Once you have set up your project, you will need to effectively manage your project to meet project milestones, steadily spend down the budget, monitor subcontractors / employees / students, ensure compliance, and earn additional funding.
When managing your project, it is important to be aware of the roles and responsibilities of the PI and other personnel. This guide from the U-M Office of Research and Sponsored Projects lays this out very clearly.
Some key considerations to keep in mind as you manage your project:
- Review U-M procurement guidelines before making purchases. Any single expense that costs $10,000 or more must undergo a competitive bid process; so you cannot just go straight to your supplier of choice. Our RA and U-M Procurement Office will be available to support should this be a requirement for you. If you are unsure about anything, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with further questions.
- Submit monthly Concur reports for all expenses (see below for guidelines). When charging any expenses to a project, you will need to file a Concur report to track expenses and allocate them to the correct account short code. Just make sure that Concur reports are filed no more than 45 days after the expense was made.
- Hire personnel: reach out to HR (Qiana London) or the R+CP Team if you have any questions about this; otherwise, fill in this Student/Temporary Employee Request form. Also review the Student Hiring Process: A guide for faculty and staff.
- Approve hours and payment of personnel through Wolverine Access. Here are some guidelines on how to approve hours.
- Undertake a monthly review of the budget status through M-Reports (link via Wolverine Access). M-Reports is the system available for you to track spending on a project, but do remember that it reports on the month prior, so some of your recent expenses may not show up on your account report. It is common practice for faculty to “shadow account” spending on their projects, i.e. to keep an excel spreadsheet or personal note of all expenses made, so you have a real-time track of how much money is left on the project.
- Set up regular (monthly/bi-monthly/quarterly) meetings with our Research Administrator to review budget status. Faculty Principal Investigators (of which there can be only one administrative lead on a project, regardless of intellectual leadership) are individually responsible for any overspent project funds. So especially if you are nearing the end of a project, it is critical that you are closely monitoring expenses to ensure you do not overspend on your budget, and require those funds to be paid out of your salary.
- Confirm expenses are in alignment with the original proposal and budget. If the project direction and budget needs have changed, request approval for budget changes from the sponsor.
- Review project schedule and deliverables monthly. If the project schedule changes, or if unexpected circumstances occur, request a no-cost time extension from the sponsor by sending an email explaining (i.) the justification/reason needed for more time, and (ii.) the new project end date. Remember to check the sponsor guidelines for any sponsor specific requirements, and/or reach out to email@example.com if you have any further questions.
The Shared Service Center (SSC) offers reimbursement, PCard expense reconciliation, and cash advance reconciliation services to Taubman College faculty through Concur, U-M’s travel and expense application. Concur reports must be submitted no more than 45 days after the expense was made.
There are two ways to submit Concur reports for your project expenses:
- Create the report yourself through Wolverine Access OR
- Email expensereports@umich,edu to have the Shared Service Center create a report for you.
For the second method: please email firstname.lastname@example.org using the following checklist:
- In the email subject line, include the words “Reimbursement,” “PCard,” or “Cash Advance”
- Attach receipts and any related documentation. NOTE: Receipt dates, amounts, names, and locations must be visible and legible, and must show proof of payment.
- If receipts are not in English, please include clarifying information.
- Include the business purpose and ShortCode.
- Select the appropriate member of the financial team as your approver.
Once a report in Concur is complete, SSC will send an email notifying the employee that the report is ready for review and submission. Your Concur reports can be accessed through Wolverine Access.
You will NOT receive an automated alert if you overspend on your project budget. M-Reports only show financials from the previous month, and are not updated in real-time; so it is recommended that you keep a personal, up-to-date track of your expenses on the project. As you near the end of the project, it is especially important to ensure that you do not overspend on the budget. All budget overspends are the personal responsibility of the PI to cover.
The U-M Office of Research and Sponsored Projects (ORSP) website contains additional information.