eCertification System: Briefing for Overseers

Overseer Briefing

This briefing is for Administrators with Overseer Authority who will use the new eCertification system quarterly to monitor the review and certification of sponsored project expenditures by PIs and their administrators. Please read this briefing before using this system for the first time.

The Principal Investigator's Responsibilities

Sponsored project and cost sharing account expenditures must be reviewed and certified by the PI quarterly in the eCertification system to confirm that they are reasonable, allowable and provide benefit (allocable) to the project. These responsibilities are detailed in The Research Policy Handbook (RPH 3.2.5).

The review and certification process must be completed within approximately 75 days after the end of each academic quarter.  Additional information about the Monthly Review and Quarterly PI Review and Certification Process can be found here.

eCertification Is a New System for a Familiar Process

Until now, PIs have documented their quarterly review and certification of project and cost sharing expenditures by signing a printed report after their research administrator documented their monthly review of project expenditures on that report. This system replaces the printed report so PIs can complete quarterly review and certification online.

Research administrators are expected to complete and document their review of project expenditures before the PI reviews and certifies. The eCertification system records this review for PIs to see.

Overseers are expected to monitor both administrator's review progress, and PI's review and certification progress.

The Data in the eCertification System

The data source is the same as the printed report. It is refreshed every two days until the close of each quarter.

The system displays confidential salary data. Stanford takes seriously its commitment to respect and protect the privacy of its faculty, students, alumni, and staff, as well as to protect the confidentiality of information important to the university's academic and research mission.

To respect and protect privacy faculty can view their own 100% salary distribution. Faculty who do not serve as a principal investigator but work on a PI’s project must review and certify their own 100% salary distribution using the printed report.

By certifying the principal investigator confirms: to the best of my knowledge that the salary and wages charged to this project are appropriate in relation to work performed on this project or that the charges are appropriate under the policies of the awarding agency relating to chargeable salaries for those who cannot do work due to the COVID-19 related restrictions. 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.

How to Use the eCertification System

  • A system tour to help you navigate is available
  • Use Firefox or Chrome as your browser. Do not use IE.
  • Use your SUnet ID and password to log in
  • Data is role specific. Roles: faculty, principal investigator, individuals with a principal investigator waiver, research administrator, school overseer. Review and certification status is available to PIs, their research administrators.
  • Progress is automatically saved and can be completed in multiple sessions.
  • Review and certification of project expenses in the eCertification system will be retained by central university staff.

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Overseer Responsibilities

As the Overseer it is important that you become familiar with the new eCertification system so you can monitor the progress of the Research Administrators and Principal Investigators for whom you are responsible. 

As an Overseer you have the following responsibilities:

  1. Review the list of Task Managers and update in ePTA manager as applicable. Ensure all Research Administrators have salary view authority in Authority Manager
  2. Review the list of certifiers to make sure that they are valid PIs and they are not listed as Task Managers
  3. Reassign a Task Managers temporarily for the quarter as necessary within the system. Select "Reassign" from the top navigation. You can temporarily reassign a task manager for one or all PTAs for one quarter.
  4. Reassign a Task Manager permanently through SU PTA Manager or SU PTA Maintenance.
  5. If you are a School Overseer, grant department overseer authority where appropriate through Authority Manager.
  6. Review all the other functionality that is available to you in the new system such as left navigation, dashboard links, drill down functionality etc.
  7. Maintain the correct Primary Task Managers for each PI and Self Certifier.
  8. Monitor Task Manager Review progress and PI Certification the progress against the due date.
  9. Assist with the escalation process as necessary.

The following award types will be marked as Review Not Tracked.  Stanford policy requires all PTAs including non-sponsored PTAs to be reviewed monthly. However, the policy does not require an administrator to document their review in the eCertification system for the following projects.

  • Joint Personnel Agreement (JPA)
  • Intergovernmental Personnel Act Agreements (IPA)
  • Personnel Services Agreement (PSA)
  • Fellowship awards
  • Financial Aid Office Sponsored funded Student-Aid
  • University Research
  • Cost-Sharing Overdrafts
  • Non-Salary threshold +/- $100
  • Project with no transactions

Launch the eCertification System

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