Managing Expenditures

Our Post-Award staff assists in administering grant awards.  The approved budget, which is included in the proposal and approved by the sponsor through a Grant Award, is the financial plan for the project.  You should refer to it and other award documents throughout the life of the award.  Some sponsors will allow you to re-budget into other categories.  Please contact our office if you need to re-allocate your budget.




Common Grant Terms

Principal Investigator (PI) or Project Director (PD) -The individual responsible to direct the project or activity being supported by the grant.

Project Period- The period established in the award document during which time funded activities occur.

Close-out period- The process at the end of a sponsored award by which the University completes any required accounting to the sponsor and prevents any further expenses from being incurred on the award.

Direct Costs- Clearly identifiable costs related to a specific project. Some examples are:  salaries and wages, fringe benefits, supplies, contractual services, travel, and equipment

Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs- Expenses incurred in supporting research or other activities but not directly attributable to just one project. General categories include the cost of facilities, utilities, equipment, general office supplies & University services such as purchasing, personnel, accounting, or computing.

Office of Management & Budget (OMB)- a Federal regulatory body that issues circulars/regulations that apply to various organizations; the current federal regulation is 2 CFR 200.

Cost accounting standards (CAS) are issued by the Cost Accounting Standards Board (CASB). The standards that apply to RU are included in OMB 2 CFR 200.

Grant Spreadsheets

Once a grant is awarded, the Grants Specialist will create an interactive spreadsheet that will provide the most accurate budget balance.  This spreadsheet is available to the PI at any time by mapping to a shared drive.  The PI or their designee should enter expenditures into the spreadsheet as well as eVA, Banner, or Chrome River.  The Grant Specialist will review and approve the entries as well as perform a monthly reconciliation to Banner.  This will provide a more accurate reading of the grant balance.

Expenditure Considerations

Grants Specialists will consider the following before approving an expenditure:

                Does it pass the test of allowability?

                Is it reasonable & necessary; does it pass the prudent person test?

                Is it allocable; does it actually benefit the project to which it is being charged?

                Is it consistent with CAS; how do we treat the same costs on other projects: Direct or Indirect?

                Is it permissible by the sponsor; are there any limitations or exclusions for this expense?

                Is the request included in your approved budget and budget narrative?

                Does it follow RU’s policies and procedures or the sponsor’s guidelines?

                Are there sufficient funds remaining in the grant account?

               Are there sufficient funds available in the appropriate budget pool code for this expense?

If the answer to any of these questions is “no”, then the grants specialist will contact the PI and/or person requesting the expense to discuss the issue.

Some options in this situation:           

                Does the agreement allow RU some discretion with the budget?

                Do we need to request approval from the sponsor?

                Should the expenditure request be revised?

                Disapprove the request.


Hiring Personnel

  • Work with Human Resources to see if you must advertise for a position and to determine what the person can be paid.
  • Follow Human Resources policies on hiring.
  • Complete all necessary forms provided by Human Resources.

** Personnel costs should be included in the approved budget and all personnel forms should have start and end dates within the award period.

PR23 - Personnel Action Authorization (found under ‘Supervisors’ in the Forms & Documents section); This form is used to establish a position, review position for possible role changes, and to hire an employee in a temporary position.  The PR23 is not required to hire a currently enrolled student.

PR40 - Personnel Action (found under ‘Supervisors’ in the Forms & Documents section); This form is used to initiate personnel payments.

§  Amount should not exceed grant budget

§  Dates need to be within grant period

§  Use correct grant budget code

§  Must be routed with all approval signatures before employee can begin work.  HR will send an email when fully approved.

I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification (found under ‘New Hires/Onboarding’ in the Forms & Documents section); This form must be completed before an employee can begin work.  It is completed online using I-9 Advantage.  An email will be sent to all new hires by the Human Resources department with instructions.

  • If an employee is 100% on grant, they need to know that it is restricted funding and are only employed during the grant period.
  • Please see Human Resources for Employee Separation Procedures.
  • Other RU Employment  - According to the RU Faculty Handbook, the maximum earnings for full-time faculty from all RU employment, including RU assignments, grants, overloads, and RU summer employment, shall not exceed 133% of the faculty member’s base academic salary


Follow all Radford University Travel Guidelines, unless your sponsor’s guidelines are more restrictive.

Use the correct grant budget code to ensure the travel preapprovals and expense reports get routed through the Sponsored Programs and Grants Management office for review and approval.


All purchasing requisitions need to be entered in eVA and approved prior to payment.  Please visit the Radford University Procurement and Contracts website for the most current purchasing policies and procedures. 

Use the correct grant budget code to ensure that purchase requisitions get routed to the Sponsored Programs and Grants Management queue for review and approval.

Close-Out Procedures

90 Days

  • PI will receive an email that grant is ending
  • Start making final grant purchases/reimbursements
  • Request a no-cost time extension if needed

60 Days

  • PI will receive an email that grant is ending
  • PI should conduct a financial & programmatic review of the grant
  • The scope of work indicated in the proposal should be nearing completion and all costs captured

30 Days

  • PI will receive an email that grant is ending
  • No new purchases will be allowed (exceptions include: personnel, travel reimbursements)

End of Grant

  • Granting agency stipulates when the final invoice is due (within 5, 10, 30, 60 or 90 days)
  • All grant expenditures must be paid prior to final invoice
  • Any costs incurred after final invoice will be charged to the PI’s department