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SPA Newsletter - Spring 2024


Sponsored Programs Administration Newsletter

Spring 2024

Greetings from SPA/OSP/CGA!

Although campus may seem a bit quieter now that many of the students and faculty have left for the summer, research (and research administration) continues to move ahead at full speed. The fast pace and frequent changes to regulations and processes can present challenges, but they also present us with opportunities to learn and develop. Thank you for taking the time to read the SPA News.

This issue of the newsletter includes articles on recent changes that impact our work, including updates to MSU's COI Disclosure, a new Just in Time process in OSP, and a new closeout deadline for expenses. Staff have also put together some articles that offer clarification and helpful tips on topics such as when to use RG accounts, how to budget for speaker fees vs. honorariums, how and when to budget for data management and sharing costs, and how researchers can publish open access at no cost to them thanks to several “read and publish” agreements through the MSU Libraries.

As usual, this issue also announces the recipient of the Unit RA Spotlight Award. Our offices are proud to sponsor this award, and I continue to be encouraged and inspired by the amazing work being done by MSU's research administrators.

I hope you enjoy this edition of our newsletter! For suggestions for future content or feedback on this issue, please contact Erin Schlicher (, or me ( My thanks to the authors and contributors who made this newsletter possible.

Twila Fisher Reighley
Associate Vice President for Research, Sponsored Programs

MSU COI Disclosure Updated

by Alisia Lamborghini – Director, Conflict Disclosures and Management

Federal funding agencies, such as the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense, are currently imposing restrictions on the participation of sponsored research personnel in "Malign Foreign Talent Recruitment Programs" as mandated by the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022.

In response, a new section was added to the MSU conflict of interest (COI) disclosure in the Kuali COI System in early May to ask about "Malign Foreign Talent Recruitment Programs". Per the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, participation in a Malign Foreign Talent Recruitment Program will prohibit individuals from applying for and receiving federal research funding.

In order to assist our researchers with complying with these new federal requirements, MSU has established a resource team to answer questions related to this topic. The resource team can be reached at:

The following resources provide further information on these programs:

Note: The MSU Office of Research and Innovation and the Office of the Provost acknowledge that federal guidelines employ the term "foreign," which does not align with MSU's values. Federal terminology is only used where appropriate, and capitalized to define the Terms of Art that the federal agencies are employing in this area of compliance.

New Closeout Deadline for Expenses

by Andrew Cascaddan and Kasey Schiellerd, CGA

MSU's Contract and Grant Administration supports the University's research mission and provides support to units related to the administration and compliance of sponsored program awards. CGA is updating the award closeout process to address industry trends and new agency requirements. These updates will assist in timely closeouts, compliance with agency requirements and reduction of MSU's audit and financial risks.

Effective July 1, 2024, there will be a deadline for the posting of final expenses on sponsored program RC/RG accounts. Costs that are reflected on the RC/RG account's Operating Statement by the deadline date will be included in final reimbursement requests to the sponsor. Costs that are not posted to the RC/RG account's Operating Statement by the deadline date will not be submitted for reimbursement and must be covered by an unrestricted MSU account.

For most sponsored program accounts, units will have 30-60 days to ensure that the project's final costs are posted to the account's Operating Statement for inclusion in the final reimbursement request to the sponsor. However, the deadline may be earlier or later depending on the terms of the award. CGA is in the process of creating a field in Account Explorer that will include the deadline date, which will also be reflected in communication from CGA during the project period.

Although the process is effective July 1, 2024, we understand that units will need to prepare for the new process and that accounts ending prior to this date may need additional time. CGA will work with those units on a case-by-case basis. More information will be sent out to the SPA listserv in June 2024 and the updated process will be posted to the Sponsored Programs Administration page when final.

Image of fall leaves on the Red Cedar River.
Photo courtesy of University Communications

RG Accounts – When Are They Used?

by Stacy Salisbury, CGA

According to the MSU Manual of Business Procedures, The RG Sub-Fund is “used to account for Sponsored Projects where the University contracts with a 3rd party to conduct a certain set of procedures…” To facilitate accountability and cleaner records management for RG accounts that are funded by multiple sponsors (i.e. not for a stand-alone agreement), accounts will be closed after five years. Naming will no longer indicate “General Research” but instead be specific to a research topic that will be included in the KFS Account Name.

