Principal Investigators

Quick Links

Preparing and submitting your proposal.

Proposal Preparation

Preparing and submitting your proposal.
Drafting, negotiating and accepting awards.

Award Acceptance

Drafting, negotiating and accepting awards.
Compliantly and efficiently managing your award.

Award Management

Compliantly and efficiently managing your award.
Closing out your award.

Award Closeout

Closing out your award.

Additional Information for PIs

OFC Basics for Principal Investigators

The following guide provides PIs instructions for obtaining on-demand access to current financial information related to their awards. OSP is actively evaluating options with campus to deliver this information in an even more convenient manner.  This information is not intended to replace reporting provided by PIs’ college / departmental administrators (referred to as Business Managers or BM).  However, OSP encourages PIs to (1) visit the Reasons to Use OFC’s Project Portfolio Management (PPM) web page and (2) use the information below to help manage their sponsored projects. 

  • In the “Overview” section on the page that opens, all of your active awards should be listed.  You will notice that a portion of your project title will appear under the seven-digit OFC Award Number.  If you have multiple awards, you may need to select the next dot under the circular graphics to move to the next set of your awards.

Note: OSP encourages you to be cautious when reviewing the circular graphics at this time because the overspending warnings are based on linear burn rates that may be inconsistent with reasonable sponsored project spending (e.g., large equipment purchase early in the project period, heavy summer spending).

  • For more details about a particular award, select the hyperlinked seven-digit OFC Award Number (e.g., 3227006) above the circular graphics.
  • Once you select an OFC Award Number, you will see an overview of all of the ten-digit OFC Project Numbers under that OFC Award Number.  In the example below, you can see the primary OFC Project Number (2000000883) and the secondary Participant Support OFC Project Number (2000000884) for this award.

Note: When applicable, you may also see separate OFC Project Numbers for Co-PIs’ projects, Cost Share and Program Income, etc.

  • To see the current budget, encumbrances, expenditures and the available budget for a particular OFC Project Number, select the hyperlinked Project Title just above the applicable project number (e.g., “Genomics Underlying Toxin Tolerance”).
  • To drill down into individual costs:
    • Select the drop down box next to the OFC Project Title and choose “Manage Project Costs.(You can take a similar approach with “Manage Committed Costs,” but this is for encumbrances instead of actual costs.)
    • Identify the expenditure for which you desire more details (e.g., Transaction Number 1509314 for $1389.72).
    • Hover over the Transaction Number for basic details, or left-click the hyperlinked Transaction Number for additional information.
    • On the page that opens after left-clicking the Transaction Number, use the menu at the top of the page to navigate to specific information (the instructions below are under the “General” tab).
    • Goods & Services
      • Under the “General” tab, scroll down to “Supplier Invoice Details” and left-click the hyperlinked Invoice Number (e.g., Pcard 12-2018~COAS-Biology~1696);
      • To drill further, you can select and review hyperlinked Purchase Orders and Invoice attachments.
    • Salary
      • Under the “General” tab, scroll down to “Timecard Details” to see the name of the individual paid.
  • To go back to previous pages, do not use your browser’s functionality.  Instead, keep left-clicking the “Done” button in the top, right-hand portion of the web pages until you return to your desired location.

PI Role & Responsibilities

PIs have primary responsibility for achieving the technical success of sponsored projects, while also complying with the financial and administrative policies and regulations associated with the sponsored project agreement (the Award). Although PIs may have administrative staff to assist them with the management of Award funds, the ultimate responsibility for the management of sponsored projects rests with PIs. The fundamental responsibilities of PIs during the post-award phase of sponsored projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Execute the project as outlined in the Award using sound management techniques;
  • Carry out the project’s financial plan as presented in the Award, or make changes to the plan following a prescribed set of policies and procedures;
  • Report project progress to the sponsor as outlined in the terms of Award (see, e.g., Technical/Programmatic Reporting Guidance; National Science Foundation Technical Reporting Guidelines);
  • Maintain accurate records of project-related expenses;
  • Comply with all Boise State University (University) policies and procedures related to project management and personnel practices; and
  • Comply with all applicable sponsor rules, regulations and/or terms and conditions of the Award; and
  • Fulfill the PIs’ obligations set forth in the Principal Investigator Award Certifications and Assurances.

PIs’ responsibilities may be divided into two related but distinctly different sets of activities: (i) management of the Award Scope of Work (SOW); and (ii) responsible spending of Award funds. While the SOW should drive financial activities, sound management practices in both arenas are required. The financial stewardship of Award funds is a shared responsibility between PIs, the PIs’ BMs, and OSP.

Once a project has been funded, there is the expectation by both the sponsor and OSP that PIs responsibly spend Award funds. Sound fiscal management of Award funds requires knowledge of, and adherence to, a prescribed set of federal and locally developed financial guidelines (see, e.g., Basics of Charging Costs to Sponsored Projects). Over the life of an Award, PIs may initiate changes to a project that impact the management of awarded funds. PIs must have a good understanding of the procedures associated with initiating financial transactions or changes to an Award’s financial plan.

OSP is committed to assisting PIs’ fulfillment of these responsibilities. In addition to offering workshops and training sessions, OSP has prepared (and will continue to prepare) forms, policies, procedures and training materials aimed at acquainting PIs and their BMs with information that will positively affect sponsored project management.

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