Financial and Post-award Administration (FA)

Topics include: research cost accounting; auditing; OMB requirements for universities, hospitals, private sector; matching funds issues/cost sharing; financial conflict of interest issues; facilities and administration costs; purchasing; salaries, compensation, honoraria;  and travel allocability and allowability; working with sponsoring agencies and subrecipient monitoring.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

WS4: Fundamentals of Research Administration and Management
Sunday, March 18, 2018 - 9:00am to 5:00pm

Content level: Basic

This workshop, intended for individuals with fewer than three years' experience, is designed to give newcomers to research administration a big picture of the profession. Topics covered will include finding funding opportunities; orienting new faculty to the research environment; pre- and post-award administration; proposal development, submission, review and award negotiation; administrative and fiscal regulations; accountability and risk management; and research, fiscal and professional ethics. 

Learning objectives:

  1. Identify pre and post-award activities for sponsored research activity.
  2. Understand the components of and prepare a proposal and manage the post-award process.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Jennie Amison, Director, Sponsored Research Development, San Diego State University Research Foundation
Kimberly Page, BA, Manager,  Pre-Award Services, Boise State University 
Anne P. Schauer, CRA, MA, Director of Research and Sponsored Programs, Miami University
 

WS5: It's About the Money: Budgets, Costing, & Sponsor Guidelines
Sunday, March 18, 2018 - 9:00am to 5:00pm

Content level: Basic

This workshop examines key issues related to budget development, review and monitoring, and explores the research administrator's role in service to the sponsor, institution and investigator. Special attention will be paid to assessing project costs, including personnel, consultants, equipment, supplies, travel, subcontracts, total direct cost, income, F&A, MTDC vs. salary and wage base, and cost sharing.  In addition, sponsor guidelines, institutional policies and the financial precepts of 2 CFR 200 for pre- and post-award administration will be covered. "Why do we have to do this?' and "Where are the guidelines that say that?" are key questions that will be answered throughout the workshop. 

Learning objectives:

  1. Identify core cost related compliance expectations associated with federal funding.
  2. Individuals will be able to support proposal and award management activities consistent with federal regulations.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Kris Rhodes, Director, MAXIMUS

Monday, March 19, 2018

M102: Grant Budgeting Basics
Monday, March 19, 2018 - 9:30am to 10:45am

Content level: Basic

Grant Budgeting Basics is intended for research administrators who are new to the budgeting process. We will begin with an overview of the theory behind creating a good budget. The session will include a discussion of the Uniform Guidance as it relates to budgeting, Cost Accounting Standards, Facility and Administrative expense and their impact on budgets. Participants will learn about the various budget categories included in proposal budgets. We will quickly create a very simple budget to illustrate various calculations.

Learning objectives:

  1. Participants will learn about different budget categories and how to incorporate them into a budget. 
  2. Participants will learn how to prepare a basic budget. 

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Sharon McCarl, Associate Dean for Financial Affairs, Mellon College of Science, Carnegie Mellon University 

M103: Effort Reporting: Understanding the Requirements
Monday, March 19, 2018 - 9:30am to 10:45am

Content level: Basic

Effort reporting is a continual area of focus for Offices of Inspectors General and the Justice Department and is a constant hot topic within the research community. Federal regulations and guidance in this important area are often vague and open to varying interpretations. This session will review recent audit and investigation findings related to effort reporting, discuss common pitfalls/red flags for auditors and offer some best practices on how to avoid them. Among the topics that will be covered in this session are effort reporting fundamentals, as well as some of the more challenging aspects of effort reporting, including what’s in and what’s out of institutional base salary and total professional effort, supplemental compensation, what constitutes a “suitable means of verification” and what exactly is an “independent internal evaluation” of the effort reporting process.

