Post-Award Policies and Procedures

Advance Requests

Visit our pre-award advanced requests policies and procedures for details.

Capital Purchases 

Capital equipment records are required for both federal- and university-titled equipment and follow university, state and federal property guidelines. 

The DOM Office of Financial Services provides support for the following capital topics:

  • Campus training on capital policies and procedures
  • Year-end financial reporting to UW System
  • Maintenance of the asset management system
  • Tracking of capital fabrications (campus builds of capital equipment)
  • Transfers between departments
  • Loan contracts
  • Federal reporting
  • Facilitation and responses on external audits

If you need assistance with purchasing, accessing, or transferring capital equipment, please contact your research finance administrator for assistance. 

For more information, visit UW Business Services – Capital Equipment.

Carryover Requests 

In research, “carryover” occurs when funds awarded for a particular funding period are not fully expended by the end of that funding period. In the Notice of Award (NOA) issued by the sponsor, the Terms & Conditions section of the award should indicate how carryover funds may be used.  

There are 3 primary categories for carryover funding:

  • Carryover Not Allowed: The unobligated balance cannot be carried over to the next budget segment.
  • Carryover Automatic: The unobligated balance may be carried over to the next budget segment without prior sponsor approval. This applies when sponsors indicate funds can be carried over from one budget period to the next without needing prior sponsor approval.
  • Carryover Needs Prior Approval: In order to carry over an unobligated balance, the PI must obtain prior approval from the sponsor. This is applicable when the sponsor indicates prior approval must be obtained for carryover. The PI should prepare a letter requesting the carryover. RSP must sign the request before it is submitted to the sponsor. Once the sponsor has approved the carryover request, the PI must ensure that RSP receives a copy of the approval.

During award setup, it is important to understand which of the categories above apply to your award. Contact your research finance administrator to confirm your options and verify the use of carryover funds.

Questions? Email

Change of PI 

Contact your ORS research administrator to transfer any awards into or out of UW. They can assist with coordinating all activities and paperwork associated with transfers.

The transfer of a principal investigator (PI), and subsequently an award, from one institution to another is a complex and time-consuming action, and a number of potential issues should be addressed prior to the transfer. An award transfer to a new institution is not simply the change of a name on the award documents.

  • Transfers: All grants and contracts, both federal and non-federal, are awarded to UW-Madison, not directly to principal investigators. If a PI wants to change institutions, the UW will determine whether it will retain, transfer, or terminate the award. As the grantee institution, the UW must approve the relinquishment of an award to formally transfer an award to the PI’s new institution. The awarding agency or sponsor must also approve all grant/contract transfers.
  • Contracts: Please note that while federal grants are often transferred between institutions based on the relocation of a PI, contracts are generally not transferable, but instead may be terminated completely and re-issued to a new institution. Likewise, sponsors may require that UW retain the original contract and issue a new subcontract to the Principal Investigator’s new institution.
  • PI Checklists: Faculty who leave the UW should follow appropriate steps in order to exit the University in good standing. Likewise, faculty who arrive at the UW need to obtain appropriate clearances in order to conduct their research. The checklists below are tools for PIs and ORS research administrators to assist in ensuring that all pertinent activities are properly handled for PIs transferring in or out of the UW. These checklists may not include everything; however, they are an attempt to highlight the more common issues/concerns that complicate and potentially slow down the transition of awards between institutions.

For more information, visit RSP’s PI & Award Transfers page

Questions? Email

Computing Devices (personal computers)

DOM IT Services requires DOM personnel working with protected health information (PHI) and/or university data to be assigned a DOM–managed laptop, prior to these research activities occurring. 

DOM personnel SHOULD NOT use personal devices (laptops, tablets, phones, etc.) to access HIPAA-protected information, PHI/PII-related data, or any protected data for research purposes. 

Contact the DOM IT Helpdesk for assistance in obtaining a DOM-managed computer.

Cost Share

A DOM cost share commitment form must be completed and signed by all parties listed before cost sharing may begin. Visit our pre-award cost sharing policies and procedures for guidance on completing the appropriate forms. 

