Sponsored Projects

Funding FAQs

  1. I received an e-mail from my program officer telling me that my project was being funded.  The beginning date for the project is approaching and I want to get started on it right away, but WIU still hasn't received "official" documentation of the award.  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.  As long as you have something from your program officer with the project start date, your dean will guarantee expenses for your project until the award documents arrive on 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.
  2. I just received a contract from a funding agency.  Can I sign it and return it to them?  No, an authorized official is the only person who can sign grant contracts and agreements on behalf of the University.  If you receive a contract or grant agreement from an external funding agency, immediately forward it to Sponsored Projects, Sherman Hall 320, for processing.  The contract or agreement will not be valid if signed by anyone other than the appropriate authorized WIU official. 
  3. A check came to me in the mail from my funding agency.  What should I do with it?
    Please send it directly to Sponsored Projects, Sherman Hall 320. We will make a copy of it for our files and see that it is deposited into your grant account. 
  4. My project just started, but I understand that WIU hasn't received the money from the funding agency yet.  Do I need to wait until the funding agency sends the check to WIU before I can buy supplies and incur other expenses on my project? No, you can go ahead and incur expenses once the account has been established by your Grants and Contracts Administrator based on a guaranteed memo or a fully-signed contract/agreement.  Externally funded projects do not work on a cash basis, so you don't need to worry about whether WIU has received the actual funds or not.  Once the account has been established and the budget has been loaded into the system, you can begin spending your grant funds.
  5. The department secretary is working overtime on grant project.  How will he/she be paid?
    Assuming this is an allowable expense and there are funds available in your budget, you will need to contact the Payroll Office to set him/her up in the payroll system so he/she can record the hours worked on your project.  The overtime wages and applicable benefits will be charged directly to your grant account.  
  6. My grant is going to cover the costs of a graduate assistant this year.  How do I go about hiring someone?
    You need to work directly with the Graduate Studies office.  Make sure that you supply your grant account number on the appropriate paperwork.  
  7. I have budget funds to hire a student assistant to help with my project.  How do I go about hiring someone? Contact the Student Employment office and they will work with you to advertise the position and hire a student who can assist you with your project.
  8. 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.
  9. How do I initiate my supplemental payment for working on the grant outside of my primary duties?
    When you are ready to receive payment for work completed on the grant, contact Sponsored Projects to provide them with the information necessary for completion of the Supplemental Payment Request form.  The form will be prepared and sent to you for signing and acquisition of the signature of your Chair, Dean, and Vice-President.  Please be aware that forms must be fully processed by the 10th of the current month for you to receive payment from the grant on the first of the following month.
  10. I realized that 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 form the funding agency.  If the agency does require a request be made, either you or Sponsored Projects can make the request of the agency.  Your grant administrator will need written approval from the sponsoring agency.
  11. My project won't be complete by the ending date, can I 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.  Please keep in mind to do so as soon as you realize you may need an extension as some agencies do not allow extensions if requests are in the last 60 days of the project period. 
  12. 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.  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.