As Contract and Grant Administration (CGA) completes this transition, you may be contacted about closing RG Accounts. When old accounts are closed, funding that is no longer fulfilling the duties as outlined in the funding agreement may be transferred to a sub-fund appropriate for housing a more general research funding, such as an RN Account.

For sponsored research that extends beyond five-years in an RG Account funded by multiple sponsors, it is possible for a new RG Account to be created for the continued research. The Principal Investigator can explain that the scope of work is still in process. If the account being closed includes a balance greater than $25,000, there should also be an explanation regarding why there is a significant balance remaining.

Any questions can be directed to Stacy Salisbury at:

New Just in Time Process in OSP

by Dana deMink and Laura Johnston, OSP

2023 and 2024 have seen a marked increase in the number of proposals submitted by MSU researchers. With an increase in proposals comes an increase in sponsor communications requesting additional and revised information, frequently referred to as the Just in Time (JIT) phase. Some examples of sponsor JIT requests include:

  • a revised budget
  • clarification on budget items
  • updated Current and Pending/Other Support
  • human subject or animal approval letters
  • representations and certifications required as a potential subcontractor to a national laboratory or defense agency

In response, OSP has created a dedicated resource to focus on these post submission changes and submitting Just in Time information to the sponsor. A new group inbox has been created specifically for JIT requests, If a sponsor contacts you directly for a request for JIT information, please email, or reach out to the OSP proposal team that helped you submit your proposal. Responses to JIT requests will likely be from Dana deMink, who will be leading the new JIT process.

Image of fall leaves on the Red Cedar River.
Photo courtesy of University Communications

MSU Researchers Can Now Publish Open Access For No Cost to Them in Thousands of Journals

by Susan Kendall, MSU Libraries

Thanks to several “read and publish” agreements by the MSU Libraries, MSU corresponding authors (faculty, staff, or students) can now publish their articles open access for no cost to them in thousands of journals with certain publishers. The list of these agreements can be found on the MSU Libraries Open Access Support web site along with details and an FAQ. To best take advantage of this benefit, note the publisher for a journal of interest against the list. There is no extra work involved except for authors clearly designating that they are from MSU and using an MSU email when submitting articles for publication.

Open access publishing is an option that is now available for most journals, including the highest impact and most prestigious journals. Quality of peer review has nothing to do with whether one chooses open access and everything to do with the quality of the journal itself. So, MSU authors will always want to check for quality and legitimacy of a publishing venue separate from any decision to publish open access. Publishing articles open access has many benefits. It can lead to higher citation, community engagement, and impact, inside and outside academia. It also fulfills research funder requirements.

More agreements are being added over time as money allows, and any questions or comments can be sent to Susan Kendall (, Head of Collection Strategies at the MSU Libraries.

Spring 2024 Research Admin Spotlight Award header image

by Twila Reighley, AVP for Research; Erin Schlicher, SPA

The offices of Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA), Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), and Contract and Grant Administration (CGA) are honored to recognize excellence and exemplary service through the Research Administrator (RA) Spotlight Award. We are happy to announce that Lisa Parker was selected as the Spring 2024 awardee. Congratulations Lisa, and thank you for playing an integral role in advancing MSU's research mission! We appreciate your dedication and hard work.

Photo of Lisa Parker

Lisa Parker

Research Administrator II
Institute of Quantitative Health Sciences and Engineering (IQ)
and Department of Biomedical Engineering,
College of Engineering

Lisa has worked at MSU for 34 years, and currently provides pre-award and post-award research administration services for 24 of the 40 faculty members in IQ. “Our faculty are very research focused, so I'm kept really busy with pre-award submissions and post-award for multiple grant accounts held by the different faculty members. The research here is very NIH based, but we have multiple NSF, DOE, DOD, and other sponsor grants.”

What do you enjoy most about your job here?

“What I like best about my job is being a resource for my faculty. Knowing that they can come to me with any question and I can help or find them someone who can help. Plus the people I work with here at IQ are amazing!!”

What advice do you have for new research administrators?

