Office of Sponsored Research - 200.05 - Departmental Administrator Responsibilities


Office of Sponsored Research - 200.05 - Departmental Administrator Responsibilities


This operating standard establishes the overall responsibility of Department Administrators (DAs) in monitoring sponsored research projects and related components of those projects.

Policy Statement

DAs are responsible for assisting Principal Investigators (PIs) with the daily administrative tasks of sponsored projects’ financial and reporting management in conjunction with the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR).

While the PI may delegate day-to-day operations of project finances and administration to staff members, the PI accepts ultimate responsibility and accountability for compliance with the University’s policies and sponsor requirements.

Just as PIs are required to review their obligations to the University's policies regarding integrity in research and stewardship of sponsored funds, DAs are governed by the same policies and expectations.

I. Proposal Preparation

The DA is responsible for assisting the PI in preparing proposal submissions for sponsored projects in compliance with the sponsor guidelines and University policies. This includes the following:

  • Correct formatting
  • All sponsor required documentation is included
  • All OSR required documentation is submitted
  • All documentation is uploaded in the sponsor's required application system as well as in RAMSeS
  • OSR or Sponsored Programs Office (SPO) receives documentation in a timely manner

The DA is also responsible for creating a proposed budget based on sponsor guidelines, University requirements, and 2 CFR§200 Subpart E - Cost Principles. All budgets are subject to revision by OSR and acceptance by the sponsor.

II. Prohibition of Award Acceptance

DAs and PIs are prohibited from accepting, negotiating, or indicating acceptance of a sponsored award on behalf of the University, verbally or in writing. Only official designees in the presiding office - OSR, SPO, or the Office of Clinical Trials (OCT) - have the authority to accept an offer of award from a sponsoring agency.

However, DAs are responsible for reviewing the Pending Award information in RAMSeS to confirm the accuracy of information before an award is setup by OSR.

III. Daily Management of Project Expenditures

DAs are responsible for setting up the internal mechanisms to monitor and maintain accurate financial records of sponsored funds. This includes assuring that the PI reviews and authorizes direct charges in accordance with 2 CFR §200 Subpart E - Cost Principles and applicable funding agency guidelines. DAs should review and reconcile project expenditures on a monthly basis to verify the expenses charged to the project are allowable for the project.

IV. Preparation & Submission to OSR of Proper Forms for All Revisions

DAs ensure that changes in project status, such as financial revisions or requests, personnel effort, and any other requests are properly reported to the sponsoring agency through the proper OSR channels using the correct forms.

V. Assistance with Reporting Requirements

DAs also assist the PI in ensuring all technical and scientific reports are submitted to the sponsor by the due date, using the appropriate forms and submission systems. They also alert OSR if the technical and scientific report needs to be submitted in conjunction with a financial report.

VI. Project Closeout with OSR

DAs assist the PI in preparation and timely submission of final technical reports and other required documentation. They also work in conjunction with OSR on the final financial report to ensure all charges are accurate and allowable. This includes promptly removing any expenses deemed unallowable by OSR.

Related Requirements

Unit Policies, Standards, & Procedures

Contact Information

For questions regarding this operating standard and its related procedure, please contact

For questions regarding Pre-Award management or Post-Award administration, please contact the assigned Sponsored Projects Specialist (SPS).

For invoicing, reporting and other financial matters, please contact the assigned Sponsored Projects Accountant.
OSR Staff assignments may be found in RAMSeS or on the OSR website.


History Table
Date Description
05/15/2018 Revised to coincide with the release of the new OSR Website.

The operating standards in the Office of Sponsored Research Operating Standards & Procedures Manual supersede any OSR operating standards, procedures and appendices previously included in the University Business Manual, a publication of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Division of Finance.

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Article ID: 132276
Thu 4/8/21 9:27 PM
Thu 7/22/21 6:00 PM
Effective Date
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02/19/2021 9:16 AM
Issuing Officer
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Issuing Officer Title
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Distinguished Professor
Last Review
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02/19/2021 9:16 AM
Last Revised
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05/09/2019 12:00 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
07/01/2008 12:00 AM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.