- Pub Code: WG230-11WEB
- Originally held on Dec. 10, 2012
Federal Cost Allowability for Principal Investigators and Other Research Staff — An Awareness Course on OMB Circular A-21
December 10, 2012 Webinar - Listen On-Demand or Get a CD!
Acceptance of a federal research grant means that the organizational staff members who will work on the substance of the project are plunging into an accountability atmosphere that is loaded with administrative risks. This webinar will provide research staff with the right level of knowledge about the federal cost principles contained in OMB Circular A-21, to enable them to steer their project clear of the allowability pitfalls that can too often plague otherwise well-managed research projects.
The On-Demand recording will be available immediately upon purchase* as a link within a PDF file of the accompanying written materials. CDs and printed materials are shipped via USPS.
Learn to steer clear of allowability pitfalls
When a carefully crafted federal research grant application is approved, it’s certainly grounds for celebration at the institution receiving the funding. The competition for federal awards that support basic and applied research is as keen as ever, and the team that put the successful application together has reason to be relieved. But acceptance of the grant or cooperative agreement also means that the organizational staff members who will work on the substance of the project are plunging into an accountability atmosphere that is loaded with administrative risks.
So, whether you’re the project director, the principal investigator or part of the research team, it makes sense to be aware of the kinds of federal requirements that can trip you up. Foremost among these are the federal cost principles — the rules for determining what costs you can charge to the federal government, which ones you can’t and how the costs are to be documented.
In the college and university environment, the cost allowability policies are contained in an arcane document commonly known as OMB Circular A-21. While the budget of the approved award provides general structure to cost charging, many of the actual decisions about whether to charge something to a grant are going to be made at the project level by researchers and other program staff, hopefully relying on the text of Circular A-21. That may be the last time anyone scrutinizes the charge until the transaction is reviewed by auditors, and possibly questioned and recommended for disallowance. When that scenario gets labeled with the words “noncompliance” or as being indicative of “internal control deficiencies,” very little good can come out of it. And future grantseeking success is likely to be harder to come by at your institution.
This webinar has been crafted to provide research staff with the right level of knowledge about the cost principles, to enable them to steer their project clear of allowability pitfalls. Such pitfalls can too often plague otherwise well-managed research projects.
The webinar’s not intended to be the kind of “deep dive” that would qualify you to be the VP of finance or the director of sponsored programs, but it will surely help you work in concert with those key players to make sure that your institution avoids difficulty.
You’ll learn about:
- The interpretive nature of the cost principles
- The federal government’s commitment to pay its fair share of award costs
- The types of federal awards and subawards covered by the principles
- The proper distinctions between direct costs, and facility and administrative costs
- The general tests of allowability that apply to all costs charged
- The allowability of specific costs common to research projects
- Documentation requirements for effort reporting and other charges
- Audit readiness steps related to vulnerable charges
Hear Bob Lloyd, Principal of Federal Fund Management Advisor and a recognized authority on policies and practices affecting federal grants, contracts and subawards, provide a practical review of this important set of federal requirements. Bob has consulted directly with more than 30 colleges and universities on federal award management and has served under contract to 16 federal award-making agencies, including those with the largest research portfolios.
Prerequisites: Some knowledge of federal grants management requirements is helpful but not necessary
Advanced preparation: None
Attendees will receive presentation slides as well as access to background documents.
BOB LLOYD is a respected authority on policies and practices affecting the award, administration and oversight of federal grants, contracts and subawards. Mr. Lloyd has more than 40 years of experience in federal award implementation. Prior to starting his management consulting practice in Washington, D.C., in 1982, he served as the executive director of the Grants Management Advisory Service and held staff positions in two large federally funded organizations. Since then, he has been a consultant, trainer or advisor to award and audit units in 16 federal award-making departments and agencies, and to recipient and subrecipient organizations and their professional advisors located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, several U.S. territories and 18 foreign countries. He is the principal author of several reference works on federal grants management and audits, and currently serves as contributing editor to Federal Grants News and Federal Auditing News, published jointly by Atlantic Information Services and NACUBO. He also is a Charter Life Member of the National Grants Management Association and served on its Board of Directors for five years.
Who Should Attend?
- Program Managers
- Principal Investigators
- Sponsored Programs Administrators
- Grant and Subgrant Managers
- Finance Managers
The costs of webinars sponsored by Federal Fund Management Advisor are allowable charges to your federal grants and subgrants. Each of the sets of federal cost principles issued by OMB for federal awards administered by state, local, and tribal governments, colleges and universities, and nonprofit organizations explicitly states that the costs of training for employee development and vocational effectiveness are allowable. For your records, the specific citations are:
- OMB Circular A-21 (2 CFR 220), Appendix A, Paragraph J.51—Colleges and Universities
- OMB Circular A-87 (2 CFR 225), Appendix B, Paragraph 42—State, Local and Tribal Governments
- OMB Circular A-122 (2 CFR 230), Appendix C, Paragraph 49(a)—Nonprofit Organizations
CDs (and accompanying written materials) are shipped via UPS. Please give us your street address when you order (UPS does not deliver to PO boxes). You should receive your order within two weeks.* Shipping and handling cost is $12.
The On-Demand Recording will be delivered as a link within a PDF file of the accompanying written materials. Shipping will NOT be charged for this item.
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