It is the Principal Investigator's responsibility to understand the funding agency's rules and procedures concerning pre-award spending. The Principal Investigator must also obtain approval from the Director of Academic Budget and Operations prior to beginning to spend grant funds before the actual start date of a grant.
Most funding agencies permit changes in budgets up to a certain level without prior approval. Principal Investigators are expected to understand the budget limitations of their grants prior to overspending in any budget category.
Funds moved from a non-salary budget line to a salary line must take into account the resulting change in fringe and indirect costs. Likewise, funds moved from a salary line to a non-salary line will release fringe and indirect amounts that may also be applied to a non-salary line. The Director of Academic Budget and Operations must approve in advance any budget modifications that will extend the appointment of a staff member.
If a granting agency requires notification of a budget change, the Principal Investigator should contact the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations who will coordinate the preparation of materials for the request.
At the time a grant is awarded, the funder will inform the Principal Investigator of the project period. As the project end date approaches, the Principal Investigator may wish to request a nocost extension, providing grant funds remain. The process of obtaining a no-cost extension varies depending on the funder. Therefore, Principal Investigators should contact the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations at least 90 days in advance of the original end date, to discuss how to obtain a no-cost extension for the Principal Investigator's award.
If a Principal Investigator plans to leave Bowdoin College during the course of a grant, he or she should contact the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations to discuss options and procedures. Bowdoin College has the prerogative to:
- nominate a replacement Principal Investigator, who is subject to the funder's approval;
- request that the grant be terminated; or
- transfer the grant to the Principal Investigator's new organization. In those cases where a Principal Investigator's participation is integral to a given project and Bowdoin College and the new organization agree, the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations will coordinate a grant transfer from Bowdoin College to the Primary Investigator's new institution.