M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

Instructions for Completing Scientific Research Grant Administration Forms

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Grant Agreements

A Grant Agreement (GA) is issued each time a Trust award is made. The GA will be delivered to you by email through DocuSign. Your organization’s executive director/CEO and board chair/board officer must carefully read, sign, and submit the GA. The two signers are usually an authorized institutional representative and the principal investigator/project director (please adjust to meet the requirements of your specific research institution). DocuSign will deliver the signed document to the Trust, and you will receive a submission confirmation and a copy of the GA in the Grants Portal for your records. If you have questions about any aspect of the GA, contact your assigned program director or the senior program director for grants. It is essential that the executive director or CEO sign the document. If the board chair is not easily available, then it is permissible for another board officer to sign it on behalf of the board.

The Trust will estimate a payment schedule for your grant based upon the type of award (outright or contingent), the project budget, and more generally the timing of your need for funds. However, you can request an initial outright payment and also suggest a complete payment schedule in the GA as long as it is consistent with Trust practice. Payments can also be requested with a Progress Report or Conditions Met Report, all of which will appear in your Grants Portal in the Reports section. If you are uncertain about how to schedule payments, you may leave that section of the GA blank or contact your assigned program director. Be sure to visit Grants Administration and Reporting Resources on the Trust’s website to find definitions, samples, and tips related to the grant administration process.

At the time your grant is awarded, you will need to review the contacts associated with the grant and determine if you want to change the persons to whom correspondence from the Trust will be provided throughout the grant administration process. The executive director or CEO must remain as the primary contact; however, the board member and third contact person may be replaced by the appropriate staff member. Please consider adding as the third contact the person who will have responsibility of tracking the grant expenditures and preparing the reports. Grant contacts can be updated or changed by submitting a Project Update Report.

Project Update Reports

The Project Update Report (PUR) can be used to report a material update regarding the awarded grant, but unrelated to any payment request. Material updates may include, but are not limited to, an organizational or project leadership change, circumstances that will change the payment schedule for your grant, a request to change the authorized signers or update their contact information, a pending organizational name change or possible merger, the receipt of an updated IRS determination letter, an office relocation, the receipt of a one-time transformational gift, the loss of a key employee, or other notable circumstances that may impact the implementation of an open grant.

A PUR is always available in the Reports Due section of your Grants Portal. You may not need to use this report during the life of your grant, in which case you do not need to submit it.

Please complete the following:

  1. Project Updates—Provide a brief narrative describing the material update and the effect it will have on your awarded grant.
  2. Project Update Documents upload—Upload any documents related to the material update.
  3. Revised Budget —Upload an updated budget.

While you are working on your PUR, you may save and return to the report at a later time.  When it is complete, you will need to click the Submit button, after which point the Report status will change to Under Review, and it will move to the Submitted Reports section of your Grants Portal. Your assigned program director will review your PUR and contact you with any decision or change to be made to your grant.

Progress Reports

The Progress Report (PR) is to be used to update the Trust on the status of an open grant in order to request a payment. PRs are scheduled at the time a grant is awarded based on an estimated payment schedule. Targeted payment dates often shift during the life of a grant, in which case the PR due dates will shift accordingly.

You will find scheduled PRs in the Reports Due section of your Grants Portal. You may complete and submit a PR whenever you would like to request a payment. You may need to reference your original grant proposal, which can be found in the Active Grants section of your Grants Portal, or the Grant Agreement, which can be found in the Grant Agreement Document section of your active grant record.

Please complete the following:

  1. Summary Narrative—Please provide the following information: (1) time frame on which report is based; (2) equipment purchase and installation schedule (if appropriate); (3) brief summary of results of research accomplished (if appropriate); (4) impact of research project on department, researchers, and students; (5) any leveraging effect of this award on obtaining other grants; (6) probable future of research program with potential sources of support; and (7) list of papers (in preparation, press, or published) that acknowledge this award.
  2. Payment Request—The amount of Trust grant funds received to date will auto-populate in this section. Provide the dollar amount of the grant award, the total project cost (this figure should match the project budget total provided with the proposal or the revised project budget submitted in the review process), and the amount requested. Using the comparative budget, clearly describe how Trust grant funds have been used and how any unexpended funds will be used in the future.
  3. Budget Details—Attach a comparative budget of the project using the same budget as was presented with the proposal or a later approved revision. If appropriate use a multi-columned spreadsheet to report the original budget line item by line item, the actual costs of the project, how Trust funds were applied, and the balance of unspent funds. The budget should reflect all known costs to date and the entire amount of the Trust award. The budget and presentation of how grant dollars will or have been used is the key to the payment request. For scientific research grants, please also summarize how you intend to spend the payment requested toward the project budget. Be sure to review the samples provided in the Grants Administration and Reporting Resources on our website.
  4. Certifications—The PR must be certified by an authorized signer, preferably the executive director or CEO. However, others within your organization may have been authorized to execute this and other Trust reports. Those with authority typically include those copied on all Trust correspondence and usually include two of the following: a board member, a CFO, a project manager, or a designated development staff member. These or other signers must be known to the Trust and your assigned program director.

