Sponsored Programs Lifecycle

Identify Funding

Once a principal investigator (PI) develops an idea for a project, the RF helps seek out and secure a sponsor by identifying appropriate funding opportunities and advising PIs about sponsor agency rules, regulations and procedures.

Prepare and Submit Proposal

When a PI is ready to prepare a proposal for funding, the RF assists in several key areas:

Budgeting: RF sponsored programs staff provide advice on how to calculate some of the project costs and how to understand which costs can or cannot be included. RF staff can also help the PI make sure that all items listed in the budget are reasonable and allowable and are allocated specifically to the project.

Developing the Proposal Narrative: RF sponsored programs staff are available to review proposal drafts, offer feedback, and suggest revisions that might strengthen the proposal. RF staff will communicate with the PI and staff about any revisions required to comply with sponsor or University policies, or to state and federal regulations

Submitting the Proposal: RF sponsored programs staff review  the proposal to make sure it is complete, accurate and complies with all relevant requirements. Then, as SUNY’s authorized representative, the RF submits the proposal to the sponsor.


Accept and Set Up Award

Under its 1977 Agreement with SUNY, the RF receives all funds awarded by sponsors to support research projects on SUNY campuses.

In this capacity, RF sponsored programs staff negotiate and accept awards on behalf of PIs and their campuses. This involves examining the details of the proposed agreement—including the amount of the award, the start and end dates of the grant, reporting requirements, and other deliverables. The goal is to ensure that these items conform to RF and SUNY policies and procedures and comply with all applicable state and federal regulations.

After the award is accepted, sponsored programs staff  create an account for the project in the RF’s business system. The RF uses this account to process human resources, grants administration and purchasing/payables transactions; track all project expenditures; and generate financial reports for sponsors.


Manage Award

While PIs focus on their research, the RF handles the behind-the-scenes work required to keep the project running:

  • Billing sponsors for payments
  • Hiring people to work on the project
  • Buying equipment and supplies
  • Running payroll for the project
  • Managing the project’s finances
  • Identifying, disclosing and protecting any intellectual property created during the project.

As the RF carries out these functions, RF Report Center allows the PI to monitor the project’s financial activities, verify payment of submitted expenses and make sure there are no unauthorized charges against the award.

PIs also file technical and progress reports to sponsors.

In addition, when a federal agency sponsors a project, the PI must submit periodic effort reports, certifying that employees who work on the project have completed the efforts for which they were hired.  To help PIs meet this obligation, the RF has implemented an online effort reporting certification tool.


Close Out Award 

RF sponsored programs staff  work with the PI to ensure that all award terms and conditions have been met. This includes reconciling project expenditures, submitting final technical and financial reports, and ensuring that all invoiced funds are received from the sponsor.