Guide to Services

PI-Eligibility/Guest Scientist

Billeted faculty researchers at the Uniformed Services University (USU), including investigators at the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFRRI), are PI-eligible by virtue of their appointments at those institutions. All other DoD researchers are PI-eligible as long as they secure site approval from their command. 

Guest Scientists of HJF may serve as Principle Investigators for applications/proposals/awards for extramural funding supported by HJF and have access to HJF's wide array of services. Any non-DoD individual interested in serving as a PI must become a guest scientist of HJF. For more information, contact Business Development

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

MANAGEMENT BEST PRACTICES

Sponsored programs administration is a joint effort between the Principal Investigator (PI) and HJF. The PI is accountable for the proper fiscal management and for the scientific and intellectual direction of the project. HJF is legally and financially responsible and accountable to the sponsor for the performance of the activity funded and the proper use of funds, but without the full cooperation and oversight of the PI, HJF would be unable to fulfill its stewardship role.

Engagement (as used in Uniform Guidance §200.308): A PI is “engaged” in a project if he or she able to carry out the following responsibilities with regard to a sponsored project:

  • Ensure the scientific integrity of the sponsored project;
  • Oversee the financial management of project funds;
  • Ensure adherence to all internal University/HJF policies;
  • Ensure adherence to the sponsor’s terms and conditions, including reporting and record keeping requirements enumerated in the award document; and
  • Monitor the technical progress and claimed costs of subrecipients.

While the PI may delegate some responsibility for day-to-day management of finances or other tasks to staff, the PI remains accountable for compliance with their home institution, HJF and sponsor policies and requirements.

HJF is developing PI guidance and training for all investigators and research personnel to help attain best practices:

General –

PI Best Practice

HJF Support

Complying with all sponsor and performance site regulations and requirements during the development of a proposal, during the execution of the research or activity, and in close out of an award.

Providing proposal guidance and award kick-off meeting to review all sponsor and performance site requirements during the development of a proposal, during the execution of the research or activity, and in close out of an award.

Ensuring project personnel perform assigned duties.

 

Ensuring project personnel are given the necessary training and supervision to perform assigned duties.

Ensuring offers, requests, commitments or obligations to potential or existing contractors or subrecipients come directly from HJF.

Creating and managing agreements with approved contractors and subrecipients as needed to support the research.

Declaring any potential conflicts of interest to HJF’s point of contact before commitments are made.

Mediating any potential conflicts of interest before commitments are made.

 

Pre-award –

PI Best Practice

HJF Support

Providing an application or proposal for funding that is true, complete and accurate to the best of my knowledge.

Providing proposal support and ensuring any application or proposal is complete and complies with the sponsor guidance.

Ensuring HJF review and input of any application or proposal that creates a commitment for HJF.

Providing pre-proposal guidance, proposal draft feedback in a timely manner, ensuring the application or proposal is submitted and passes all system checks, provide JIT support and negotiation of award. Provide follow-up on unsuccessful applications to strengthen and resubmit.

Award Management –

PI Best Practice

HJF Support

Providing adequate information regarding project requirements for contracts or agreements.

 

Ensuring competition is used to the maximum extent practicable and the sponsor’s funds are used prudently and efficiently.

 

Ensuring all project requests for goods and services are solely for the approved award.

 

Providing an electronic requisitioning system to improve efficiency and minimize overhead costs for projects, and ensuring all charges to the project are for the goods and services approved by the PI.

 

Ensuring receipt of all procurement orders for goods and services, and that equipment and electronic devices are properly secured.

PMs ensure receipts are confirmed with delegated HJF HQ Buyers, and that equipment and electronic devices are properly secured and accounted for with HJF.

Reviewing all contractor and subrecipient performance and invoices to ensure their applicability and accuracy before endorsing any payment request to HJF.

Reviewing all contractor and subrecipient reports and invoices to monitor performance and ensure their accuracy before approving.

 

Keeping commitment of project resources within the approved budget.

