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This Policies and Procedures Guide has been prepared by the Boston Medical Center Grants Administration office which serves as the institutional liaison between investigators, BMC/BU Administration, and funding agencies.

The purpose of this handbook is to:

  • Assist investigators in the preparation and submission of research proposals;
  • Describe, clarify, or refer to the Boston Medical Center policies related to research proposals and awards;
  • Acquaint users of the handbook with the services that Grants Administration provides.

This manual is broken into two sections:

  1. The specific functions of Pre-Award Grants Administration are described in Section I of this Manual.
  2. Section II details the specific functions of Post-Award Grants Administration.

In order to allow for flexibility in accommodating future changes to guidelines and policies, and to address any significant issues as they arise, this handbook is in loose-leaf format. New and/or replacement pages will be distributed for inclusion when necessary.

This handbook has been developed for your convenience.  We welcome any comments or suggestions concerning further improvement.

Roles and Responsibilities

a.  Principle Investigators

Generally the Principal Investigator (who also may be known as “Project Director”) is the individual, designated by BMC, who is responsible for the scientific, technical, and programmatic aspects of grants and for the day-to-day management of the project or program. A grant, if awarded, is made to BMC and not to the Principal Investigator.

The Principal Investigator is also a member of the BMC team responsible for ensuring compliance with the financial and administrative aspects of the award. The Principal Investigator works closely with designated officials within BMC to create and maintain necessary documentation, including both technical and administrative reports; prepare justifications; appropriately acknowledge Sponsor support of research findings in publications, announcements, news programs, and other media; and ensure compliance with other federal, state, and BMC requirements.

The Roles and Responsibilities of Principal Investigators include:

  • Overseeing the scientific, technical, and programmatic aspects of grants and day-to-day management of sponsored projects and programs.
  • Certifying the veracity and accuracy of all financial and project information contained in all grant applications, contracts, research proposals, and reports, whether submitted by BMC or by its subcontractors, consultants, or vendors.
  • Providing justification for any requested carry-forwards of funding.
  • Overseeing any work performed under subcontracts with other organizations.
  • Ensuring compliance with all applicable federal, state, and BMC compliance requirements, including but not limited to: HIPAA, Human Subjects, Animal Research, Research Misconduct, CDC Select Agents, Conflicts of Interest, as well as the applicable requirements of OMB Circulars A-133, A-122, and A-110.

b.  Departmental Administrators

Departmental Administrators provide an important support function for BMC Principal Investigators and Project Directors in carrying out sponsored projects. Research Administrators do not have any inherent authority or responsibility, other than what is appropriately delegated to them within the normal scope of their employment, for carrying out sponsored projects.

The Roles and Responsibilities of Departmental Administrators may include:

  • Assisting PIs in preparing and submitting contract and grant application materials for sponsored projects and programs;
  • Assisting PIs in coordinating and carrying out the day-to-day financial and administrative duties related to sponsored projects and programs.

c.  Departmental Chairs

Departmental Chairs are ultimately responsible for overseeing the research activities of all Principal Investigators and Project Directors within their departments. Departmental Chairs are responsible for conducting a preliminary review of all scientific and programmatic grant applications originating within their respective departments prior to submission to BMC Grants Administration or to sponsors. The Chair review should determine whether the Principal Investigator’s proposed project has scientific or programmatic merit, and whether the department has sufficient resources to provide necessary support for the proposed project.

d.  Grants Administration Staff

Generally BMC Grants Administration is responsible for the pre-award phase of funding proposals and for post-award administration.

BMC Grants Administration employs two Associate Directors, who are designated representatives of Boston Medical Center in matters related to the award and administration of grants and contracts relating to sponsored projects. An authorized institutional signature on a BMC grant application or contract certifies that BMC will comply with all applicable assurances and certifications referenced in the application or contract. BMC as an organization is responsible for verifying the accuracy, validity, and conformity with the most current organizational guidelines of all the administrative, fiscal, and scientific information in the application, including the F&A cost (indirect cost) rate. The authorized signature further certifies that BMC will be accountable for the appropriate use of any funds awarded and for the performance of the grant-supported project or activities resulting from the application.

Whenever BMC applies for or receives grant or contract funds, whether such funds are received directly from a government agency or from a private or industry sponsor, or indirectly under a contract or consortium agreement, or as student assistance under a training grant, BMC is responsible for and must adhere to all applicable federal, state and local statutes, ordinances, regulations, and policies, as well as all sponsor guidelines.

Listed below are some of the many areas BMC Grants Administration is available to advise on or provide assistance with:

  • Assisting investigators with researching potential funding sources;
  • Counseling investigators and administrative staff regarding sponsored funding opportunities, proposal preparation, and interpretation of guidelines, policies, and regulations;
  • Negotiating/mediating with funding agencies and subcontractors to reach agreements satisfactory to all involved parties;
  • Approving and amending proposals to comply with BMC and sponsor policies, to verify resource commitments, budget accuracy, and faculty appointments;
  • Reviewing final award documents and revisions to existing awards, to assure that agreements conform to the negotiated contracts;
  • Administering institutional resources and arranging for selection of applicants when the sponsor limits the number of participants;
  • Maintaining the accounting, budgeting, and allocation of monies after award is made;
  • Maintaining reference books and brochures describing sponsor organizations and their guidelines;
  • Maintaining pre-award proposal files, providing management information regarding pending and awarded grants and contracts, as well as federal and administrative policy changes.

Specific Roles and Responsibilities of BMC Grants Office include:

Pre-Award Office

  • Reviewing and, when required, submitting research proposals and contracts;
  • Providing institutional signatory authority for grant proposals and contracts;
  • Preparing and negotiating grants and contracts;
  • Maintaining records related to grants and contracts submitted;
  • Setting up activities for newly awarded grants/contracts;
  • Overseeing compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and policies imposed by federal and state government, funders, and industry concerning sponsored projects.

Post-Award Office

  • Maintaining the accounting, budgeting, and allocation of monies after award is made
  • Managing and disbursing funds in compliance with terms and conditions and for purposes of grants or contracts
  • Providing new grant informational packet to Principal Investigators
  • Reviewing purchase & check requisitions and salary forms
  • Completing cost transfers/journal entries
  • Overseeing BU payroll and LASC charges to grants
  • Assisting in A/P invoice rejection process
  • Prepare subcontract agreements
  • Assisting Principal Investigators in amending/updating project budgets in Lawson
  • Providing signatory authority on amendments and subcontracts
  • Calculating Federal LOC draw amounts
  • Preparing and submitting invoices to sponsors
  • Preparing and submitting quarterly federal cash transaction reports
  • Performing A/R review, resolution and collection
  • Overseeing Grant Closeout process
  • Providing principal contact for sponsor fiscal officers
  • Overseeing Research Patient Billing mechanism
  • Overseeing compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and policies imposed by federal and state government, funders, and industry concerning sponsored projects.