GAP 200.171, Cross Organizational Unit Payroll Management on Sponsored Projects

  1. General
  2. Objective
  3. Roles and Responsibilities
  4. Best Practices
  5. Issue Escalation
  6. Exceptions
  7. Resources




The majority of sponsored projects at Duke have personnel that cross organizational units. These can include parent/child codes, Centers and Institutes that are responsible for grant management for faculty housed in academic departments, and other collaborations crossing organizational unit lines.

Active communication across these organizational units is needed throughout the life cycle of the project, and particularly during closeout to ensure that effort is appropriately allocated on sponsored projects.



Process and procedures must be in place to ensure that effort management is effectively coordinated across department/center/institute reporting lines. Thus, individuals with effort management responsibilities for grant-funded personnel who are not administratively housed in the grant-owning unit must be empowered to effectively manage effort for all grant-compensated employees through access to system tools or alternative procedures if system access is not permitted.

Both the grant-owning and the employee-owning units must be responsible and accountable for collaboration around effective management. Escalation procedures must be in place to ensure such collaboration is both accurate and timely.



The Grant Manager is responsible for:

  • Working with collaborating units during life of award to ensure accurate effort management and to facilitate timely and accurate reporting during Closeout Process.
  • Utilizing the payroll access tool in the Duke@Work portal Grants Management Tab to access cost distribution and Total Professional Effort (TPE), if applicable, for all personnel on the project.
  • Reaching out to employee-owning organizational unit for information on Institutional Base Salary (IBS) as needed.
  • Escalating concern if deadlines to change effort are not met.
  • At time of closeout, notifying units with personnel on closing sponsored projects of deadlines for removing effort and project end date.

The Business Manager is responsible for:

  • Ensuring appropriate payroll access for anyone responsible for effort management on a sponsored project.
  • Assisting in escalation of cross organizational unit issues.

The Employee-Owning Department/Center/Institute is responsible for:

  • Working with collaborating units during life of award to ensure accurate and timely effort management, including processing and approving iForms as needed.
  • Providing IBS as requested by the collaborating unit for employees funded by a project managed across units.
  • At time of closeout, identifying backstop code for the employee’s effort if needed. All effort should be removed from sponsored project by project end date.
See escalation procedures below.



  1. Primary responsibility for managing effort for personnel should be assigned to one organizational unit at time of project award.

  2. Professional courtesy dictates allowing at least 2 business days lead time for cross-unit approvals and responses.

  3. When moving employees from the compensatory to the non-compensatory payroll, their cost distribution should be changed to remove any sponsored project codes. As an example, an employee may be on the compensatory payroll at a zero rate due to fellowships or other non-compensatory stipends.

  4. Due to the high volume of cross organizational unit funding, Departments, Centers and Institutes must work together to determine appropriateness of providing org unit access for IBS.

  5. The Closeout Process begins 90 days before the end of the project. Notify the employee’s owning unit that the grant is ending and cost distribution changes should be processed prior to the project end date so that effort is removed 30 days prior to sponsor-determined closeout date.

  6. A Grant Manager may verify the end date of the payroll obligation by running the Project Obligations Report (available at > Grants Management Tab > Sponsored Research Reporting > Project Obligations Report).

  7. If a Grant Manager doesn’t know where to move a salary and associated compensation, it should be temporarily allocated to a fund designated by the organizational unit in consultation with the Business Manager to facilitate timely and compliant closeout.



When either side of a cross organizational unit funding situation is not adhering to expectations as laid out in this GAP, issues should be escalated. The Grant Manager should escalate to the organizational unit administrative leader for resolution. Escalation to the School/Management Center is also appropriate as a next step. Documentation of escalation should be included either in the iForms text or in notification to the Business Manager and School.



Exceptions must be documented and requested through the School/Management Center in coordination with the appropriate central offices.



GAP 200.170, Effort Reporting

GAP 200.172, Payroll Access for Effort Management on Sponsored Projects

GAP 200.180, Closeout of Sponsored Project

GAP 200.190, Parent/Child Sponsored Project Management


Note: This guidance is administrative in nature and is not a cost reimbursement policy. Failure to comply may or may not result in adjustments of charges to the award. Noncompliance with this policy does not mean this cost is unallowable from an external perspective. Any adjustments of charges will be as required under applicable federal cost reimbursement principles. If a cost is removed from an award for any reason, whether or not related to this guidance, the cost will generally be charged to departmental funds.