Learning objectives:

  1. Understand the federal requirements of effort reporting and identify industry best practices for designing and implementing an effective effort reporting process.
  2. Learn what federal auditors and investigators look for when auditing effort reporting and techniques to mitigate risks of non-compliance at your institution.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Dominic Esposito, CRA, Director, Corporate, Foundation and Government Relations, College of New Rochelle
William F. Hoffman, Jr., MAS, Research Administrator, University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Dentistry

M203: COST TRANSFERS: Let's Talk and Maybe We Could Live Without It
Monday, March 19, 2018 - 11:00am to 12:15pm

Content level: Basic

Cost transfers are our friends. Cost transfers help “keep us on our toes”. During this presentation, we will build the base of knowledge that we need to determine whether a cost transfer is needed. We will explore several examples and talk about language usage in a cost transfer. The way the words flow can make or break our cost transfer and our patience if we let it. Finally, an exchange of ideas between colleagues is always the best way to learn and not reinvent the wheel. We will explore how in our various spheres we have managed to “tame the dragon” and come out stronger for it.

Learning objectives:

  1. Identify basic knowledge. 
  2. Identify good language to write a good cost transfer.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Paulette Jones, MRE, BA, Administrator, University of Montana 

M303: Close Out - Don't Shut Down
Monday, March 19, 2018 - 2:15pm to 3:30pm

Content level: Basic

Define the keys to unlock a less stressful closeout. Simplify your award management process on the path to closeout completion. Discuss the process of closing out Federal awards at Institutions of Higher Education. Describe how the Office of the Management and Budget (OMB) Uniform Guidance can help to guide Institutions through the close-out process. Identify how the Uniform Guidance helps to determine what is allowable and allocable. Presenters will demonstrate the importance of communication and coordination with colleagues throughout the process to ensure a streamlined and efficient award close-out.

Learning objectives:

  1. Utilize Federal regulations, Sponsor guidelines and Institutional policies to provide consistency in closing Federal awards.
  2. Create a consistent document or tool to complete a closeout.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Christine Toalepai, Sponsored Programs Administrator, University of Maryland, Baltimore
Libre McAdory, Program Administrator, University of Maryland, Baltimore

M403: Watering Down the F&A Rate Calculation
Monday, March 19, 2018 - 3:45pm to 5:00pm

Content level: Basic

This lively session uses a pitcher of water and a little imagination to explain the complex calculation of the Facilities & Administrative Costs rates.  Understanding the rate calculation makes it clear to Research Administrators what costs can be charged directly to sponsored projects and what costs are already included in the F&A rate.  

Learning objectives:

  1. Basic understanding of the F&A rate calculation.
  2. Attendees will be able to explain to researchers what they are "paying for" with F&A. 

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Ann Holmes, Assistant Dean, Finance & Administration, University of Maryland, College Park
Patricia C. Holmes, Director of Finance, Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

T103: Let's Start Spending! Tools and Techniques to Improve Award Processing from End-to-End
Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 9:30am to 10:45am

Content level: Intermediate

Prompt award setup, from receipt through the final setup of the award in an institution’s system is one of the most critical and complex processes in research administration.  Numerous offices must work together to ensure key information is communicated effectively, accurately and timely. Principal investigators want visibility into the timeline to when they can spend, while pre- and post-award managers in central offices need metrics to monitor award setup times, identify bottlenecks, and streamline processes. When pre- and post-award offices employ an end-to-end solution to award setup, the institution, the PI and the public benefit.  This session will discuss:  1. Why the award setup process is such a critical and complex process for sponsored programs offices; 2. The methods three universities are using to educate faculty about realistic award setup times and provide visibility into the timeline for award setups; 3. Examples of metrics used by management to monitor setup times and identify issues that delay and/or inhibit setup time;  4.  Tools used by award negotiators to ensure terms and conditions are acceptable and to expedite approvals of agreements, contracts, and other award documents; and  5. Processes used at the pre-award stage to ensure smooth transition of a proposal application to award set–up (budgeting, compliance, cost-sharing, subrecipient data, etc.) 