“The advice I have for someone new to research administration is to find a network of people who you can ask questions/get advice from. Finding who to call when you need an answer can save you hours of time. 99.9% of the time, there is someone on campus who has done the thing that you have a question about.”

Image of fall leaves on the Red Cedar River.
Photo courtesy of University Communications

DMS Costs Explained

by Erin Schlicher, SPA and Amber Nichols, OSP

Most of MSU's Federal awards require publicly sharing research publications, and agencies are in various stages of implementing requirements for data sharing. For NIH projects, a Data Management and Sharing (DMS) Plan must be submitted with each proposal, and the approved plan must be implemented if the proposal is funded. Project budgets should include expected DMS costs when applicable.

Why is it important to include DMS costs in my budget?

There are real costs associated with data management and sharing, and not including them in your budget request could result in the project going over budget.

A recent NSF-funded study conducted by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) (grant #2135874) found that DMS activities are associated with substantial costs to both researchers and institutions. Among the institutions included in the study, the average expenditure for DMS activities during the entire grant period was $29,800, which equated to nearly 6% of the total award amount. Average DMS costs were higher for NIH-funded researchers, who reported an average total DMS expense of $36,000 across the lifetime of the project. While total DMS costs tended to be higher for larger awards, they generally represented a larger percentage of the award amount for smaller projects.

In general, staffing and IT costs represent the largest DMS expense categories. Even if a project won't need a full-time data manager or specialized software, there could still be significant DMS costs. Often, researchers underestimate the amount of time it will take to implement a DMS Plan. Working with the NIH repositories can be challenging, and formatting the data to the repository's standards can take a considerable amount of time and effort. When developing a DMS Plan, researchers should consider who will be doing this work so it can be appropriately budgeted for. The ARL study predictably found that when researchers did more of the DMS activities on their own, DMS expenses tended to be higher. It is usually more cost-efficient to hire a data manager or research assistant to perform DMS activities.

What constitutes a DMS cost and where do we put them in the budget?

All data that is generated and required to be shared or planned to be shared, is subject to a DMS plan and associated DMS costs. DMS costs can be described as funds set aside to be used towards preserving and sharing scientific data, per NIH's DMS policy.

Reasonable DMS costs should be requested in the correct budget category. Examples of appropriate categories include personnel, supplies, equipment, and other expenses. They should always be direct costs to the specific project, program, or activity.

Although NIH no longer requires a line item in the Research & Related (R&R) budget for DMS costs, researchers are still required to specify estimated costs in the budget justification attachment in the correct category and within the budget narrative attachment for a modular budget.

What if we don't incur any DMS costs?

Even if there are no DMS costs to include on a project, that must be stated in the budget justification or budget narrative. However, we would strongly advise against budgeting $0 for DMS costs. As stated above, DMS activities require time and effort, and the amount of time required can be substantial.

Additional Resources:

Image of fall leaves on the Red Cedar River.
Photo courtesy of University Communications

Budgeting for Speaker Fees vs. Honorariums

by Connor Pioszak, OSP

Honorariums, or honoraria, are payments made to individuals who contribute their expertise, time, or services to a project or event. Unlike wages or salaries, honorariums are often one-time payments and may not be directly tied to specific hours worked. They are not normally given as compensation for services rendered, but rather as a token of appreciation.

Unlike honorariums, speaker fees are typically allowed on sponsored projects. Speaker fees are payments for specific tasks or responsibilities and have a time commitment required for contribution to an event or project.

Honorarium expenses are not allowed on most federal and state research projects, but may be allowed on some non-federal projects. MSU students and/or MSU employees do not qualify for honoraria, speaker fees, or performer payments on MSU projects.

As with any expense, please keep detailed records of all speaker payments, including contracts, invoices, and receipts. Documentation is essential for accountability, compliance, and reporting purposes, ensuring proper distribution of grant resources.

Budgeting for honorariums on grants is likely to lead to a multitude of problems, from compliance issues to budgeting limitations. It can be difficult to quantify respect, appreciation, or the role in the project as a monetary value. Please avoid budgeting for honorariums or having them anywhere in the proposal. It is strongly recommended to use Speaker Fees in place of honoraria.

