Project Director/PI Responsibilities
As Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI), you are responsible for managing all aspects of your grant project. It is critical to maintain a positive relationship with your funder—not only to improve the likelihood of securing more support for your own work in the future, but also for your colleagues and the institution to remain eligible for funding in the future.
As PD/PI, you will need to ensure that:
- Your project meets all sponsoring agency and institutional policy guidelines;
- You implement the grant activities and work towards the outcomes as outlined in your proposal;
- You meet all deadlines for narrative and financial reports;
- Scientific research is conducted in a safe, responsible, and ethical manner;
- Student research assistants are properly trained and supervised;
- You monitor the performance of any subcontractors involved in your project; and
- You comply with all grant terms for acknowledgment, publicity, and dissemination of grant activities and outcomes.
When a grant proposal is first awarded, the Corporate and Foundation Relations (C&F) team will work with the PD/PI and the Business Office to set up a new restricted grant account ("cost center") in the accounting system based upon the approved project budget. The designated grant account must be used for all grant-related expenses. As PD/PI, you will be responsible for monitoring grant spending and following the approved budget. The C&F team and Business Office staff will meet with you at the beginning of the project implementation period to review the budget, come up with a spending plan, and discuss the terms of the award. Throughout the life of the project, they will also provide budget oversight and support.
All expenses charged to a grant account must be allowable, allocable, reasonable, and consistent. In addition, they must comply with the terms of the award and with University procedures and policies. Detailed information on University financial procedures and policies is provided on the Business Office website, along with commonly used forms.
Time and Effort Reporting
In accordance with federal regulations, St. Lawrence University requires principal investigators of federally-funded sponsored activities to periodically verify that the salaries charged to grants for which they are responsible represent a reasonable estimate of the actual time worked on the grant. For more information, please see the SLU policy statement.
Travel and the Fly America Act
All travel that is paid for with U.S. federal funds must be on a U.S. airline. Travel from Canadian airports is permitted, but travel on Canadian airlines is not. If you have questions about paying for travel using federal grant funds, contact C&F staff.
Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)
Many federal agencies require that recipients have a plan for plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to undergraduates will conduct research. The Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs has approved a plan for St. Lawrence.
Faculty who receive federal funding to conduct research or supervise student researchers are responsible for ensuring that all work is done in compliance with St. Lawrence and federal policies, and they have the primary responsibility for complying with RCR training requirements on their awards and for training the undergraduate students involved in their research.
RCR training will be required for all students participating in NSF-funded research, including students receiving wages, students working as volunteers, and students receiving academic credit. In general, training should be completed within the semester or summer that the student begins work on the NSF-funded research.
RCR training will include general training through CITI as well as discipline and/or project specific training provided by the faculty PI and documented via a form developed for that purpose, signed by both the PI and the student. Instructions for students to complete CITI training are available at the bottom of this page or from C&F staff, and the form is available at the bottom of this page or from C&F staff.