Closing Out an Award

Closeout of a sponsored award is the process whereby an awarding (or sponsoring) agency determines that all applicable administrative actions and all required work agreed upon in the award have been completed by the awardee. The process occurs at the end of an award’s lifecycle. Collaboration among principal investigators, grants officers, and project/assistant project administrators ensures effective management of the award at the onset and may prevent potential problems at award closeout.

Award Closeout Roles and Responsibilities

A principal investigator and their campus grants officer are responsible for completing a final review to confirm that costs are allowable, allocable, reasonable and consistent. In addition, there should be no outstanding items requiring payment and all remaining encumbrances should be liquidated.

With the confirmation of the principal investigator, grants officer, project/assistant project administrator, a final invoice or final financial report must be submitted to the awarding agency. A principal investigator prepares the required reports (e.g., program report, technical report, equipment inventory or invention report, if applicable), according to the award’s specified requirements/timeline. If sub-award activities take place in a sponsored project, the principal investigator is responsible for obtaining final technical reports from the sub-recipients and retaining a copy in the project’s file.

After all payments owed to the project are recorded in the project’s account, the award’s account may be closed out.

Reporting Requirements

Reporting requirements may differ depending on the awarding agency and the terms specified in the award documents. All report requirements of a project must be met timely. Failure to comply with reporting requirements of an award may delay the receipt of payment owed to the project or result in the delay or cancelation of the principal investigator’s continuation award, thereby jeopardizing future funding opportunities. Reports commonly required include Technical, Invention/Patent, and Final Financial.

  • Technical Reports- are the responsibility of a principal investigator and the report’s format may be dictated by the funding agency. Upon completion, a copy of the report is filed in the Grants Office of the campus associated with the award and may be kept in the project’s file. If a technical report requires the submission of a financial report, a copy of both reports is maintained in the project’s file. Generally, a final technical report includes:
    • Grant or contract number, name of principal investigator, project title, performance period, and CUNY school
    • Result of the project
    • Technical difficulties and solutions
    • Publications and articles (completed or in progress)
    • Discussion on the outcome of each objective/deliverable for which the project was funded
  • Invention/Patent Reports- The principal investigator is responsible for disclosing all inventions, discoveries, etc. throughout the life of the award. At the end of a project’s lifecycle, the principal investigator and grants officer must verify the records prior to submitting a final report to the agency.
  • Final Financial Report- RFCUNY prepares and submits the final financial report to the sponsor within 90 days of the budget end date (there are exceptions in the agreements of certain agencies). RFCUNY will confirm with the principal investigator/grants officer that the project has no outstanding transactions that may be posted against the project’s web report prior to filing the final financial report. The format of the final financial report depends on the specifications of each agency.
  • Other Reports- Other reports may be required depending on the terms and conditions specified in the award. 
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