Award Close out

The primary responsibility for award closeout lies with the Grant Manager and the Sponsored Programs Financial Operations (SPFO) office.  This section deals with Award Closeout procedures. Georgetown  University  must  comply  with  federal  and  other  sponsoring  agencies’  requirements  in  regards  to  financial  reporting  and  closeout.


Sponsors require certain reports in order to close out an award. Therefore, there are important considerations to make sure the project gets properly close out. The procedure can change depending on the policies of the sponsoring agency and whether the support was in the form of a grant or contract. The terms and conditions for close out are generally included in the award. The standard terms require that the following reports are submitted within 120 days of the expiration of the award. Upon the completion of an Award there are various reports that are required to closeout the Award Technical Report; Financial Report, Property/Equipment Report and Invention and Patent Report.

Technical   Report: Programmatic   or   technical   reports   submitted   by   the   PI   in   accordance with due dates as specified in the award document. The Principal Investigator is responsible for filing the final technical report in accordance with the schedule contained in the award document or in the sponsor’s published regulations

In accepting awards, the University is assuming responsibility for meeting all of the technical and financial reporting requirements of the sponsor. Specific interim and final report requirements are usually included in the sponsor’s terms and conditions or other award documents or in a policy guide or manual. These requirements vary from sponsor to sponsor.

The Principal Investigator bears responsibility for preparing and submitting the technical reports to the sponsor. It is SPFO policy not to close out an award until we have received some form of confirmation that the PI has met the technical reporting requirements. 

Please be sure to note and confirm the specific websites and/or methods of submission required for final reports (and supporting documents as requested by the sponsor) as listed in the original award document or as communicated by your program manager. Different sponsor have different methods for final requirements e.g., using specific grant reporting portals direct email, etc.

If an AOR signature is required, please contact the appropriate pre-award team member who can sign in this capacity. Once the technical report has been submitted to the sponsor, the Grant Manager should send it to and a copy of the sponsor’s verification of receipt of the report so that it can be noted as completed in GMS. Otherwise GMS will continue to send reminder notifications.

Financial  Reports: A  financial  report  is  an  accounting  of  expenditures  and  obligations  incurred  during  the  period  of  performance  and/or  at  the conclusion  of  the  sponsored  project. SPFO will prepare and submit the final financial report to the sponsor. The Grant Manager will provide assistance as needed to ensure all charges have been posted and reconciled to the grant before the close out.  If there is any overdraft/deficit, the Grant Manager, working with the PI and the Department Administrator, is responsible for resolving it.

Upon project termination, the SPFO Financial Analyst will review the account and work with the Grant administrator to determine the final figure to be reported to the sponsor on the financial report or final invoice.

In most cases for federal awards, final financial reports and final invoices must be submitted no later than 90 days from the award end date. State and private agency deadlines may vary. To meet sponsor deadlines there needs to be clear and timely communication between the PI, department, the Grant Administrator and SPFO Financial Analysts. SPFO will submit the final financial report/invoice to the sponsor upon agreement with the local units on the final figure to be reported.

Property/ Equipment Report: Inventory listing  of  property/equipment  purchased  with award/grant funds.  Sponsors normally provide format for reporting inventory. Sponsored Programs Financial Operations (SPFO) is responsible for completing and submitting the final inventory of equipment report. Grant Manager will coordinate with PI to ensure all questions are addressed regarding the inventory of the equipment or property

Invention/Patent   Report: Report   submitted   to   sponsors   providing   detail   information   on   invention/patent on a project.  Format of report is normally provided by sponsor and is included in award documentation.

Most sponsors require reports about patents and inventions made during the conduct of a sponsored project. If a patentable idea, invention or discovery is made as a result of a sponsored project, the Office of Commercialization and Technology (OTC)  needs to be involved. The PI, with the assistance of the Grant Manager as needed, should contact OTC  as soon as it is practical to discuss the disclosure, to avoid premature public disclosure, and if appropriate, to start the patenting process. The PI, with Grant Manager assistance as needed, should complete the Patent/Invention Report required by the sponsor and ensure that the report is approved by OTC before it gets submitted to the sponsor. If the sponsor requires AOR signature on this report, the Grant Manager should route it to ORS for signature AFTER obtaining OTC approval. The Grant Manager may proceed with submitting the report once all signatures have been procured. If the report needs to be submitted by the AOR, then ORS will submit the report.  Otherwise, the PI/Grant Manager can submit the form directly to the sponsor.  

If no patentable idea, invention or discovery is made as a result of a sponsored project, a Final Invention Report to the sponsor is still required, indicating as such (i.e. a ‘negative invention report’). Please follow the steps above for obtaining the needed signatures prior to submission of the negative invention report. For additional details, consult the Division of Financial Affairs Sponsored Projects Financial Reporting and Financial Closeouts Policy and other applicable policies.

Collecting Invoices

Submission deadline for most final invoices is within 45 – 60 days after the contract or subaward end date (to facilitate submission within 90 days to Prime sponsor, e.g., NIH). Sponsor may NOT honor reimbursement on invoices submitted after 45-60 days.

Final Expenses

As part of the close out process, the Grant administrator needs to promptly transfer all erroneous charges, clearing deficits and post-term charges. Please contacts SPFO for any questions.

  • OVERDRAFTS: Overdrafts occur when cumulative expenses exceed the amount awarded by the sponsor and could be considered voluntary uncommitted cost sharing. If there is an “overdraft” in the account at the end of the project, it is the responsibility of the principal investigator and the Grant Manager to work with the Sponsored Programs Financial Operations (SPFO) to resolve the shortfall of funds.
  • UNEXPENDED BALANCE: disposition of the balance will be in accordance with the sponsor’s policies and regulations.

Extension and Supplements

Extensions can be made for three reasons: 1) to permit an orderly phase-out of a project that will not receove continued support, 2) to maintain continuity of support while a renewal application is under review, and 3) to ensure that the originally approved project is adequately completed. No-cost extensions are not permitted simply to use unexpended funds. After receiving your request, ORS will either extend your account or send a formal extension request to the sponsor depending on the terms and conditions of the award.

Research Services to ORS is responsible for obtaining prior approval when necessary and for reviewing these requests for allowability and supporting documentation.

Contact Us

Office of Research Services
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Phone: (202) 687-1958