Accounts are set-up and modified in GMAS (Grants Management Application Suite), the official record for all sponsored accounts at Harvard in accordance with the University's Sponsored Chart of Account Business Rules. Once the account(s) and award information has been completed, a notification (Action Memo) is generated and the account information is sent to the General Ledger (GL).
What could delay account set-up?
- Project involves animal subjects, but Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval is not available.
- Project includes human subjects, but the appropriate human subject Internal Review Board (IRB) approval is not available.
- Conflict of Interest matters have not been resolved in accordance with the policies and procedures of the appropriate school.
- Signed Harvard Participation Agreements are not on file for key personnel.
- Project involves cost sharing, but the appropriate documentation has not been supplied by the department.
- Unusual sponsor grant or contract terms that require extensive negotiation.
- Use of the Harvard name issues.
- Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee (ESCRO) approval for stem cells has not been received.
- Proposal is not on file with the Office of Research Administration (ORA).
- Proposal budget and awarded budget do not match.
What are the various types of accounts?
At-Risk accounts, also known as Advance Accounts, allow Principal Investigators (PIs) to initiate spending on their projects before the University receives and/or accepts an award. A PI/department may want to request an At-Risk account when the ORA has received notification of a sponsor’s intent to fund a proposal, but the issuance of the actual award document by the sponsor may be delayed, or when an incoming award requires substantial negotiation and there is an immediate need to begin continue work that benefits the sponsored project. The establishment of an At-Risk account provides the PI access to funding by assigning the anticipated project a Fund number in GMAS in advance of arrival or approval of the official award document. The PI’s department assumes the liability for all expenditures if the award does not materialize or if ORA is unable to approve the award due to noncompliance with University policies. PIs /Departments are advised to review sponsor policies on pre-award spending prior to requesting At-Risk accounts. To request an At-Risk account, an "At-Risk Request" must be completed in GMAS and routed to ORA electronically for approval.
Streamlined Advance Accounts: The request should include attachment of any compliance material (IRB or IACUC) which may not have been previously submitted at the time of proposal. Streamlined Advance Accounts are automatically set up by ORA for non-competing NIH awards that require a request for carry forward and/or annual reporting (i.e. year logic). This includes Research and Training Fellowships (T and F), Institutional Training and Director Program Projects (D43), Research Project Cooperative Agreements (U), Program Project/Center Grants (P) and Education Projects (R25) awards. The establishment of a streamlined advance account provides the PI access to funding for an anticipated project in advance of arrival or approval of the official award document.
If more than one account is needed to manage an award, the additional accounts are called part-of accounts. Part-of accounts are established to manage discrete tasks due to award restrictions and to discretely capture financial data for reporting purposes. PIs and administrators wishing to set up part-of accounts should contact their ORA representative for assistance. GMAS and OBI security clearance to view and report on account activity will be automatically granted to the part-of account department. Approval from ORA is required to opt-out of granting this security.
A subaward account is established for each subaward agreement issued by the University to a specific subrecipient under a sponsored award. A subaward account may not appear on its own without the main account being set up first. While the subaward agreement is under negotiation, funds for the subrecipient are held in reserve until the agreement is fully executed. When the subaward agreement is fully executed, accounts will be established and a notification issued.