Beginning with fiscal year 2005-06, the administration of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (VCRGE) awards (Project Grants set up on funds 101 or 135) will change. As you will see in award letters, the account coding is now one of your usual campus department UDDS/ORG codes (e.g., A07XXXX for a CALS department, A48XXXX for a L&S department). These awards will no longer use the VCRGE equivalent department coding (e.g., A34XXXX). With this change, all expenditures forms (payrolls, requisitions, travel expense reports, direct payments, transfers, etc.) for awards starting after June 30, 2005, should be sent by the administrating department directly to their own Dean's Office for signature and further processing. Expenditure forms for these awards are no longer processed in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education. This change was initially announced in a November 19, 2004 memo which was sent to Deans, Department Chairs, and Department Administrators.
While he Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education will not see individual expenditure forms, this does not lessen our fiduciary responsibility to assure that funds are used in accordance with the sponsor's requirements. The administering department has primary responsibility for the award, which includes appropriateness of each expenditure as well as the responsibility to not allow expenditures to exceed the awarded individual budget category amounts. The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education will audit activity on these awards to insure that they conform to all terms and conditions set by our Research Committee, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and the State, and will follow up with departments as needed. This includes the Research Committee Policies and Procedures as well as any conditions that have been included in individual award letters.
Award Status and Conditions of Award
Many VCRGE awards are made with conditions that must be met before the award can be activated for use. The status of the award can be found on the WISDM Award Info page. If the status is "Active" then expenditure forms can be processed during the approved award period. The award begin and end dates can be found in the award letter, or in WISDM (called Project Period) on the Award Info page. When the status is "Contingent" or "Withdrawn" expenditures are not allowed on the award. In the case of a "Contingent" award, refer to the original award letter for the conditions (e.g., a copy of human subject approval, proof of match, the result from an outside application, etc.). All conditions need to be cleared through the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education. Once conditions have been cleared, the award status will be changed to "Active".
Known Problem: If there has not been any activity (encumbrance or expenditure) on the award using your authorized ORG, then you won't be able to see the account in WISDM yet. If you can't see the award in WISDM then you obviously can't use WISDM to find the status (Active, Contingent or Withdrawn). You will need to contact the PI to find out the status of the award (e.g., have the conditions of award been met? has the award been activated or withdrawn?). Anyone with all campus WISDM authorization (usually someone in a Dean's Office) can look up the account in WISDM for you. As long as there is a budget in the account the status is visible to anyone with all campus view authorization in WISDM.
Period of Award: Most research awards are one year awards (fiscal year) that must be used during the one year time limit. The Research Committee rarely approves requests to extend the award period. Department administrators need to always keep in mind the fiscal year end processing deadlines. It is the department's responsibility to make sure all transactions are completed prior to the end of the fiscal year.
Budget Allocations: The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education sets up research awards with detail budgets. All expenditures must be made only in the approved budget categories, and must not exceed the amount awarded for that budget category. Refer to the original award letter for approved budget categories and amounts or view the approved budget breakdown in the WISDM Project Summary Report. Currently, you will need to change the WISDM Project Grant Default setting in order to view a VCRGE award's budget configuration. See the section Hints for Viewing a VCRGE Project Grant in WISDM for detailed instructions.
Account Coding: The coding to be used for payroll and other expenditure forms can be found in the original award letter. This coding will also show on the Award Info page in WISDM. The Activity/Program will be 4 (Research).
In WISDM, on the Award info page, the Project Department will still show the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (VCRGE) equivalent code for your department (e.g., A3448XX). The Valid Organization(s) field will show your usual department coding (e.g., A48XXXX). The Valid Organization(s) field is where one looks to see which ORGS have authorization to spend on that award. You will also see the Valid Program(s) here (i.e., 4 = Research).
Administration of Awards
Processing Expenditure forms: All expenditures forms (payrolls, requisitions, travel expense reports, etc.) should be processed by your department through your own college/school.
Allowable and Non-allowable Items: Please refer to our Research Committee Policies and Procedures for this information. In general terms, these awards are made with the understanding that they must only be used for research. Instructional expenses and classroom supplies must not be charged to these awards. Items generally viewed as departmental responsibilities (such as phones, phone line charges, office furnishings and supplies, etc.) also should not be charged to these awards. Classified personnel can not be paid from a VCRGE award.