Subaward and Subrecipient Monitoring Updates

by Kristy Smith, CGA

Contract and Grant Administration (CGA) has expanded our subrecipient monitoring procedures and developed subaward process efficiencies over the last fiscal year, while maintaining MSU's compliance with 2 CFR 200, the Uniform Guidance, and sponsor requirements. The following additional changes are planned for the upcoming FY25, effective July 1, 2024:

  • CGA's review of supporting documentation related to elevated risk subrecipient invoices submitted on KFS Disbursement Vouchers (DV), Payment Reason Code Q, is being revised. The updated process will provide a more efficient central office review of the invoices and support documentation, which have already been reviewed and approved by the Fiscal Officer/Department Administrator prior to reaching CGA.
    • Supporting documentation for all expenses on each elevated risk subrecipient invoice is still required to be attached, along with the invoice, to the KFS DV-Q document. All supporting documentation should be organized, including translation and currency exchange (if applicable), and total to the appropriate amount of the invoice.
    • By approving the DV-Q, the Fiscal Officer indicates that they have reviewed the invoice and the supporting documentation and determined the costs to be accurate and allowable.
    • In general, supporting documentation related to elevated risk subrecipient invoices will no longer be reviewed in detail by CGA at the time of KFS approval. CGA's approval of DV-Qs will indicate that CGA has reviewed the invoice and determined that the invoice represents allowable costs under the subaward.
    • CGA will review the supporting documentation for an elevated risk subrecipient’s first invoice (which includes actual expenses) and last invoice and may review the support for interim invoices as part of our new Invoice Audit procedures, as described below.
  • CGA will implement a new subaward invoice audit procedure for both low and elevated risk subaward invoices.
    • Periodically during the fiscal year, CGA will sample subaward invoices for audit to verify that allowable and adequately documented costs have been charged to the project.
    • CGA will contact subrecipients directly to request documentation to support the invoices selected for audit and will communicate with them about the invoice audit's outcome.
    • A management decision will be made on any applicable audit findings, and any potential disallowance of subaward costs will be discussed with the Fiscal Officer and Principal Investigator.

The purpose of these changes is to remove duplication of effort, create efficiencies and comply with federal expectations regarding subrecipient monitoring. Questions can be directed to CGA's Subaward team at:

Training, Education, & Resources

by Amy Bane, SPA

Essentials of Research Administration (ERA) Series

SPA/OSP/CGA, in collaboration with SPROUT and an extensive network of MSU staff involved in pre-award, post-award and compliance aspects of research administration, provide a certified training series for research administrators and other support staff with responsibilities for research proposals, grants, contracts, and pre- and post-award administration at MSU.

D2L E-Learning: Sponsored Programs Administration offers four eLearning courses in D2L. To register for eLearning, please email Amy Bane ( to be added to the course in D2L. All eLearning electives are worth 4 elective credits.

International Research I eLearning in D2L
International Research II eLearning in D2L
Contracts and Other Agreements eLearning in D2L
Animal Care and Use Requirements eLearning in D2L

2024 Schedule*: 12 Electives remain in 2024, along with eLearning options, and are open to anyone with a valid MSU NetID. We are offering both long courses and short courses to better fit your busy schedule! Each session name below is hyperlinked directly to the corresponding registration page in Ability.

(NOTE: Please enable pop-ups from Ability in your browser settings in order to access the course registration pages.)

Course Date Elective Credits
Post-Award Receivable Process and Financial Transactions June 4 4
Audits June 11 2
Proposal Development in KR Aug 6 4
Beginner’s Hands-On Budgeting in KR Aug 13 4
Reporting & Data Collection Sept 10 4
Export Control Sept 24 2
Departmental Post-Award Account Management Oct 8 4
Fee-for-Service & Service Centers Oct 22 4
Advanced Hands-On Budgeting in KR Nov 12 4
NIH Agency Specifics Nov 19 2
NSF Agency Specifics Nov 26 2
Hot Topics Dec 3 4

*All classes will take place via Zoom.

Client Feedback Surveys

by Mike Wolf, SPA

At SPA/OSP/CGA, we strive to provide excellent customer service in all stages of research administration, from proposal development to the final closeout of an award. We continue to use client feedback surveys to solicit feedback on our proposal, award, and post-award processes. Ratings response details are available on the SPA Metrics section of our website (two-factor authentication required).

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