Chapter 11: Transfer Issues in Grant Administration

Transfer Issues in Grant Administration

11.1 Policies and Procedures for when a PI/PD Leaves Boston University
The ability to transfer a sponsored project from Boston University to another institution is dependent upon the regulations and policies of the sponsoring agency and those of BU. Policies vary widely between sponsors, and the PI/PD is strongly encouraged to contact the appropriate OSP office for specific information as soon as possible after deciding to move to another institution. There are four parties involved in any transfer request: the PI/PD, the original institution, the new institution, and the sponsor. Should the original institution decide not to nominate another PI/PD or to continue the project at the institution, and if the new institution is willing to undertake the administration of the project, the sponsor will usually agree to the transfer. Criteria for this decision include the following:

  • Consideration of the time left on the project.
  • The amount of remaining funds.
  • What, if any, work will remain at BU.
  • Whether the new institution has adequate facilities, equipment, and staff.

The PI/PD should remember that equipment purchased on prior awards or earlier competing segments of the award that is being transferred are the property of the University and may not be transferred to the new institution without specific permission and, occasionally, appropriate compensation for any cost-sharing or alterations/renovations originally required to put the equipment in service. This also applies to equipment included as part of a faculty start-up package.

Please see “Faculty Departure Procedures” on the BU Faculty Central website, under the Faculty Handbook and School Bylaws section.

11.1.1 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Awards

To transfer an NIH award from BU, NIH requires the submission of an “Official Statement Relinquishing Interests and Rights in a Public Health Service Research Grant,” which signifies the original institution’s willingness to terminate the grant and relinquish all claims to any unexpended funds. The form indicates the proposed date of transfer and estimates the amount of funds that remain in the account.
Transfer of NIH Award from BU:
In making this transfer of an NIH award from BU to another institution, the following forms are required:

All requests must be routed through the departmental business office to OSP for review and processing. A proposal (SF 424) must be prepared by the new institution and submitted to NIH.

To transfer an NIH award to BU, the Relinquishing Statement is completed by the original institution and sent to NIH. The PI/PD must prepare a new proposal (PHS 398) at BU for submission to NIH. The proposal must be routed through OSP, as with all other proposals. This is normally accomplished as close to the start date at BU as possible to minimize the break in the research.
Transfer of NIH Award to BU

11.1.2 National Science Foundation (NSF) Awards

To transfer an NSF award from BU, the NSF Grant Transfer Request must be completed in FastLane by the PI/PD. OSP must be given access to review the request and submit it to NSF. The Transfer Request will be sent to the new institution, which will prepare a budget for the unobligated balance in the current year and any future committed years of the grant. The budget, a progress report and statement of work to be accomplished, plus appropriate certifications will be sent to NSF by the new institution.

To transfer an NSF award to BU, the NSF Grant Transfer Request must be completed by the original institution and sent to NSF via FastLane. NSF will then send the Grant Transfer Request to the new institution. The departmental business office will prepare a budget for the unobligated balance in the current year and any future committed years of the grant. The budget, institutional information, and statement of work to be accomplished must be sent to OSP for review and submission to NSF, along with appropriate certifications. the proposal must be routed through OSP, as with all other proposals.
Transfer of NSF Award to BU

11.1.3 Other Sponsors and Non-Transferable Awards
Information specific to other sponsors can be obtained from OSP. Some sponsors have their own forms while others may require letters seeking approval for transfers. Timelines vary among organizations. Some awards are not eligible for transfer because they are dependent upon institutional resources (for example, training grants and awards for undergraduate laboratory equipment). Clinical trial agreements are also not transferable and must be closed out prior to the PI/PD leaving BU.

11.1.4 Transfer and Disposition of Equipment
Equipment purchased with University funds in whole or in part is the property of Boston University. Equipment purchased using funds from an external sponsor may belong to the University or to the sponsor depending upon the sponsor’s regulations. When a faculty member wishes to transfer equipment purchased either under grants or by the institution, Property Management should be contacted to provide information about ownership and undepreciated value to the department chair. In most cases, equipment purchased on currently active awards normally transfer to the new institution, but permission must be granted by the department chair for the transfer of equipment acquired from grants, but now owned by BU. When funds from BU were used to buy equipment, permission is also required from the dean and provost to move it.

11.1.5 Safety, Research, and Administrative Considerations Upon Leaving Boston University
Boston University is in the process of developing an Exit Checkout Procedure for all Administrative/Professional and Teaching/Research faculty and professional research staff to be executed prior to employee termination. Termination is any voluntary or non-voluntary resignation or retirement. This formal process is being created in order to mitigate financial risk and other liabilities associated with improper handling and management of materials, equipment, and information when an employee leaves the University. It also provides a uniform approach to the management of grants and contracts in which researchers or faculty are involved, formalizes data retention and transfer procedures, provides information about committee activities and assignments, as well as completing all necessary human resources, library, and departmental documents needed upon departure.

Please see “Faculty Departure Procedures” on the BU Faculty Central website, under the Faculty Handbook and School Bylaws section.