Spending on cost share commitments should align with the following:

  • Mandatory: Expenditures for both the sponsored and cost shared accounts have mandatory reporting requirements to the sponsor (annually, quarterly, etc.). Spending between the research and cost share account must have a 1:1 ratio, meaning that for every dollar spent on the primary research account, a matching amount must be spent on the cost share account. Rebudgeting of either account follows standard sponsor authorizations.
  • Voluntary w/reporting: Cost share is encouraged but not required, and if committed, expenditures for both the sponsored and cost shared accounts have mandatory reporting requirements to the sponsor (per the sponsor). Spending between the research and cost share account must have a 1:1 ratio, meaning that for every dollar spent on the primary research account, a matching amount must be spent on the cost share account. Rebudgeting of either account follows standard sponsor authorizations.
  • Voluntary w/o reporting: Cost share is completely voluntary and expenditures for the sponsored account must be reported, but cost share reporting is not required (i.e., sponsor doesn’t want/need to know about cost share commitments). All sponsor funds should be expended according to the sponsor-approved budget and spending authorizations. The use of cost share funds should be minimized to ensure sponsor funds are used as the primary source of research support. All cost share expenditures should align with the cost share budget provided during award setup. Rebudgeting of the cost share account is more flexible than sponsor requirements, but should align closely with sponsor guidelines and follow all standard UW/DOM practices.
  • Third party commitments: Expenditures for third-party commitments may have mandatory use and reporting requirements. Please follow all sponsor guidelines. If third-party commitments are voluntary – i.e., between UW and third party, but not required by sponsor – then expenditures and reporting should align with standard UW/DOM practices. Rebudgeting of third-party funds must align with sponsor and/or UW guidelines (mandatory vs voluntary), and while voluntary third-party commitments may have more flexibility for rebudgeting, they should still align with sponsor guidelines and follow all standard UW/DOM practices.

If updates to the cost share commitments are required, a new cost share commitment form must be completed and signed by all parties listed on the form.  All cost share commitment forms, expenditures, and backup documentation for such, must be retained in the project folders/records in accordance with sponsor and UW record retention requirements.

Questions? Email

Cost Transfers

Cost transfers should be processed immediately after an error is identified; transfers must take place no later than 90 days after the end of the month of the original transaction. Transfers made after 90 days raise questions concerning the validity of the transfer. Requests for transfers made after 90 days will be considered only under extenuating circumstances. Frequent cost transfers, late cost transfers and inadequately documented or justified transfers (especially involving projects with overdrafts or unexpended balances) may be regarded by sponsors as indicators of inadequate control systems. Cost transfers are also targets for audits, which can lead to disallowances or penalties.

This policy applies to cost transfers between or to federal and non-federal sponsored projects. This includes projects on the same award. Inappropriate transfers may result in expenditures being disallowed. Once a cost is identified, a transfer request must be completed and sent with documentation to the RSP staff assigned to the department.

  • Salary cost transfers involve moving payroll expenses or stipends onto a sponsored project. Payroll expenses include salary and fringe benefits.
  • Non-salary cost transfers involve moving expenditures for items other than payroll or stipends onto a sponsored project. Typical examples of non-salary costs include expenses for supplies, services, consultants, travel, and equipment.

NOTE: Documentation is always needed when sponsored projects are involved regardless of the direction of the transfer.

Best Practices:

  • Charge expenditures to the correct fund
  • Correct errors as soon as detected and monitor monthly.
  • Request advance account numbers for pending awards.
  • Split allocable costs across multiple sponsored projects consistently.
  • Provide clear, detailed justification statements.
  • Perform ProCard edits in a timely manner
  • Carefully prepare paperwork – errors in account numbers, reference numbers, amounts, etc., will only delay transactions.


  • Use federal projects as defaults for ProCard purchasing system (PVS Net). Instead use unrestricted funding.
  • Park costs for pending projects on other sponsored projects.
  • Transfer costs from one sponsored project to another to eliminate a deficit.
  • Apply all costs on one grant and then move some to another. If the costs are to be shared between related grants, costs should be split-coded at time of purchase whenever possible.

If you have any questions regarding cost transfers on sponsored projects, contact your research finance administrator.

Effort/Payroll Certification

Every six months, PIs must certify salary support for all individuals on federally sponsored projects, or for individuals whose salary is provided as cost share on federally sponsored projects

Failure to complete certification has administrative and fiscal consequences.  

For details, visit Effort/Payroll Certifications on our compliance page.

Expense Reimbursement

If you are not sure of the purchasing or payment options for your expense type, or whether the purchase is allowable, contact your research finance administrator BEFORE purchasing. Unallowable expenses purchased with personal funds will not be reimbursed.