Learning objectives:

  1. Identify tools to improve award processing.
  2. Describe the benefits in using metrics to evaluate award processing.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Kimberly Page, Manager, Pre-Award Services, Boise State University
Pamela F. Miller, PhD, Interim Executive Director, Sponsored Projects Office, University of California at Berkeley
Dara Little, MPA, CRA, Assistant Vice President for Research, Northern Illinois University
Jennie Amison, Director, Sponsored Research Development, San Diego State University Research Foundation
 

T303: Faculty Transfers, Hello & Goodbye
Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 2:15pm to 3:30pm

Content level: Basic

Faculty come into our University and leave our University regularly. This presentation will focus on the many responsibilities and duties that face the Department Administrator to achieve a successful faculty transfer, with input from the Central Administration office. This session will provide a checklist of specific duties and "best practices" that must be accomplished to ensure a seamless transition. The presentation will also provide actual case studies and real-life scenarios so that the participants and presenters can dialogue on these "what would you do now" or "how would you handle this" cases/situations.

Learning objectives:

  1. Better understand what is needed and what he/she needs to do when faculty are transferring into their University.
  2. Learn what to do when their faculty are leaving their University or transferring within their University to another department or school.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Janet Simons, MBA, Director of Research Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore 
William F. Hoffman, Jr., MAS, Research Administrator, University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Dentistry
Karen R. Sack, BS, Department Administrator, University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Medicine Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Science
 

T304: Procurement and the Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200)
Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 2:15pm to 3:30pm

Content level: Intermediate

The procurement requirements and challenges represented by the Uniform Guidance addressed.  Discussion will involve the varying approaches institutions have taken toward ensuring institutional compliance.

Learning objectives:

  1. Develop an understanding of the Uniform Guidance’s procurement requirements; be able to discuss requirements with organizational leadership.
  2. Evaluate and implement compliant procurement systems.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Kris Rhodes, Director, Higher Education Practice, MAXIMUS

T307: The Auditors are Coming... Are You Ready?
Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 2:15pm to 3:30pm

Content level: Basic

As a recipient of Federal funds as the prime institution or as a sub, an audit will be in your future. This session will focus on the potential reasons for an audit and the importance of effectively managing them. We will explore various types of audits and share practical tips on how to prepare and handle the process with positive outcomes. In addition, we will provide participants with common issues across auditing agencies and discuss common financial non-compliance issues for which auditors are searching. 

Learning objectives:

  1. Identify the various types of audits and understand the roles and responsibilities related to audits.
  2. Gain an overview of regulations that govern audits and insight into what auditors are looking for. 

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Marchon Jackson, Director of Sponsored Program Accounting and Compliance, Division of Research, University of Maryland, College Park 
Debra Murray, Assistant Director Compliance, University of Maryland, College Park
 

T403: Indirect Costs Rates: A Non-Profit Perspective
Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 3:45pm to 5:00pm

Content level: Basic

Almost every research institution must engage in the process of negotiating federal indirect rates. Non-profits face unique challenges in preparing, submitting and negotiating indirect rates. As we go through this process, many of us often wonder if we’ve done everything we can do within the constraints of federal regulations in order to maximize our institution’s negotiated indirect rate and resulting indirect cost recovery. In this session, we will discuss strategies that may be employed to maximize indirect cost recovery, both in the preparation of your indirect rate proposal as well as during the subsequent rate negotiation and budgeting of indirect costs on grants and contracts. Participants will be encouraged to share their experiences concerning the indirect rate process.  We will also discuss the impact that the new Uniform Guidance will have on preparing and negotiating indirect rates and what participants are doing to prepare for these changes.

Learning objectives:

  1. Identify what an indirect cost rate is, its importance and the various types of costs recovered through the indirect rate.
  2. Explore different types of rates and how they impact recovery and understand the process for preparing, submitting and negotiating the rate under the Uniform Guidance.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Alex Weekes, CPA, Principal, ML Weekes & Company, PC

T404: An Administrator's Pre- and Post-award Review of the Central Office Award Package
Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 3:45pm to 5:00pm

Content level: Basic

A critical stage in the life cycle of an award is when the DRA receives the central office internal award package. This package includes critical terms and conditions for compliance by the PI. This session will focus on the discussion of this critical initial stage of the award where the DRA’s understanding of these terms is key to the smooth success of the award process for both the central office and the PI.  

