Managing a Funded Project

Congratulations!  Now, to get your project started. The UMass Amherst Center for Research on Families has developed a useful guide for new PIs: “I’m a PI, Now What?” After reviewing this guide, you will need to take the following steps:

  • Make an initial appointment with College Business Office to clarify the steps to establish a project account. You can also discuss whether you need to file a Pre-establishment/ pre-award request to get your project underway while the account is being finalized. 
  • Contact your College IRB representative: Linda Griffin lgriffin@educ.umass.edu or Sharon Rallis sharallis@gmail.com
  • Once an account has been established, you should make a follow-up appointment with the College Business Office for a project management meeting, to review budget, any changes in scope, timeline. At this meeting you will have the opportunity to clarify the roles of the PI, department assistants, College Business Office, College Personnel Office, and others in managing administrative aspects, monitoring spending, hiring staff, office space, purchasing supplies and equipment, travel, etc. You will also review procedures for all Personnel Actions, GAs, additional compensation, academic year effort, consultants, subcontractors (OGCA handles the subcontracts).

You will want to develop a project work plan. A process for doing so may include the following:

Next, you will want to meet with your project team. You may:

  • Invite co-investigators, consultants, research assistants, and staff if already hired. 
  • Review project agreements with the team and “kick off” the project. 
  • Schedule future team meetings as contracted under the work plan. 
  • Establish common understanding of your expectations from co-principal investigators and consultants. 
  • Review meeting times, tasks, due dates, timing of papers, authorship, etc. 
  • ORE and Department Chairs are available to mediate any challenges.

College Business Office and College Personnel Office are here to assist with the following aspects of project management:

  • Ensuring personnel processes are followed and paperwork completed in a timely manner, including assistantships, staff hiring, academic year effort, and additional summer compensation.
  • Periodically reviewing spending activity and addressing any funding issues as they arise (funding extensions, bridging funds, etc.).

Don’t forget to plan for dissemination, reporting and publicity, including the following:

  • Make sure your Department Chair, the Associate Dean for Research and Engagement, and the Dean know your proposal was funded as soon as you are notified. 
  • Contact the College Communications and Marketing Coordinator to discuss media relations and ongoing publicity for your project.  Contact:  Denise Schwartz, College Communications and Marketing Coordinator dms@educ.umass.edu. You can find a sample press release here.
  • Make sure to acknowledge the sponsor in all reports and publicity materials – sponsors often specify how this should be done (e.g., sponsor name, project name, project #)
  • Identify and plan for grant performance reports including due dates, and become familiar with expected report formats. 
  • Publish and present findings throughout the project period.  Work with your team to identify forums and develop interim presentations for delivery along the way. Set deadlines and schedule time to write.