While you are working on your PR, you may save and return to the report at a later time.  When it is complete, you will need to click the Submit button, after which point the Report status will change to Under Review, and it will move to the Submitted Reports section of your Grants Portal.

Your assigned program director will review the PR, verify the information provided, and schedule a payment. If additional information or clarification is needed, the report will return to your Grants Portal in the Revisions Requested section. To receive a payment, be sure to submit your PR by the due date listed on the report in your Grants Portal.

Conditions Met Reports

The Conditions Met Report (CMR) is to be used to (1) report your success in meeting a contingency placed on an open grant each time one is met and, if needed, (2) request a payment. If you are requesting a payment, no additional reports are required. CMRs are scheduled at the time a grant is awarded based on an estimated payment schedule. Targeted payment dates often shift during the life of a grant, in which case the CMR due dates will shift accordingly.

Please complete the following:

  1. Summary Narrative—Please provide the following information: (1) time frame on which report is based; (2) equipment purchase and installation schedule (if appropriate); (3) brief summary of results of research accomplished (if appropriate); (4) impact of research project on department, researchers, and students; (5) any leveraging effect of this award on obtaining other grants; (6) probable future of research program with potential sources of support; and (7) list of papers (in preparation, press, or published) that acknowledge this award.
  2. Payment Request—If a payment is warranted as a result of meeting a condition of the grant, complete this sectionand the amount requested. The dollar amount of the grant award, the total project cost, and the amount of Trust grant funds received to date will auto-populate in this section. Also, provide a brief project update since the last payment was received (see PR instructions for further explanation), and using the comparative budget, clearly describe how Trust grant funds have been used and how any unexpended funds will be used in the future.
    You are encouraged to attach a multi-column spreadsheet to better track and present this information, especially if multiple grant payments are expected. You can upload this in the Documents section. The budget and presentation of how grant dollars will or have been used is the key to the payment request. Be sure to review sample reports found in Grants Administration and Reporting Resources on our website.
  3. Certifications—Regardless of whether a payment is being requested, the CMR must be certified by an authorized signer, preferably the executive director or CEO. However, others within your organization may have been authorized to execute this and other Trust reports. Those with authority typically include those copied on all Trust correspondence and usually include two of the following: a board member, a CFO, a project manager, or a designated development staff member. These or other signers must be known to the Trust and your assigned program director.

While you are working on your CMR, you may save and return to the report at a later time.  When it is complete, you will need to click the Submit button, after which point the Report status will change to Under Review, and it will move to the Submitted Reports section of your Grants Portal.

Your assigned program director will review the CMR, verify the information provided, and schedule a payment. If additional information or clarification is needed, the report will return to your Grants Portal in the Revisions Requested section. To receive a payment, be sure to submit your CMR by the due date listed on the report in your Grants Portal.

Final Report: Scientific (CI, FSU, NS, SR)

The Final Report: Scientific is to be used to report and celebrate the results of the project and initiate the closing of the file. It is due as soon as all the grant funds have been expended and the project is complete. Your grant file remains open until an FR is received and approved.

Provide a detailed narrative and assessment of the outcomes as compared to your original plans and goals and provide a financial accounting of the project expenses and how the Trust’s grant was applied to them. The Trust is interested to learn how this project may have advanced your research.

Please complete the following:

  1. Summary Narrative—Please provide the following information: (1) time frame on which report is based; (2) equipment purchase and installation schedule (if appropriate); (3) brief summary of results of research accomplished (if appropriate); (4) impact of research project on department, researchers, and students; (5) any leveraging effect of this award on obtaining other grants; (6) probable future of research program with potential sources of support; and (7) list of papers (in preparation, press, or published) that acknowledge this award.
  2. Budget—Attach a comparative budget of the project using the same budget as was presented with the proposal or a later approved revision. If appropriate use a multi-columned spreadsheet to report the original budget line item by line item, the actual costs of the project, and how Trust funds were applied. The budget should reflect all known costs to date and the entire amount of the Trust award.
  3. Certifications— Part of closing your grant file is the certification that the funds provided have been allocated in accordance with the original GA and applied to the project in a manner consistent with the project budget. The FR must be certified by an authorized signer, usually the authorized institutional representative or grants administrator grant contact. However, others within your organization may have been authorized to execute this and other Trust reports. Those with authority typically include those copied on all Trust correspondence and usually include the following: authorized institutional representative or grants administrator. These or other signers must be known to the Trust and your assigned program director.

While you are working on your FR, you may save and return to the report.  When it is complete, you will need to click the Submit button, after which point the Report status will change to Under Review, and it will move to the Submitted Reports section of your Grants Portal.

Your assigned program director will review the FR, verify the information provided, and take the necessary action. If additional information or clarification is needed, the report will return to your Grants Portal in the Revisions Requested section. Once the file is closed, you will receive an email confirming this.

