Grants Process at UWM: An Overview
The grant process at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee begins with a researcher submitting a detailed proposal and a budget of the required resources to be spent based on an award from an extramural funding agency. In general terms, extramural support can include a gift, grant, or a contract.
Researchers should discuss their projects with their department chairs or directors and must secure the school or college dean's approval through an electronic routing and approval system, WISPER. Before final grant submission, the researcher must also complete a Conflict of Interest and Outside Activities Disclosure statement regarding financial interests. Proposals must be approved by the sponsored programs office including budgets. The office also approves contracts.
In cases where compliance or compliance certifications requirements are related to a project, the principal investigator must fulfill all required provisions before work can begin on a project. If a researcher is awarded a grant, expenditures are typically reimbursed by the federal government or extramural funding entity as work proceeds—not with a single check upfront.
As the project is expedited, all invoices related to the research including salaries or expenses are processed and reviewed through your school or college business manager or department along with the purchasing office. Any significant change in project scope or budget changes including time extensions or cost transfers must be approved by the sponsored programs office and in some cases the funding agency.
The researcher is also responsible for reporting personnel effort on a project through an electronic system, ECRT (Effort System). The lead researcher or principal investigator handles the day-to-day management of the project and is expected to ensure sub-award or subcontract work is done properly.
When the project is completed, the researcher must submit final scientific and financial reports as required in the award document in consultation with the sponsored programs office. The project account is then closed out once the project expenditures match the project budget. Granting agencies such as the National Institutes of Health review these reports and conduct audits of some projects. State and University auditors can do the same.