Research Administrator Responsibilities

At Case Western Reserve University, principal investigators (PI) and department- and school- based research administrators work together to effectively manage grants. They each have unique roles in the process. Below, the Office of Research and Technology Management outlines the responsibilities of research administrators, which include any and all staff—regardless of title— who actively administer research projects. 

Research Administrators’ Roles and Responsibilities

Managing a research grant involves various administrative roles and responsibilities to ensure that funds are used effectively and in accordance with the grant's objectives and regulations. 
Here's an overview of the administration's roles and responsibilities in managing a research grant: 

  • Finding and submitting research proposals: Research administrators assist researchers in preparing grant applications by providing guidelines, budget templates, subrecipient commitment documents, and ensuring compliance with funding agency requirements. They manage the SpartaGrants submission process and are responsible for the review and approval of proposal submissions prior to submission to PASA. Explore tools for finding funding or review resources about proposal submission
  • Award acceptance: The research administrator is responsible for working with PASA to provide required information in SpartaGrants. This includes the provision of detailed budgets and compliance approvals. See the steps for accepting and setting up an award. 
  • Award management: Research administrators oversee the budget allocated for the grant, ensuring that expenses are within the approved limits and align with the project's goals. They monitor expenditures, process financial transactions, allocate salaries, and provide guidance on budget adjustments if necessary. The research administrator is responsible for submitting documentation through SpartaGrants for changes to awards that require administrative or sponsor approval. They ensure that all parties understand their obligations and responsibilities, and they monitor compliance with contractual terms. They serve as a resource for resolving administrative issues and navigating grant-related procedures. Explore guidance for the various components of award management
  • Effort reporting: Research administrators are responsible for the review and submission of effort reports for assigned departments, units or schools to ensure compliance with federal regulations. All faculty, staff, postdocs, and students engaged in sponsored projects are required to complete effort reports. Understand the CWRU effort reporting process and policy
  • Reporting and documentation: Research administrators are responsible for preparing and submitting regular progress reports, financial reports, and other documentation required by the funding agency in collaboration with the principal investigator. They are responsible for maintaining accurate records of project activities, expenses, and reports for audit purposes. Review various reporting obligations
  • Closure and post-grant activities: Research administrators are responsible for coordinating the closure of the grant, including final financial and scientific reporting, financial reconciliation, submission of inventions disclosure statements and compliance with any other post-award close out requirements required by the sponsor in accordance with sponsor deadlines. Understand the award and post-award project close-out process

Review PI Responsibilities