The Trust thoroughly enjoys reading about your successes and learnings, and celebrates your achievement. Furthermore, your FR helps educate and inform the Trust’s staff and provides insights for future grantmaking practices. Because most of the Trust’s time is spent with organizations before and during a grant application process, it is difficult for staff to attend formal celebrations, building dedications, etc. However, the Trust wants to know of your celebration plans. When possible and travel schedules allow, the program directors will make an effort to join you for those special events.

Annual Report for Partners in Science Program

The Annual Report for Partners in Science must be submitted after each summer’s research (due September 15).  Upon approval of the Year 1 annual report, a payment will be scheduled for the following May.

Please complete the following:

  1. Summary Narrative—The research mentor and the teacher partner must complete their required narrative sections:
    1. In the Year 1 annual report, the research mentor will describe the research conducted by the teacher partner including principal findings and plans for continuation. In the Year 2 annual report, the research mentor will explain the impact of this project in the mentor’s lab and also will make suggestions for improving this program. 
    2. For both Years 1 and 2 annual reports, the teacher partner will answer these questions: (1) what would you consider your biggest learnings from your summer’s research; and (2) what are one or two applications from your research experience that you will take back to your classroom.
  2. Budget—A provided budget form (Excel file) will be completed by the mentor’s institution, showing funds spent up to the time of each annual report. [For PNNL partnerships, the research mentor and teacher partner will complete their narrative sections of the report, but the school district is the grantee and will complete the budget summary and submit all reports.]
  3. Certifications—Regardless of whether a payment is being requested, the annual report must be certified by an authorized signer, preferably the grants administrator grant contact or another grants admin staff member. These or other signers must be known to the Trust and your assigned program director.

Final Report for Partners in Science Program

The Final Report for Partners in Science (FR) must be submitted the following spring (due May 1) after all funds have been spent and after the teacher partner has attended both Partners in Science national conferences.

Please complete the following:

  1. Summary Narrative—The teacher partner will complete a narrative section, answering the following: (a) how has your participation in Partners in Science impacted your teaching; what do you consider to be the most valuable aspects of your research experience; and what suggestions do you have for improving this program?
  2. Budget—A provided budget form (Excel file) will be completed by the mentor’s institution showing all grant funds have been spent. [For PNNL partnerships, the school district is the grantee and will the complete the budget summary and submit the completed report.] All grant funds should be spent (within the spirit of the grant) rather than returned. Any unspent travel funds, after the teacher has attended both Partners in Science national conferences, may be used by the teacher for other professional development travel/conferences. Should circumstances not allow such use of remaining funds, a request may be submitted to the Trust in writing to use unspent travel funds toward equipment for enhancing inquiry instruction in the teacher’s classroom.
  3. Certifications— Part of closing your grant file is the certification that the funds provided have been allocated in accordance with the original GA and applied to the project in a manner consistent with the project budget. The final report must be submitted by the grants administrator grant contact of the mentor’s institution (for PNNL partnerships, the grants administrator at the school district). The final report must be certified by an authorized signer, preferably the grants administrator grant contact or another grants admin staff member. These or other signers must be known to the Trust and your assigned program director.

Annual Report for Partners in Science Supplemental Program

An Annual Report for Partners in Science Supplemental must be submitted to the Trust as long as a grant is active. The Annual Report is due May 1 after the teacher partner has attended the first of two Partners in Science national conferences.

Please complete the following:

  1. Summary Narrative—The teacher partner will provide the following: 
    1. Project Implementation: Describe the project as it has developed, noting the people involved, the equipment and supplies purchased and their use in various courses or projects, the curricular changes initiated, and plans for further uses or changes; and
  2. Budget—A provided budget form (Excel file) will be completed by the grants administrator grant contact, showing funds spent up to the time of the report.
  3. Certifications—Regardless of whether a payment is being requested, the annual report must be certified by an authorized signer, preferably the grants administrator grant contact or another grants admin staff member. These or other signers must be known to the Trust and your assigned program director.

Final Report for Partners in Science Supplemental Program

A Final Report for Partners in Science Supplemental must be submitted by May 1 after the teacher partner has attended both Partners in Science national conferences and after all funds have been spent.

Please complete the following:

  1. Summary Narrative—The teacher partner will provide the following: 
    1. Project Impact: Describe the impact the project has had on (A) Curriculum, (B) Students, (C) Yourself as a Professional, and/or (D) Your Colleagues, School, or District, and any further impact you anticipate in the future.  Also describe actions you have taken and the impact you have had on encouraging more students to consider a career in science.
  2. Budget— A provided budget form (Excel file) will be completed by the grants administrator grant contact, showing funds spent up to the time of each report. All grant funds must be spent before a final report may be submitted. All grant funds should be spent (within the spirit of the grant) rather than returned. Any unspent travel funds, after the teacher has attended both Partners in Science national conferences, may be used by the teacher for other professional development travel/conferences. Should circumstances not allow such use of remaining funds, a request may be submitted to the Trust in writing to use unspent travel funds toward equipment for enhancing inquiry instruction in the teacher’s classroom.
  3. Certifications—Regardless of whether a payment is being requested, the annual report must be certified by an authorized signer, preferably the grants administrator grant contact or another grants admin staff member. These or other signers must be known to the Trust and your assigned program director.
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