OSP | Financial Administration


  • Office of Sponsored Programs
    Wisconsin (4200) Suite 300

    Nichols, Michael L
    Director of Office of Sponsored Programs

Mailing Address

When a proposal is approved and the university receives a contract or grant, the principal investigator, the assigned OSP liaison, and the dean of the school or college work together to manage the award. In general, the faculty member undertakes the technical and administrative aspects of the award, while the OSP liaison, in partnership with the dean's office, handles the contractual and financial aspects.

The Principal Investigator

  • Ensures that the program is carried out in a timely fashion.
  • Ensures the appropriate level and hours of effort by designated faculty or staff members according to grant or contract provisions.
  • Consults with the department head and the school or college dean, as appropriate.
  • Manages the budget.
  • Recruits and hires the appropriate personnel in accordance with university policies, including affirmative action.
  • Ensures adherence to university policies and procedures.
  • Prepares and submits interim and final project reports to the sponsor with copies to the dean of the school or college and to OSP.

The Assigned OSP Staff Member

  • Informs principal investigator, teaching unit head and school or college dean of award.
  • Reviews aspects of contract with principal investigator, as appropriate.
  • Negotiates contract and financial arrangements with sponsor.
  • Prepares and distributes the project brief and authorized budget.
  • Prepares consulting agreements and subcontracts.
  • Assists in funding changes.
  • Serves as a resource to the dean's office regarding whether approved project expenditures adhere to sponsor and university guidelines.
  • Approves project expenditures at a pre-determined level and ensures that project expenditures adhere to university and sponsor guidelines. With the exception of CAS, which has its own contract administrator, OSP staff approve personnel, consultant and unbudgeted equipment expenditures, as well as expenditures when the total amount is $5,000 or more.
  • Provides information on copyright and patent procedures.
  • Liaises with sponsor as the primary point of contact.
  • Coordinates contractual matters with controller's office and other departments.
  • If need arises, coordinates with other departments to resolve internal or external issues.
  • Ensures that project expenditures adhere to university and sponsor guidelines.
  • Handles negotiations in areas of property disposal or transfer at conclusion of project.
  • Advises on project closeout.

The Office of Grants Accounting

  • Prepares and submits billings to sponsor.
  • Prepares financial reports to sponsors.
  • Monitors expenditures for allocability and allowability.
  • Coordinates financial audits by sponsors.
  • Directs compliance with OMB Circular A-133 (PDF) Audit and Reporting Requirements.
  • Prepares OMB Circular A-21 Cost Rate Studies (F&A Rate).

The School or College Dean

  • Develops sponsored program and research action plan.
  • Achieves revenue goals.
  • Allocates college and teaching unit resources involved in implementing research proposals and resulting from research awards.
  • Advises OSP negotiators concerning grant administering strategies.
  • Reviews and revises college proposal commitments based on negotiations.
  • Ensures that all principal investigators follow university policies and assume project administrative responsibilities.
  • Reviews and authorizes appropriate forms initiated by the principal investigator for payroll authorizations, new hires, purchases, and other project related expenses.
  • Provides cost-sharing data to the OSP liaison for submission to the sponsor. Note that it is the responsibility of the principal investigator/department/school/college to keep accurate information on cost sharing as these costs will appear on the projects' ledgers.

The Office of the Provost

Assisted by the Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs

  • Approves exceptions to policy.
  • Serves as final arbitrator of university's negotiating position.
  • Determines all legal actions relative to sponsored projects and coordinates resolution of financial issues through OSP in consultation with the Office of General Counsel and the Vice President for Finance and Treasurer.