Learning objectives:

  1. Develop an understanding of some troublesome terms that may impact a DRA effective administration of the grant or contract project.
  2. Learn best practices when reviewing the central office internal award package and spot potential problems for the DRA, PI and the institution may face and need to tackle. 

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Geraldine Pierre, JD, Grants and Contracts Manager, Boston University School of Public Health

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

R4: Policies & Procedures Requirements for Improving Administrative Infrastructure
Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 8:30am to 9:00am

Content level: Basic

We all know we need written policies and procedures for operational efficiency and compliance and that by having policies and procedures in writing we improve our operations and our internal control environment, but sometimes trying to decide where to focus our time is a challenge.  In this session we will discussion the pre/post award and other institutional policies and/or procedures that we are required to have in place for responsible grant and contract management.  We will also discuss the need for policies and procedures which may not be mandated by federal sponsors, but which should be in place to improve our service orientation, constituent adoption, and improving internal control environment.  We will also discuss best practices for writing policies and procedures and how there really is no one solution to what should be policy and what should be a procedure.  

Learning objectives:

  1. Identify the policies which are required by 2 CFR 200.
  2. Assist the attendee's organization in addressing policy and procedure gaps which may exist.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Kris Rhodes, Director, Higher Education Practice, MAXIMUS

W104: Managing Institutional vs. Departmental Cores
Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 9:15am to 10:30am

Content level: Intermediate

Core facilities are centralized fee-for-service facilities that provide goods and services to the research community, both internal and external. At Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, we have four different core designations.  Most cores share similar characteristics but are also different in the way they are managed.  This presentation will explain the differences and offer tips on how to properly manage the different types of cores from a research administration standpoint.  This includes, designating which type of core, how to assist a PI on preparing a business plan and budget and managing the budget, invoicing and cash flow once a core is established.  We will also touch on federal and potential institutional regulations regarding setting up and operating cores.

Learning objectives:

  1. Create and maintain a budget for a new core.
  2. Explain the differences between institutional and departmental cores.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Allisson Dugan, Research Administrative Director, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Tanya Santos, Manager, Research Operations, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

W203: Understanding the Term "Source Documentation"
Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 10:45am to 12:00pm

Content level: Basic

The world of research administration is constantly evolving and technology plays an important role in that evolution.  The fairly recent audit approach called, "Data Analytics", requires we take a deeper dive at our internal policies, procedures, processes and systems of record to establish what is adequate "source documentation" for the various transaction we review and approve.  Has this new approach modified the view of the "allowability criteria" and it means to have appropriate documentation on hand?  Where have we come and where are we headed?  This session will look at the transactional level detail and philosophical approaches to meeting the reasonableness, allowability and allocability tests. 

Learning objectives:

  1. Critique various methods of source documentation.
  2. Differentiate between "soft" and "hard" source documentation.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Denise Clark, Associate Vice President for Administration, University of Maryland, College Park
Ann Holmes, Assistant Dean, College of Behavior and Social Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park  
Dennis Paffrath, MBA, CRA, Assistant Vice President, Research, University of Maryland, Baltimore

W204: Data Management Tools for Research Administrators
Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 10:45am to 12:00pm

Content level: Basic

As financial systems become more sophisticated and reporting requirements escalate, it becomes increasingly important for departmental research administrators to understand data and how to use it. This session will cover the basics of data management using tools within MS Excel, without having to do custom programming or needing an advanced degree in computer science. The session is geared toward a user with basic Excel knowledge and is intended to teach participants some tools to enable them to build dynamic reports for both internal and external customers. 

Learning objectives:

  1. Understand basic elements of a data table and database.
  2. Learn how to build lookup tables and use formulas to better categorize and summarize your data. Learn how to make your data work for you by building and modifying pivot tables. Walk away with some handy Excel tips and tricks.

Prerequisites: Basic working knowledge of MS Excel. Please bring a computer with MS Excel to the session.

Speaker(s):

Gaye Bugenhagen, Director of Administrative Services, University of Maryland, College Park
Rebecca Hunsaker, Director of Research Administration, University of Maryland, College Park