advance dates and funding. FSURF will establish the account in its system.
Procedures for Requesting Advance on Existing Award
- Before the end date of the project period or budget period, whichever is sooner, the PI should confer with SRA/FSURF to review the status of the sponsor's award amendment and whether an advance of time and/or funding is appropriate based on the criteria in the Policy. If the PI determines that an advance is appropriate, SRA/FSURF recommends requesting the advance 45 days before the end date.
- If an advance is justified, the PI will submit the Institutional Prior Approval form and any supporting documents to SRA/FSURF. Supporting documents include IRB and IACUC approval, cost share documentation, and a budget amendment. Incomplete requests will be returned for revision.
- SRA/FSURF will review the advance request and its supporting documentation. If the advance is approved, the project’s dates and/or available funding will be updated in accordance with internal procedures.
Procedures for Removing Projects from Advance
- Once a fully executed award or amendment has been received, SRA/FSURF will modify the OMNI Award and Project in accordance with internal procedures and the approved award dates and funding.
- Certain awards allow the University to authorize the expenditure of pre-award costs, in accordance with 2 CFR 200.458 and 2 CFR 200.308(d)(1) (costs to be incurred within the 90-day period before the official start date). If pre-award costs are requested by the PI and the award document has not been received by SRA/FSURF, the Policy and these Procedures will apply. If the award has been received by the University, the PI may request approval for pre-award costs using the Institutional Prior Approval form; the Advance Policy and these Procedures will not apply.
- At the discretion of the Office of the Vice President for Research, if backing funding is to be provided by a non-FSU source (e.g., FSU Foundation), those funds may be required to be deposited into the FSU Sponsored Research Trust Fund.