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Office of Sponsored Awards Management

Roles & Responsibilities

The SAM Team works with many people and entities, including funding agencies, principal investigators, research administrators throughout the USC System, Purchasing and Grants and Fund Management to administer sponsored awards.

Administration of sponsored programs at USC—from proposal development to closeout—is a team effort, involving not only the Office of Sponsored Awards Management, but also principal investigators and research administrators. Each of these roles is associated with a specific set of interdependent responsibilities. Below, we have mapped out the major steps in an award’s life cycle along with the university roles responsible for each.

Roles and Responsibilities Matrix

Each major step in the sponsored award life cycle is listed on a separate line in the left-most column of the matrix. The cells in the second through fifth columns show responsibility for each step, by role:

  • Column 2: The Office of Sponsored Awards Management (SAM)
  • Column 3: Principal Investigator (PI)
  • Column 4: The Division/Unit Administrator (the business manager or other research administrator residing in a department, college, or other academic unit)
  • Column 5: The Office of Grants and Fund Management (GFM)

In each column, letters are used to indicate the responsibility level for each role:

  • P indicates a Primary Responsibility: The responsibility for a step resides primarily with the role denoted with a P.
  • S indicates a Supporting Responsibility: When an S appears, it denotes supporting or secondary responsibility for a given step.
  • G indicates a Guidance Responsibility: When G appears in a cell, the corresponding role/column will provide guidance and advice for the step, as needed.

Pre-Award Activities

Activity/Step SAM PI Division/Unit Administrator GFM Notes
Notify SAM of intent to submit proposal   P P/S   This is particularly important when responding to an RFP or agency announcement, or private foundations or commercial entities.
Develop proposal documentation and budget G P P/S    
Prepare proposal package using sponsor guidelines and forms G P S    
Create and submit proposal through USCeRA for administrative review and approval   P   USCeRA submission should include all required documentation upladed appropriately. SAM must receive departmentally approved proposals at least 3 business days before they are due to funding agency.
Review proposal package to ensure compliance with sponsor guidelines and USC policies  P S  S    
Submit final, approved proposal to funding agency P S     If electronic proposal, SAM approves and submits in sponsor's e-submission system. If hard copy requiring signature, SAM will return signed proposal for submission to sponsor.


Post-Award Activities

Activity/Step SAM PI Division/Unit Administrator GFM Notes
Establish award account in USCeRA P  S S   Make adjustments between proposal and award. Note special considerations like sub-awards, cost share, etc.
Distribute award account documents to GFM, college and department P        
As required, prepare, initiate and execute subcontract agreements P  G G    
Coordinate with funding agency to manage administrative actions:
  • Rebudgeting
  • Scope changes
  • No-cost extensions
  • Other modifications
P S S   PIs should notify SAM when an administrative action is required and participate as needed to implement actions.
Prepare and submit required programmatic progress reports to funding agency  S P      


Subrecipient Monitoring Activities

Activity/Step SAM PI Division/Unit Administrator GFM Notes
Receive and approve subrecipient invoices G P S   PI must be satisfied that work is done according to proposed specifications and that expenses are allowable and allocable to the account. Forward approved invoices to Grants and Fund Management.
Review invoices and remit payment to subrecipients       P Ensure that all expenses are reasonable, allowable and allocable to the award account.
Monitor subrecipients and request annual audits for review S     P  


Close Out Activities

Activity/Step SAM PI Division/Unit Administrator GFM Notes
Prepare final invoice/property reports/Financial Report (FFR) and submit to the sponsor   S                                                                                                             
Prepare and submit final technical and programmatic reports G P      
Submit final invention statement and miscellaneous reports as required P S      


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