Roles and Responsibilities Matrix

The eligibility and submission of proposals, execution and administration of awards, and conduct of research at Carthage involve many people. It is truly a team effort. While there are important variations, the matrix below outlines the process and identifies who has primary responsibility for these activities.

The Roles and Responsibilities Matrix is intended to identify the major steps in the Grant Life Cycle and assigns responsibility for each step to the principal investigator, the department, the college or OSP.

Key Roles and Responsibilities

Principal Investigator (PI) Key Responsibilities

Principal Investigator (PI) and/or Project Director (PD) - A person holding appointment as a faculty/staff member may be designated as a PI or PD. A PI bears a number of responsibilities related to sponsored projects, typically conducting work for which external funding has been awarded.

Although Carthage College is legally accountable to the sponsor as the official recipient of a grant or contract, the PI or PD is responsible for the proper fiscal management and conduct of the project. To assist the faculty/staff member in this very important responsibility, Carthage provides supporting administrative services and has established policies and procedures to help meet both sponsor and college administrative requirements. Carthage is, ultimately, legally and financially responsible and accountable to the sponsor for the performance of the sponsored activity and the proper use of funds, but without the full cooperation and vigilance of the PI, the college would fail in its stewardship role. In the truest sense, therefore, the sponsored programs process is a joint effort between the PI and Carthage; both must do their parts well in order to achieve success.

The PI must comply with all the terms and conditions imposed by the sponsor and see that project funds are managed efficiently and effectively within approved budgets. The PI must initiate all required approvals for budgetary and programmatic changes that may be necessary during the project. The PI is likewise responsible for the preparation and timely submission of technical reports and any other required deliverables.

In addition, the PI must ensure that all project members are familiar with and comply with the intellectual property and publication clauses of the grant or contract, with federal policies regarding research safety, protections, and integrity, and with applicable U.S. export control regulations. Inventions and copyrightable material produced under sponsored projects must be governed by the specific terms of the award received from the sponsor and must be handled in accordance with college policy.

Projects are conducted as a function of the appropriate academic unit (department, division, or area). If the project is over-expended or if auditors disallow an expenditure, the college must ask the appropriate academic unit to cover this cost.

The PI has a responsibility to the sponsor, the department, the division, the area, and the college to ensure that the requirements of the sponsored project are met and the policies of the college are followed. 

Office of Sponsored Programs’ Key Responsibilities

While the level of support provided varies depending on the project; OSP has roles & responsibilities in the following four key categories of support. Review the OSP Responsibilities Overview chart below for more details.

Office of Business Key Responsibilities

The senior grants accountant is the primary “go-to” person for all financial issues. The Grants Accountant will:

  • Set up grants in the accounting system
  • Help determine the procedures involved for expending funds on items that are not included in the awarded budget
  • Process travel reimbursements
  • Record approved fringe benefits charges and approved F&A costs and allocations
  • Submit billing to funding agencies
  • Complete monthly reconciliation of grants
  • Monitor charges on the account on a quarterly basis
  • Request reimbursement from sponsoring agencies for grant-funded expenses
  • Authorize major changes to approved budgets or other grant conditions (in accordance with sponsoring agency policy) in consultation with the Director of Sponsored Programs
  • Follow standard accounting procedures and strictly adhere to college policies and federal regulations

The senior grants accountant is available to help prepare all financial reports required by the sponsoring agency. Do not provide any financial information to a sponsor without verification by the senior grants accountant.