Most sponsors expect the PI to provide reports periodically and/or at specific points in a project, as well as at the completion of the project. These are formally required deliverables (i.e., legal obligations) for which both you and the University will be held accountable by the sponsor.
COVID-19 Impact: PIs should proactively report the impact of COVID-19 on your funded projects including any potential change to the outcomes.
As the person having overall responsibility for the programmatic objectives of any sponsored project, the PI is responsible for all deliverables, including timely submission of progress reports, final reports, and other reports to the sponsor describing progress, utilization of resources, and outcomes. Be sure that you fully understand the reporting requirements of each award.
COVID-19 Impact: Many federal sponsors have encouraged PIs to include information on the impact of the pandemic in their annual progress report (RPPR for NIH). If there is not an opportunity to report on impact within the annual reporting cycle, PIs should reach out to their Program Officer to identify any need for special reporting.
Reporting per the sponsor’s requirements is something you agreed to when you accepted the role of PI. Failure to comply with the sponsor’s reporting requirements can have significant repercussions for you and for others. Sponsors can and do suspend a PI’s funding in cases where progress or final technical reports are past due. A sponsor can also put a hold on all new awards to the University because of one PI’s delinquency in reporting.
Making false statements in reports for federally sponsored research violates the Federal False Claims Act and carries the risk of substantial financial penalties and criminal charges with penalties that can include imprisonment.
Be aware of the reporting schedule associated with each award and ensure that complete and accurate reports are submitted on time.
COVID-19 Impact: Be succinct and informative with your Program Officer, and focused on your mutual interest in being as productive as possible under the circumstances. Remember that different Federal agencies have different approaches to COVID-19 impact reporting. Remember that non-Federal sponsors might not provide the same allowances for personnel costs, costs of adaptation to the circumstances, or impacts on research outcomes.
Your Contract and Grant Specialist can advise on the best approach to consultation with the sponsor.