15. Project Closeout

Reports and Records  

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Stanford Policy

* Fiscal Responsibilities
of PIs

* Retention of and Access
to Research Data

* Retention of Financial




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* Closeout Strategy

Projects are considered completed or "closed out" after the sponsor receives and approves all reports as required by the terms and conditions of the award, and notifies Stanford of its acceptance and closure of the project.

Reports required at the close of a project are generally due within 90 days of the project end date. These include:

  • a final technical report - submitted by the PI
  • final inventions report - submitted by the PI
  • final financial report - submitted by OSR upon the certification of expenditures by the PI
  • final property report - submitted by the University Property Administrator.

In Spring 2002, the Office of Naval Research submitted a formal request to Stanford for a corrective action plan related to delinquent project reports. Since then, Stanford's Office of Sponsored Research has developed policies, procedures and tools to assist in the closeout process. See OSR Closeout Strategy.

As described in that memo, when submitting final project reports the Department should send a copy of the front page or cover letter to OSR (or to the Research Management Group in the School of Medicine, or Engineering Research Administration in the School of Engineering). This will facilitate postaward audits, and minimize requests to the PI and Department staff for evidence that reports were submitted.

Failure to submit required reports by the sponsor's deadline can result in the sponsor withholding continued funding or final payment on an award, and/or suspension and termination of any and all active awards. Close-Out

In some cases, an individual award was cancelled; in others, all of that sponsor's awards to Stanford were held pending submission of reports. In one case, a sponsor held up funding to a different PI in another department because of an individual's failure to respond to repeated requests for a technical report.

Project records, both scientific and administrative, need to be retained for specified periods after close-out. Normally, the retention period is four years. Records are subject to audit at any time during this period.


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