Chapter 2: Fiscal Responsibilities

2.1 Introduction

The topics discussed in the first section of this training explored the responsible conduct of research. Section two addresses another aspect of the regulatory environment that impacts principal investigators (PIs) - the management of project funds. Just as with the responsible conduct of research, there are externally-imposed requirements on the individual researcher and on the institution that relate to the management of research funds.

Management of project funding is complex and rapidly changing. Rules and terms vary by sponsor. Penalties can be severe and public. Recent headlines about mismanaged funds have ruined careers and led to significant financial penalties for institutions. The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute has a large support system in place to assist PIs in the sound management of project funds and mitigate risk from problems that may occur here. Key departments include:

  • Sponsored Projects Office: Assists with applying for, negotiating and managing externally-sponsored research funding
  • Research Business Office: Develops budget and spending plans in addition to providing account oversight, including cost monitoring, salary allocations, and project closeout
  • Department of Research Finance: Coordinates all CHOP Research Institutes' financial activities including accounting, financial administration, planning, internal and external reporting, and establishment of financial policies and procedures
  • Clinical Trials Financial Management: Provides assistance with budget development and billing plan preparation for clinical research
  • The Office of Technology Transfer: Negotiates all Corporate Sponsored Research Agreements and Clinical Trial Agreements, and protects the intellectual property of Children's Hospital and its researchers through patents, copyrights and trademarks

Even with this support, PIs are ultimately responsible for study finances and compliance with award terms and conditions. Specific responsibilities include:

  • Determining the budgetary needs of a project
  • Preparing non-competing renewal, interim, closing and final reports
  • Managing the budget
  • "Authorizing" payments and expenditures, cost transfers and re-budgeting

The remainder of this training outlines terms, policies, regulations, and guidance related to these responsibilities.

Ask the Experts

Mary Tomlinson
Vice President
Research Administration



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CHOP Research Resources

  • Responsible Departments: Sponsored Projects Office, Research Business Office, Department of Research Finance, Clinical Trials Financial Management, The Office of Technology Transfer

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