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Faculty-Staff Services

Assisting Principal Investigators

Decorative Image of grant books

The College of Science post-award office serves three primary roles for the college.

The first is as a liaison between the college principal investigators and the university Grants and Contracts Administration Office. The second is as a project manager for Fund 20 projects, and the third is as an auditor, serving as the point of contact for compliance issues at all levels. The post-award team is part of the Shared Financial Services Team.

For an overview of what the post-award office does, view the Post Award Research Administrative Services PDF. For a quick reference, download the Sposored Research (Fund 20) Quick Reference Guide (PDF).

  • How We Assist Principal Investigators

    Our staff can assist you — the research principal investigator — in many ways. We can:

    • Monitor award documents for compliance.
    • Oversee expenditures, budgets and balances.
    • Reconcile budget status reports of expenditures.
    • Obtain approval for subcontract invoices.
    • Assist the university-level post award office with financial reporting (if required).
    • Manage cost-share accounts including budgeting, documentation and reporting.
    • Process payroll/disbursement corrections and budget amendments if necessary.
    • Provide budget projections to the principal investigator.
    • Coordinate modifications with departmental staff.
    • Provide three-month advance notice of project close-out status.
  • How to Ensure a Smooth Process

    There are several things you, as the principal investigator, can do to make the post-award process as efficient as possible. You can:

    • Provide as much information as possible regarding budgets in the pre-award stage.
    • Spend according to project guidelines.
    • Provide appropriate justification for all budget amendments and corrections. A Cost Transfer Request Form is required for most corrections to a sponsored project.
    • Communicate with departmental staff.
    • Provide backup documentation of expenditures.
    • Approve expenditures and subcontract invoices in a timely manner.
    • Submit international travel authorization forms for approval prior to trip, always including a copy of the approval with reimbursement requests.
    • Submit technical reports as needed.
    • Always be mindful of compliance.

Grant Management Policies

Please review the following policies. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact the post-award team.

Residual Balances in Fixed-Price Contracts

Effective Feb. 24, 2014, the procedure for transferring remaining project balances in fixed-price contracts was incorporated into the Residual Balances in Fixed Price Contracts Policy. 
Remaining balances greater than 10 percent of the total direct award require VPR approval prior to transfer. Full policy information can be found in the Research Policy Manual (PDF).

Export Controls/International Travel

Clemson policy states that travel “outside the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada or Puerto Rico meets the definition of foreign travel and requires approval prior to departure.” 
U.S. Export Control regulations do apply to Canada; therefore, employees who travel to Canada must complete a foreign travel request form and receive approval from the Export Control office. 

Domestic and International Travel

Domestic and international travel requests must be submitted via Concur prior to travel arrangements being made. Concur workflow will route the travel request for the appropriate approvals.

For Fund 20 projects, be sure to provide a brief explanation of the benefit the travel being requested will provide to the project being charged.

Remaining Budget Balances at Project End

Be wary of processing corrections near or after the project end date. This could give the appearance of “zeroing out” remaining budget balances. If corrections after the project end date are necessary, be sure to provide an adequate explanation. The College of Science post-award office intends to notify principal investigators three months prior to end date.

Participant Support

Uniform administrative requirements, cost principles and audit requirements for federal awards defines participant support costs as direct costs for items such as stipends or subsistence allowances, travel allowances and registration fees paid to or on behalf of participants or trainees (but not employees) in connection with conferences, or training projects. Participant-support costs are made in connection with conferences or training projects and are exempt from facilities and administration (indirect) costs. Sponsor guidelines typically dictate when participant support should be included in the project budget. Human subjects are not considered trainees, although they may sometimes be referred to as participants. Research incentives paid to human subjects are not exempt from facilities and administration (indirect) costs.

A participant is not:

  • A Clemson University employee.
  • A student or project staff member receiving compensation directly or indirectly from the sponsored project.
  • A recipient of compensation from any other federal government source while participating in the project.
  • The same as a research subject receiving incentive payments.


  • Participant Support Account Codes

    The following participant support account codes may be helpful when dealing with participant support costs:

    • 7550 — Part Supp-Incentive Cards: A card purchased from National Gift Card via CU buyWays to present to individuals for participation in an externally funded sponsored project (Fund 20) which is budgeted in the Participant Support category.
    • 7551 — Part Supp-Reimbursable Exp: Reimbursed expenditures, for example, participant mileage, housing, or lodging, or participant-related supplies. Subject to the “no PO no pay” policy.
    • 7552 — Part Supp-NonReimb: Non-reimbursed expenditures, for example, stipend payments.
    • 7553 — Part Supp-NonReimb-Foreign Nat: Non-reimbursed expenditures to participants who are foreign nationals.
    • 7560 — Part Supp-REU Program: Payments for expenses related to the Research Experience for Undergraduates program.
    • 7561 — Part Supp-Travel Reimbursable Exp: Payments for reimbursable travel expenditures (for example: participant mileage/housing/ lodging/plane or rail tickets).

Additional Resources