Last updated on June 29, 2022 6 min read Grant Management Tools & Resources - Getting Started with Grant Management

Throughout the lifecycle of your externally funded award, these are key resources and concepts that you may find yourself coming back to. We recommend familiarizing yourself with these ideas, bookmarking these pages, and taking these actions as they pertain to your role in grants management.

Key Resources and Information

Here are a few key resources you may find useful throughout your project’s lifecycle, from proposal development to award closeout.

First Steps

Important Reference Information

Training Options

The following trainings give a broad overview of topics and situations you are likely to encounter during your project’s lifecycle:

  • Fundamentals of Research Administration (login required): Training modules that provide an overview of each step of the project life cycle, BU’s policies pertaining to them, and actions that administrators and SP takes to facilitate grant management. This training is online, self-paced, and each module can be completed in about 20 minutes.
  • Grants Management Training Webpage: Additional trainings and webinars on important topics that may pertain to your role, such as subawards, effort reporting, and cost sharing.
  • DA Training Events: RSVP for upcoming events and training opportunities.
  • BU Works: These technical trainings will walk you through Business Warehouse Reporting, Human Capital Management, Concur, and other tools you will use to manage your award.

Proposal Development and Submission

This section of the Getting Started with Grant Management Guide will point you to steps and resources you will need to take as soon as you (or your PI) have decided to pursue a funding opportunity.

Action Items

  1. Contact Sponsored Programs: Your Sponsored Programs research administrator can assist you with any questions you may have during the proposal preparation process. As far in advance as possible, even before you have started preparing your grant, notify Sponsored Programs of your plans to apply, and provide a copy of the sponsor’s program guidelines and the RFP for reference.
  2. Initiate contact with the sponsor: A key element of successful proposal writing is establishing a relationship with the potential sponsor early on in the process to confirm that the proposal is worth pursuing. The PI can initiate contact with the sponsoring organization to confirm research interests via a telephone call, office visit, letter of intent, or preliminary proposal.
  3. Register with federal agency
    • Many federal agencies, including NSF, NIH, and NASA, require principal investigators, project directors, and other personnel participating on a research project to be registered with the agency.
    • The NIH registration process must be coordinated through a central Sponsored Programs representative who is authorized to request registration credentials. Since affiliations are typically institution-specific, faculty are reminded that—even if registered via one institution—an additional institutional affiliation or change of institution requires a new registration.
    • For all other federal agencies, investigators and research personnel can create their own account. Please reach out to if you need assistance or have questions.

        Register with eRA Commons

    • Review program guidelines: If a sponsor has published a solicitation, RFP, program announcement, or any other request for proposals, the PI/PD should read it carefully prior to beginning proposal preparation. In addition, the PI/PD should review any application preparation instructions and forms published by the sponsor.
    • Explore the Proposal Library: The Proposal Library is an access-restricted repository of successful letters of intent, applications/proposals, and related materials recently submitted by BU faculty to external funders.
    • Mark your calendar with your internal deadlines. Grant materials are due to Sponsored Programs up to 10 days earlier than your sponsor deadline. Review the section below to learn more and mark these dates in your calendar early.
    More on Proposal Writing & Grant Management

          Know Your Internal Deadlines & Requirements

          To ensure that BU meets sponsor requirements, proposals for external funding must be reviewed and submitted by Sponsored Programs. To ensure that your proposal is submitted on time and without error, please adhere to the Proposal Submission Policy and the following deadlines:

          Deadline #1:

          As soon as known or 10 business days in advance of sponsor deadline

          What’s due to SP:

          • Notice of intent to submit a proposal
          • Funding opportunity announcement link
          Deadline #2:

          5 business days in advance of sponsor deadline

          What’s due to SP:

          • Completed internal BU documents
          • Completed sponsor administrative documents
          • Final budget and justification
          Deadline #3:

          3 business days in advance of sponsor deadline

          What’s due to SP:

          • Final technical components

          Your proposal must include the Proposal Summary Form signed by the BU Principal Investigators and all appropriate school approvals. For full information on what you should include in your proposal, review Preparing Proposal Submission Documents.

          More on Proposal Submission

          Managing your Award

          Congratulations on your proposal’s success! This section of the Getting Started with Grant Management Guide points you to key actions and resources you will engage with after you receive a Notice of Award.

          Account Set Up and Monitoring

          • Track your award’s account set-up using the Award Set-Up Tracker (login required). There you will find the latest information regarding your account set-up, including missing documentation and reasons for delays.
          • If your award includes subawards, use the Outgoing Subaward Tracker to see status updates regarding your outgoing subawards. This will detail any missing requirements that may be delaying subaward setup.
          • After your account has been set up, you will review your award details in the Business Warehouse. This platform is where most of your grant management will occur. Boston University’s IS&T regularly hosts training sessions regarding SAP and BW Reporting, with upcoming dates provided on their website.

          Expenditure and Salary

          • Become familiar with the terminology and numbering systems within SAP
          • You’re ready to process expenditures on your award! Start spending!
            • Processing Payroll: IS&T’s HCM (Human Capital Management) trainings will introduce you to processing payroll.
            • Purchase Orders: Sourcing & Procurement guides you through making purchases for your sponsored project.
            • Travel Expenses: Travel Services provides several how-to guides to help you navigate using Concur for your travel expenses.
            • Disbursement Requests: Accounts Payable hosts the forms you need for disbursement requests, including those for subrecipients.
            • Keep an eye out for emails regarding personnel activity report (PAR) deadlines! There are two PAR periods each year: January-June and July-December. Effort certification is required by federal guidelines, and any late or incomplete PARs run the risk of disallowance. Prepare for upcoming PARs by reviewing the Effort Reporting Periods.
            • After the Fact Review: These Comptroller resources help department administrators review account transactions without error.
          More on Managing an Award & Financials

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