Sponsored Projects

Funding FAQs

  1. I just signed a contract with my funding agency, is that okay?

    No, the authorized official to sign grant agreements is Shannon Sutton, Director of Sponsored Projects and the authorized official to sign contract agreements is Dana Biernbaum, Assistant to the Vice President for Administrative Services. No one else is authorized to sign. If you sign a contract on behalf of the University, you are in violation of University policy and the contract is
  2. A check just came in the mail from my funding agency, what now?

    Please send it directly to Sponsored Projects, Sherman Hall 320. We will make a copy of it for your file and give it to your grant accountant so that it will be deposited into your account.
  3. The department secretary is working overtime on grant work, how will he be paid?

    Contact the Payroll Office for electronic time card creation. The secretary will record his/her time on the electronic time card and the project director will then electronically verify the secretary's time. 
  4. My grant is going to cover the costs of a graduate assistant this year, how do I set this up?

    Contact the Graduate Studies office and obtain a Request for Graduate Assistant form (also available on their website). You need to fill it out, making certain your grant account number is on the form, and return it to Graduate Studies.
  5. I have a grant and I'm a faculty member who will be working on grant activities during the academic year, in addition to my 100% appointment. When can I be paid?

    You may be paid after your work is complete, or you may be paid on a monthly basis while you are working on the grant activities. Some funding agencies only allow faculty to receive pay during the summer months, so depending on your agency, rules could vary.
  6. I like to do consulting work on my own, outside of my WIU duties. What benefits would I have if I set up this outside work as a sponsored project and ran it through the WIU system?

    First, you receive recognition of your efforts through memorandums to the president, your department chair, your dean and Campus Connection. There is also formal documentation for you to put in your promotion and tenure file. If you are receiving payment for your work, the payment is run through the WIU payroll system and the funding agency must contribute to your insurance costs and to your retirement account. Your retirement account would not receive contributions if the project was not held at the university. You are also assigned an accountant who can assist with the fiscal management of your project.
  7. I just received paperwork back from the Business Office, they said my purchase was "an unallowable expenditure" from my grant. Can you help?

    In this instance, Sponsored Projects could contact the funding agency for you and request that the purchase be allowed – either by transferring money into the appropriate category, or allowing the purchase to come out of an existing category. If the funding agency cannot allow the purchase for another reason, then the expenditure cannot be made.
  8. I don't think I'll have my final report done by the agency's due date, can I send it in late?

    You can, but you do so at your own risk, and you may risk future funding possibilities for yourself, or worse, for your colleagues. It would be better to receive permission from the agency to turn in your report late.
  9. My project won't be complete by the ending date, can you ask for an extension?

    Yes. some agencies automatically offer a one year extension without asking for permission, but with agencies where this is not the case, Sponsored Projects is always happy to request an extension on your behalf.
  10. How do I set up my payment for working on my grant?

    When you are ready to receive payment for work completed on the grant, contact Sponsored Projects and they can prepare a supplemental payment form for you. Please keep in mind that even if information is received in the early part of the month, you may not be able to receive pay until the 1st of the following month.
  11. The agency I'm receiving funding from wants to give me more money to complete my current project. What do I need to do now?

    Contact Sponsored Projects and we will prepare a "supplemental transmittal sheet" for you and draw up a contract amendment, increasing the amount of your award. As with an original award, if a signed contract or a check is mailed to you, please forward these items to Sponsored Projects.
  12. I am paying a consultant to do work for my project, how do I organize this?

    First, an Agreement for Professional Services (Professional & Artistic Contract) needs to be drawn up. There is a sample of one on this website, however Sponsored Projects is happy to create one for you. If the amount you are paying the individual is less than $1500, then you, as project director and fiscal agent, can sign the agreement. If the amount is $1500 or greater, then the agreement must be signed by William D. Oster, Assistant to the Vice President for Administrative Services. If the consultant is receiving less than $1500, attach the agreement to a Direct Pay Authorization and send them to the Business Office in Sherman Hall for processing. If the consultant is receiving $1500 or more, attach the agreement to a Request for Purchase and send them to the Purchasing Office in Sherman Hall. (Note: Consultants are only persons who are not currently employed by WIU. WIU employees are paid through the payroll office.)
  13. My project was supposed to start last month and I received an e-mail from my program officer telling me my project was funded, but I still haven't received "official" documentation. What should I do?

    If you feel confident you are going to receive funding, but lack official documentation, you may want to request a "guarantee memo" from your dean. Your dean will guarantee expenses your project will incur from an account of his/her choosing, until the award documents arrive to campus. This allows you to establish an account and get the project going, but also protects the university in the unfortunate event that award documents are not received.
  14. I was planning on paying my colleague for her work on the project, but she just told me she's not going to be able to do the work. What do I do if her recommendation for appointment has already been written and sent to payroll?

    Contact Sponsored Projects right away. We will contact Human Resources and have the existing contract cancelled. Then we can write a new recommendation for appointment for someone to replace the previous person. Depending on the agency, it may be necessary to ask their permission for a personnel change.
  15. I realized I over-budgeted in my equipment category and would like to transfer money into supplies and materials to pay for more computer toner cartridges, what should I do?

    In some cases, the transfer can be made internally without requesting permission from the funding agency. If the agency does require a request to be made, either you or Sponsored Projects can make the request of the agency. Your grant accountant will need written approval; e-mails are fine.
  16. I just received a contract from a state agency and I'm designing a cd-rom program for them. The contract says that the agency will own all of the rights to my creations, is this okay?

    A contract falls under the category of "Work Made for Hire" and the state is entitled to ask for ownership rights. However, it is highly desirable to have Sponsored Projects negotiate a contract that is consistent with the University's mission of public service. It can be accomplished by granting the state agency a non-exclusive, royalty free license, and retaining the ownership rights to the intellectual property for the inventor and the University.