Expense reimbursement requirements differ depending on your funding source. Please contact your research finance administrator or visit Expense Reimbursement: UW and UW Health for more information.

Interdepartmental Personnel Agreement (IPAs)

Intergovernmental Personnel Agreements (IPAs) allow a UW employee (excluding faculty) to remain on UW payroll while providing services to the Veterans Hospital. 

For more information on establishing an IPA, visit our pre-award IPA request policies and procedures.

Questions? Email

Monthly Reconciliation and Review

It is important to participate in monthly reconciliations, with your research finance administrator, on all sponsored projects to ensure funds are spent as required per the award agreements.

A key function is that costs are charged to the correct project and that costs listed as outstanding or encumbered are processed and paid in a timely manner.

When completing monthly reconciliations, ensure:

  • Costs are allowable, reasonable and allocable
  • Expenditures are coded correctly
  • Expenditures do not exceed budget categories
No-Cost Extensions

A sponsor can grant a no-cost extension to allow PIs more time to complete their research objectives. Extensions may not be requested simply to allow more time to spend down research funds.

No-cost extension requests must be submitted no less than 90 days prior to the end date of an award. Some sponsors may require notification earlier/later than this, so read the guidelines well in advance to ensure your meet their timelines.

If you would like to request a no-cost extension, please contact your ORS research administrator. They can assist with drafting the necessary documents and working with RSP to submit the request.

Participant Payments

Payments to research participants are to be processed using the methods listed below only. Employees will not be reimbursed if research participant payments to study participants are paid using a purchasing card (P-Card), university personal liability credit card, personal credit card, or personal funds.

Contact your research finance administrator for assistance with determining payment mechanisms and processing research participant payments.

For more information, visit: 

Subrecipient Monitoring

Subaward monitoring is part of overall award monitoring and management. It ensures that funds are being used for authorized purposes and in compliance with regulations, terms, and conditions.

Subaward monitoring is a shared responsibility. PIs are responsible for assuring the appropriateness, reasonableness, and allowability of expenditures. They also have the technical expertise to determine if the expenditures are in keeping with the goals and objectives of the project. PIs also monitor project progress through review of subrecipient technical reporting.

PIs and project managers involved in directing or managing subawards on sponsored projects are responsible for: 

  • Providing subawards with a comprehensive and detailed scope of work (including any deadlines), a budget including allowable F&A rates, and any other necessary project-related information
  • Overseeing subaward project activities to ensure fulfillment of project objectives
  • Monitoring subaward expenditures and providing assurance of their appropriateness, reasonableness, and allowability by approving payment of subaward invoices
  • Ensuring receipt of technical information, deliverables, or other required reports from the subrecipient

PIs and project managers SHOULD NOT approve payment of subaward invoices if any challenges are experienced in communicating with the subaward PI or designated research personnel, if expectations related to the scope of work are delayed or not being met, or if they have any concerns related to the expenses being charged.

The research finance administrator will review subaward invoices to ensure they align with budgeted amounts and categories, before confirming with the PI that all activities related to the invoice have been met. If PIs or project managers have any concerns regarding subaward activities, they should make their research finance administrator aware immediately so they can assist in resolving any issues.

For more information, visit RSP’s Subrecipient Monitoring page.

Questions? Email


Sponsored project travel is an area routinely focused on by auditors. Therefore, charges must be adequately documented to ensure they are allocable and allowable. Adding information within the expense report as to how the travel benefits the award can expedite the approval process.

Travel considerations:

  • Travel must occur within the award period.
  • Travel must not conflict with the traveler’s personnel appointment. A conflict between payroll and travel indicates that one of the charges is not allocated correctly. Appointments to non-sponsored funds (E&G or SRAD/PI Support) are not considered in conflict with travel charges to a sponsored project. However, an employee should not be 100% appointed to one sponsored project and charging travel to another sponsored project.
  • Sponsored project travel must abide by all University travel policies.

For more information, visit Travel Planning and Policies: UW and UW Health.

Tuition Remission

Per UW policy, all graduate students paid by a project for a minimum of 33.3% annual effort must have tuition budgeted on the project. Tuition remission is budgeted at $6,000 per semester per student for the fall and spring semesters. Tuition remission for summer sessions must fall under specific categories outlined by the UW Graduate School.

The Graduate School website and RSP website have important information related to tuition remission.