Providing up-to-date reports and guidance on available project resources.

Keeping HJF informed about issues that may result in the termination of services or personnel due to a lack of performance or funding.  

 

Keeping PI informed about issues that may result in the termination of services or personnel due to a lack of performance or funding.  

 

Providing all deliverables and progress reports in a timely fashion per sponsor requirements. 

 

Providing timely notices regarding progress reports and assistance in review. Securing approvals and submitting required deliverables in a timely fashion. 

 

Informing HJF of any changes in my effort greater than 25% from the approved budget or a leave of absence longer than two months. 

 

Seeking sponsor approval of any changes greater than 25% from the approved budget or a leave of absence longer than two months. 

 

Making timely corrective actions based on reports and guidance provided by HJF.

 

Providing timely corrective action plans, reports and guidance.

 

Award Closeout –

PI Best Practice

HJF Support

Providing all requested and required close out documentation.

 

Providing timely notification and administrative support for all required close out actions.

 

Returning all equipment to HJF.

 

Tracking all equipment and facilitating its return to HJF.

 

 

SUBAWARD BEST PRACTICES

To effectively carry out the specific responsibilities, Principle Investigators should require and ensure timely submission of periodic progress reports and invoices; review to assess whether subrecipient is making satisfactory progress; and work with Research Administration and Program Management staff, as necessary, early in the process to implement satisfactory resolutions in instances where unsatisfactory progress is detected or invoicing inconsistencies are detected. The following techniques may be helpful in achieving this best practice:

  1. Assess whether the results delivered or achieved, as reflected in the progress reports, are in line with the performance goals included in the statement of work.
  2. Assess whether the subrecipient is being timely and/or delivery schedules are being met by evaluating whether the work reported as completed is proportionate to the performance time remaining in the subaward or in the case of a fixed price subaward, determine whether the milestones are being met.
  3. Assess whether the subrecipient’s progress reports, when compared to their invoices reflect expenses commensurate with the progress of the project.
  4. Assess whether the subrecipient’s invoice is proper for payment and fully substantiate and reject improper invoices while ensuring timely payments of proper invoices. The following include, but are not limited to, examples of instances that could raise concerns or may signify an improper invoice:
    1. A subrecipient consistently invoices HJF for one twelfth of the subaward budget each month; however, the progress reports do not support the level of expenses for which subrecipient is invoicing.
    2. A subrecipient is performing work as evidenced by its progress reports, but has not submitted invoices or has not submitted invoice in accordance with the terms of the subaward (e.g. invoice lists only the total costs claimed without providing any categorical breakdown/detail).
    3. Amount on a particular invoice (including previous payments) exceeds the total subaward amount.
    4. Invoice includes costs which are not allowable, allocable or reasonable for the work under the subaward.
    5. Costs included on the invoice differ materially from the subrecipient's approved budget and / or is not substantiated by a required prior approval.
    6. Invoice dates (including those reflected for expenses) are not in line with the budget period and / or subaward performance period.
  5. Approve and certify, in writing, all proper invoices received and forward to accounting to ensure timely payments, while retaining supporting documentation.
  6. Substantiate, reject and return all improper invoices received in a timely manner, while retaining documentation which adequately substantiates the rejection.
  7. Ensure final invoices are received timely, are clearly marked as “FINAL,” are approved and certified, when appropriate, and forwarded to accounting to ensure timely closeout of the prime award. In instances where a final invoice is received for a fixed price subaward, ensure all project deliverables have been received and all milestones tied to payments have been achieved before final invoice is approved and certified.
  8. Notify Research Administration promptly when instances of non-compliance with the subaward terms and conditions are detected or when questionable situations requiring further inquiry arise. Some examples of these situations include, but are not limited to, uncertainty:
    1. as to the subrecipient’s performance,
    2. if fraud or non-compliance of federal regulations exist; or
    3. as to whether the subrecipient is fulfilling the legal obligations of the subaward.