Fiscal Questions

Posted on November 21, 2007

Victoria J. Grochocinski (bio) advises good communication with the budget department.

 

When you get an NGA [Notice of Grant Award], the NGA will identify different types of people in that agency that you should be in contact with about your grant. You will have; there will be a financial person who if you have any kinds of budget questions that person is there to help handle those, and then there will be more of a program officer who handles more generic things because they’re pretty distinct from one another. And certainly you probably won’t run into too many problems that you can’t work out with your program officer, but there may be some fiscal issues that you don’t quite understand that maybe your fiscal people in your university will have a much better understanding of.

What if you’re contacted by NIH and they say, “You’re not spending any money”? Well, from as far as you can tell you’re spending money. You hired a person. You did this. You bought some equipment, but the university has to report back to NIH these activities, so if you’re not aware of what they’re doing and you get this kind of contact you’re going to have to contact your university people and ask them to step in and resolve that kind of problem. It’s useful if you follow that process along just for your own edification; conference call to solve the problem.

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Excerpted from interview with researcher at the 2007 Career Development Institute for Bipolar Disorder in Pittsburgh, PA.

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