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Frequently Asked Questions

Grants are a form of assistance, as distinguished from contracts, which are a form of procurement. The investigator, who defines the scope of work and retains control over the activities and results, conceives a grant. A contract is conceived, procured, and closely monitored by the sponsor.

Federal contracts are subject to an extensive body of laws that govern terms, conditions, sanctions, and remedies. The sponsor, who generally retains ownership of the results, determines the contractual scope of work.

Contracts that arise out of a grant are reportable and must be included in the schedules provided to A-133 auditors each year. The Office of Grants Management (OGM) maintains records on grant-related contracts for reporting purposes.


The San Jacinto College Board of Trustees indicates the following individuals have the power endorse sponsored agreements: The Chancellor and the Vice Chancellor of Fiscal Affairs, depending upon the request of the sponsor. Route any notices of grant award to the Office of Grants Management. The OMG will gather signatures.The OGM will also gather grant information and input it and the budget into Banner after approval by the Board of Trustees.

Yes. The Chancellor and Vice Chancellor of Fiscal Affairs have power to bind the College in grants and contracts. Failure to have this approval puts the faculty member/employee at personal risk for any adverse consequences arising from the relationship.

Cost transfers over 90 days old and which appear to be transferred from an over-expended grant; cost transfers from a corporate grant to federal grant is prohibited by federal OMB circular A-21; expenditures not related to the grant; and discrepancies between time and effort reports and personnel actions are major reasons for grant disallowances.

Yes. The project director is responsible for providing an alternate fund source for disallowed expenses. In the event that the project director does not have alternate funds, he/she needs to appeal to his academic Division Director, his academic Department Chairman, or to the College Dean for funds to support the expense.

Time and effort reporting is a federally required reporting confirmation of an individual's time spent conducting the grant activities of the College. It is important because 75% to 85% of all grant expenditures are for personnel cost. Discrepancies between time and effort reports and personnel actions are main reasons for cost disallowances.

Overspending a grant account is called a "cost overrun." A cost overrun puts a department in the position of covering those expenses with other funds that are not restricted for this purpose. This constitutes voluntary cost-sharing.

If a grant is under-spent, various scenarios could occur, depending on the actual terms of the grant or contract. For example, the funds may need to be sent back to the sponsor. Sending funds back to the sponsor is viewed negatively by sponsors; it signals either poor judgment in applying for grant funds or poor project management.