Once an award is made, its success is contingent not only on the ability of the PI to carry out the project but also on the ability of the institution to provide proper stewardship for the funds awarded. This stewardship should not be viewed so much as a control function but rather as a necessary function to ensure funds are spent in accordance with sponsor and university regulations so that future awards are possible.
While awards are issued to the institution, the PI plays a critical role in administering the funds appropriately. Principal investigators are generally in a position to make purchases, incur costs, obtain prior approvals, and take other steps that could result in noncompliance if sufficient understanding and importance are not placed on this role. OSP provides support and guidance regarding compliance and regulatory restrictions and provides an additional layer of oversight, but the PI retains the primary responsibility to ensure funds are expended correctly and the project meets sponsor requirements.
OSP offers educational and training opportunities related to financial and administrative compliance. Individual one-on-one opportunities with the assigned research administrator and research accountant are also available, and they can be the most effective means to share sponsor and university policies and regulations to ensure we maintain full compliance.