The University of Iowa

Project Management Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Project Director Roles and Responsibilities
  2. Departmental Executive Officer Roles and Responsibilities
  3. Collegiate Dean Roles and Responsibilities
  4. Division of Sponsored Programs Roles and Responsibilities
  5. Grant Accounting Office Roles and Responsibilities

a. Project Director Roles and Responsibilities

The project director is responsible for the sponsored project's overall programmatic and fiscal direction. In that role, he or she must decide how best to allocate the available financial resources to successfully carry out the project activities, and may require the department's assistance with the routine paperwork associated with the obligation and expenditure of funds and in the regular review of the project's fiscal status. The project director is ultimately responsible to his or her departmental executive officer for resolving in a timely manner any over-expenditures or unallowable costs that occur on a sponsored project. The project director assumes responsibility for project fiscal management; for adhering to all University, governmental, and sponsor certifications, policies, and regulations; and for reporting any inventions and/or financial conflicts of interest in accordance with prescribed University policies. For additional information on inventions and financial conflicts, see the UI Intellectual Property Policy within the UI Operations Manual, Section V, Chapter 30, and the UI Conflict of Interest Policy within the UI Operations Manual, Section II, Division I, Chapter 18.

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b. Departmental Executive Officer Rol​es and Responsibilities

The Departmental Executive Officer (DEO) is responsible for assuring that costs incurred under sponsored projects conducted within the department comply with sponsor and University policies and can be achieved with the resources available to the project directors. Discharge of this important role should follow an established review process and be performed regularly. In the event of project over-expenditures, the DEO must draw from departmental resources to cover the over-expenditures.

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c. Collegiate Dean Roles and Responsibilities

The Collegiate Dean is responsible for general oversight of the sponsored activities conducted within the college. This may include, but is not limited to, assuring that departments have adequate facilities and other resources for achieving project goals and objectives; assuring that faculty time commitments on sponsored activities do not conflict with other departmental or University responsibilities; monitoring departmental financial resources; and assuring that departments are complying with the various regulatory requirements of the sponsors and the University as they apply to sponsored activities. Collegiate Deans may also be asked to contribute interim financial support for project directors who experience a temporary loss of external support for their research activities.

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d. Division of Sponsored Programs Roles and Responsibilities

In addition to the responsibilities described in the UI Operations ManualSection V, Chapter 5.2, the Division of Sponsored Programs is responsible for preparing and issuing subcontracts; interpreting sponsor and University policies as they apply to project management; and acting as the University Authorizing Official, signing project-related correspondence on behalf of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development. For more information, please visit the DSP website.

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e. Grant Accounting Office Roles and Responsibilities

The Grant Accounting Office is responsible for providing a number of post-award services associated with the fiscal management of sponsored projects, including, but not limited to, establishing the accounting and budget records for sponsored projects; interpreting sponsor and University fiscal policies for faculty and staff; working with faculty and staff to provide accurate and timely financial information in relation to sponsored projects; monitoring expenditures for compliance with sponsor and University policies and procedures; preparing financial reports for sponsors; carrying out all cash-management responsibilities associated with the funding of sponsored projects; and acting as a liaison with other University administrative support units, sponsors, and auditors. For more information, please see the GAO website.

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