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OSP/GFA Working Group Update

The mission of the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) and Grants Fiscal Administration (GFA) Working Group is to develop and promote clearly defined policies and procedures that facilitate and support faculty and staff external funding endeavors while maintaining integrity and compliance for all sponsored programs at Northern Illinois University. The Working Group includes representatives from OSP and GFA and is led by OSP Director Dara Little and GFA Director Linda Blair. Representatives include: Cindy Barnes, Kristin Duffy, Carrie Blackwood-Williams, and Rachael Andel.

The Group is pleased to report progress on the three initiatives outlined in the December newsletter.

Electronic Institutional Prior Approval System or e-IPAS

Since winter 2012, the Working Group has been piloting the electronic Institutional Prior Approval System (e-IPAS) to further streamline the institutional approval process for agency prior approval requests and no cost extensions. The pilot has been underway for PIs in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (CLAS) who have active awards. While there have been successes with the online submission process, the routing system still requires some refinements.  The Working Group is working closely with ITS on these refinements and plans to roll out the electronic process to the entire campus as soon as possible. The Working Group extends our thanks to the PIs, Chairs and CLAS leadership who have assisted with this effort thus far.

The policy that guides project changes, Managing Project Changes on Federally Funded Extramural Awards, is available at: http://www.osp.niu.edu/osp/_pdf/managingprojectchangesNew.pdf

Subaward Process Improvement

A new streamlined process for executing subawards with collaborating institutions has been implemented. The Working Group continues to work with the NIU Office of General Counsel and the Procurement Office to further develop subaward templates and language that will facilitate the timely execution of these agreements.

Roles-Responsibilities Matrix

The Working Group has developed a matrix to outline the roles and responsibilities of the pre-award (OSP) and post-award (GFA) offices. With the matrix, PIs will be able to better identify which office and personnel to contact for a particular activity related to a sponsored project. The Group is making final reviews and expects to release the matrix on our Office websites as soon as possible.