Frequently Asked Questions

  • I'm not sure how to initiate transactions against my sponsored project funds. Whom do I contact for help after I receive funding?

    The best place to start is with your college/school Business Officer. RSP can also help. For general questions, please contact Yun Wu, Associate Director for Post-Award (, 775-2651). For specific questions, go to the Post Award Services page and scroll down to the staff listing. Then locate the Grants Accountant that has responsibility for your department or sponsor.

  • Who owns supplies or equipment purchased with my grant/contract funds?

    You can get information on current activity by accessing Wings Express (Banner Finance Self-Serve). Instructions may be found on our Accessing Grant Information page. If you don’t have access to Wings Express, please contact your college/school Business Officer, who can also assist with other grant/contract financial questions you might have.

  • What if my grant ends and there is an over-expenditure in the account for F&A (indirect costs)?

    In accordance with University Policy 6350, "...any portion of the Facilities and Administrative (F&A) cost that is greater than the originally budgeted F&A will be canceled."

  • What happens to any residual balance once a sponsored project under a fixed price agreement ends?

    After adjusting for any F&A obligations (either under or over budget), RSP will request the college/school Business Officer to provide a departmental org/fund number into which the residual funds can be transferred. Typically this will be your RIF account.

  • Why is effort reporting required?

    Effort reporting on federal grants/contracts is a requirement of OMB Circular A-21. For each quarter that you work on a federal project, you will receive a form to complete (see
    the Effort Reporting Policy). In some sense an effort report is a federally- mandated timecard for faculty.

  • I need to spend award funds differently from what was proposed and awarded. Is this okay?

    It depends on the terms and conditions of your award. Fixed price agreements would virtually never have restrictions; cost-reimbursement type awards often do. Most federal research awards are very flexible, as are most industry-funded and other private agreements. Most state-funded awards are heavily restricted. If you are unsure of what the restrictions might be in your particular case, please contact Yun Wu, Associate Director for Post-Award (, 775-2651).

  • Can alcoholic beverages be charged to a federal award under any circumstances?

    No. Nor can any university funds be so used under most conditions. As a general rule, it is best to find gift funds for this purpose.

  • What is the Fly America Act? Do I have to do anything special when traveling to a foreign country?
  • What do I do with invoices from a subcontractor?

    You should review the invoice to see if the charges appear to be consistent with the work that was done and reported to you by your counterpart at the subcontractor institution. If so, and if you are satisfied with the work, the invoice should be signed, dated, and returned to RSP. If there is a problem and/or you are not satisfied with the work being done, contact RSP immediately.

  • How can I get expenses that were mistakenly charged transferred to the correct award?

    Your departmental or college/school business manager can initiate the transfer. Be sure to include the original purpose of the expenditure to enable expeditious RSP review for allowability and protect against future disallowances by auditors.

  • What is the difference between cost sharing and matching?

    Both cost sharing and matching achieve a similar objective: to provide funds in addition to the sponsor's award toward the total costs of a project. Typically, cost sharing occurs when the university uses its own funds for this purpose, while matching takes place when the university raises funds from another source. Matching can also occur in situations where a sponsor requires the university to "match" what it provides on the basis of some prescribed formula (e.g., one-for-one match).

  • When charging salary to my federal award, I have to sign A-21 Effort Reports. Why?

    When proposals are submitted to a sponsor, the university is promising that, should the award be made, certain things are going to happen. One of those things is typically the devotion of effort by personnel who are key to the project. The Office of Management & Budget Circular A-21, Cost Principles for Educational Institutions, Sect. J.8.c (e) requires a formal personnel activity reporting system as a means of documenting such promised effort has taken place. The university uses A-21 Effort Reprots to fulfill that obligation. For further information, please see the Effort Reporting Policy.

  • I'm meeting with a colleague to go over research during lunch. Is that paid for by my award?

    Unless the colleague happens to be a WSU employee who also is on official travel status for the university, working on the same award and, therefore, entitled to be reimbursed under the travel budget of that award, the meal would not normally be considered an appropriate business meal; i.e., only your meal would be allowable.

  • Who prepares the financial reports required by my grant?

    RSP prepares the reports, with assistance from your department or college/school as needed.

  • My grant is going to end but I'm not finished the work, what can I do?

    Send an e-mail to the Yun Wu, Assoc. Director for Post-Award, at Explain that you need a no-cost extension, provide a valid reason (simply having funds left over is not a valid reason!), and put in the new end date that you are requesting (usually up to twelve months after the current end date). We will then contact the sponsor and you will be notified if and when the request has been approved.

  • I will be leaving the WSU. Can I transfer my grant?

    Yes, usually with the sponsor’s permission, although typically what happens is that the sponsor terminates the award to WSU and makes a new award with the remaining funds to your new institution. For information on transferring equipment, please see University Policy 6360 Interinstitutional Acquisition or Release of Research Equipment.

  • I have some biological material I want to share with a colleague from another institution. What do I do?

    You will need to have the Technology Transfer Office in RSP prepare a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA). Download the MTA Request Form (, complete it, and follow the instructions for returning it. The same form would also be used if you contemplate receiving biological material from outside the university. MTAs are normally signed by a university official (at WSU, the Director of Technology Transfer), though some commercial sites (e.g., ATCC) do not require this.

  • What do I do if I invent something while working on a sponsored project?

    Please see the information provided at