Hints for Viewing VCRGE Project Grants in WISDM
An award will be viewable in WISDM only if you have obtained the appropriate WISDM Authorization (see Business Services SFS site for information on how to get authorized). Please note: The award will not be viewable to you until your authorized ORG has been used for a transaction on that award. Prior to activity you can view an account summary by using the WISDM "ESIS Project Summary" tool. This will let you know the account exists, but you will not be able to drill to it in WISDM to see additional information.
In wisdom you must change the WISDM Account Tree to MSN_135_PJ_GT_DFLT in order to see the approved individual budget categories. Viewing VCRGE awards with the WISDM Project Grant default Account Tree (MSN_RSP_PJ_GT_DFLT) will not only be confusing, it also will not help you administer the award correctly.
WISDM does not have a Budget Category called Flexible. When an award has only flexible funds, the flexible budget amount will show in WISDM as “[ZLUMP] Lump Sum Budgets-prjbud”. When there are specific amounts budgeted in other categories as well as the flexible fund category, the award budget becomes harder to understand in WISDM. In this case, please refer to the original award letter for details or contact Trude Schwartz (2-4991) for assistance in understanding what you see in WISDM.
Changes to Awards
Re-budget requests, award extensions, and changes to conditions of award must all be requested in advance and sent to Russell Schwalbe, 317 Bascom Hall (firstname.lastname@example.org). The request should provide details explaining why the change is needed, how the change will enhance the research, the necessary budget changes (including dollar amounts), the timing of these changes and the impact on the research. Please note that when re-budgeting salaries to non-salary items (e.g., supplies, equipment, etc.) the fringe benefit and tuition remission amounts that would have been provided if salary were paid, are not available for the re-budget. The request will be submitted to the Research Committee for their review and a decision.
Faculty Summer Salary Payments
Faculty summer salary can be paid only during the July and August pay periods. Please note: Even though an award may have a July 1 start date it will accept payroll expenses for the days in June that are part of the July Academic pay period. A work around for this last year (summer 2004) was to first enter the July payroll through the new Salary Encumbrance program with a begin date of July 1, 2004 (it would not initially accept a June begin date for the encumbrance). Once the encumbrance was entered to start on July 1, the encumbrance entry was then edited to begin on the appropriate June date for the July payroll.
Research Assistant (RA) and Project Assistant (PA) Salaries
While the awards are generally made for a given appointment percentage and a specific number of months, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education controls RA and PA salary spending by the total budgeted amount available. The salaries do not have to be spent exactly as it was written in the award letter (e.g., Annual RA - 12 months @ 50% time).
Fringe Benefit and Tuition Remission Costs
When salary is specifically awarded, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education will provide the associated fringe benefit and tuition remission multipliers for that salary amount. Fund 135 accounts will have Fringe Benefit and Tuition Remission budget categories covering these costs. VCRGE Fund 101 accounts that have salary expenditures are NOT charged Fringe Benefit and Tuition Remission multiplier amounts. Please note: When the Fringe and Tuition Remission amounts are budgeted, they should not be considered part of the overall available funds. They are only available on an award when the associated salary payment is made. If an award is re-budgeted from salary, the fringe and tuition remission amounts are not available for other expenditures associated with the project.
Salary Updates for Fall Competition Awards
At the time the award letters are written, we do not yet know the Research Assistant, Project Assistant, or Faculty salaries for the future fiscal year. These salaries (unless the award was a fixed amount of salary) will be updated when the new rates are available.
Flexible Research Funds and Using Them for Salary Support
Flexible funds may be used for any research expenditure that supports the approved project. When flexible funds are used to provide salary support, the associated fringe benefit and tuition remission amounts will also be paid from the flexible fund. The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education will not provide additional funds to cover these multiplier amounts.
Flexible funds may not be used to provide salary support, or additional salary support, for faculty without prior approval from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education. If approved, the faculty salary and related fringe benefit amount will be removed from the Flexible fund budget and become part of the Faculty Salaries and Fringe Benefit budget lines. To obtain approval please see Changes to Awards section above.
Through the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education, funding for fund 135 awards has been provided by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and utilizes income generated by patents filed through WARF by UW-Madison faculty and staff. Sponsorship of these awards by WARF should be acknowledged in any reports/publications that may arise from use of these funds.