The PI has overall responsibility for the technical and fiscal management of a sponsored project. This includes the management of the project within funding limitations, adherence to reporting requirements and assurance that the sponsor will be notified when significant conditions related to project status change. While responsibility for the day-to-day management of project finances may be delegated to administrative or other staff, accountability for compliance with Stanford policy and sponsor requirements ultimately rests with the PI.
The eCertification System is the official record of project expenses and the basis for cost reimbursements to Stanford. This system is where the PI will review and certify project expenditures.
Sponsored project and cost sharing accounts must be reviewed and certified by the PI quarterly in the eCertification system for every sponsored project and cost sharing account.
The purpose of the review and certification is to confirm that all expenses charged to the account are allowable, allocable to the project, and reasonable. The certification of salary expenditures confirms that salaries charged to the account are supported by a corresponding expenditure of effort during the time period being certified. The certification also assures that other expenditures are for items or services purchased and used during the project period as specified by the award.
Faculty who are not Principal Investigators and whose salary is charged to sponsored projects must review and certify their payroll distribution.
The following certification statement appears in the eCertification System.
As the principal investigator I confirm that to the best of my knowledge, salary and wages charged to this project are appropriate in relation to work performed on this project. All other costs charged to this project are, to the best of my knowledge, appropriate. Where required, corrections have been or will be made through the accounting system.
Expenditures must be reviewed and certified by the certification due date, which is approximately 75 days after the end of the academic quarter being certified.
Adequate explanation and documentation for all project charges expenditures must be maintained for four years after the Stanford sponsor closes out the award. Where documentation cannot be provided as to the allowability, allocability and reasonableness of any project expenses, including but not limited to expenses incurred late in the project period, the sponsor may deny them. In this case, the PI, department or school will be expected to cover the expense from unrestricted appropriate sources. All data in the eCertification System will be retained by ORA in accordance with University record retention requirements for sponsored projects (see Guide Memo 3.1.5: Retention of Financial Records).
Any departure from the policy or procedures regarding summarization of Quarterly PI Review and Certification must be approved in advance by the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Research (DoR) and Research Financial Reporting (RFR) within ORA.