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Enhancing the Health of Veterans through Research and Education

Research Activities

Funds administered for research projects are managed separately from funds administered for education projects. Funds received by PVARF for support of research cannot be allocated to educational activities, unless the donor has made no restrictions on the use of the funds or has provided specific permission for reallocation of the funds. Likewise, funds received for support of education can be reallocated for support of research only under the same conditions. Research and education funds will be kept in separate internal accounts.

Principal Investigators:

PVARF uses the term Principal Investigator to designate the individual who has overall authority and responsibility for conducting a research or education project. The principal investigator (PI) for each project/activity must hold a VA appointment and also must be the same person who is named in the approval granted the project by the applicable committee or Education Committee. The PI for each project/activity is responsible for supervising all personnel for their activity.

Upon request and approval from the appropriate PI, the PVARF will pay personnel from the appropriate research or education account fund.

Project Approval

All research projects must receive approval by all applicable committees/subcommittees prior to any funds being expended by the PVARF.  Such committees and subcommittees may include: the Research & Development Committee, Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects (IRB), Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC), and/or Subcommittee on Research Safety (SRS). 

In order to open a project at the PVARF, a PI must complete a New Account Request form and submit it to the Executive Director (ED). The New Account Request form identifies all individuals who have signature authority for requesting disbursements from the account. It also allows the PI to specify the research activities that will be supported by the account. The ED will forward the Account Request form to the Research Service administrative office that will confirm presence of an active, approved research or education project, sign the form and forward it to the PVARF.

There is no restriction on how many accounts an investigator may have. A separate account will be opened for each active research project.

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Income Statements

Project Income Statements will be sent to the account holder on a monthly basis. The statement has 4 columns and provides activity for the current month, YTD activity, YTD Budget numbers (if applicable) and the variance between budget and actual. The bottom of the statement provides your “Ending Net Assets” which is the amount of money left in your account. If you have an employee on your account you will be notified immediately if your account balance is below $2,000.

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Delinquent Accounts

Investigators are responsible for ensuring that expenditure commitments do not exceed the available funds in their account. For research or education programs with employees, account funds will be obligated to cover anticipated payroll expenses for the next two months. These obligated funds will not be made available for other expenditures. If the total account balance falls to $2000 or less, the investigator will be contacted immediately to make arrangements to add funds to the account or to make other arrangements for the payment of employees. For all accounts, any Check Requests or Purchase Orders that are submitted for payment from an account that does not have sufficient funds to cover the requested payment will be returned to the principal investigator without payment.

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Study Closeout

A project account should not be closed in PVARF prematurely. When the project is completed and all expenditures have been made including for publication costs, the member should inform PVARF to close the account. Generally, this occurs at the same time as the project is removed from the R&D list of approved projects.

For grants that require final reports to the sponsor, the project will not be closed until the final report has been submitted and accepted by the grantor.

Most granting agencies will require return of all unencumbered or unexpended funds. However, requests for no-cost extensions are usually allowed if appropriate scientific rationale is provided. This allows an extension of the grant period and continued use of the project funds.

Sponsors may require requests for no-cost extensions to be received prior to the end of the expiration date of the project. Due dates may vary depending on the sponsor.

If residual funds remain after completion of the project, all expenses have been paid, and there is no requirement by the sponsor to return unexpended funds, these monies may be transferred to a general purpose research account. The funds may be used for general research or education expenditures within Board-approved policies

Investigators are responsible for ensuring that expenditure commitments do not exceed the available funds in their account. For research or education programs with employees, account funds will be obligated to cover anticipated payroll expenses for the next two months. These obligated funds will not be made available for other expenditures. If the total account balance falls to $2000 or less, the investigator will be contacted immediately to make arrangements to add funds to the account or to make other arrangements for the payment of employees. For all accounts, any Check Requests or Purchase Orders that are submitted for payment from an account that does not have sufficient funds to cover the requested payment will be returned to the principal investigator without payment.

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