May 31, 2019

May 2019 Grant Connections Notes

Minutes from the Grant Connections meeting on May 22 are now available.  Please follow the links below to access the materials.

Meeting notes can be found here

Our next meeting will be June 26, 2019.

May 14, 2019

OSPA Staff Participate at NCURA Region IV Spring Meeting

In April, staff members from OSPA traveled to Columbus, Ohio to participate in the Spring Meeting of the National Council of University Research Administrators Region IV.
Nathan Winters, Compliance Manager in OSPA, presented a Concurrent Session titled “Responsible Conduct of Research Training Requirements: Overview and Best Practices.” Hannah Clampitt, Senior Grants and Contracts Administrator in OSPA, presented a session titled “Instruction, Other Sponsored Activity, Research: What Exactly are we Doing Here? Determining the Purpose of Your Work” and served as the Pre-Award Track Leader for the conference. Craig David, OSPA Director, Michelle Leaton, OSPA Assistant Pre-Award Manager, and Brenda Leuenberger, Pre-Award Compliance Manager in OSPA, presented “The Awards Dashboard: Oversight and Communication of Award Acceptance and Negotiation.” Michelle and Brenda also presented “Fast & Furious: Getting a Last-Minute Proposal Submitted on Time.” Nathan, Brenda, and Michelle were funded to attend and present at the conference through a Staff Development Award from the MU Staff Advisory Council.

April 25, 2019

Understanding F&A

As part of its role in ensuring that all sponsored activity at the university is proposed, conducted, and accounted for at the standards set forth by the university and sponsors, the Office of Sponsored Programs Administration is eager to share insight and knowledge about budget preparation and administration of costs whenever possible. Facilities and Administrative (F&A) cost recovery is critical to the success of an academic research enterprise. Understanding the calculations behind MU’s F&A rate can be a challenge even for a seasoned Research Administrator.  The following video, courtesy of the University of Maryland, explores this important component of managing costs in sponsored research:

Understanding the Facilities and Administration (F&A) Cost Calculation

This video explains all of the ins and outs of why the university must apply a certain negotiated F&A rate and how we arrived at our rate.

April 23, 2019

April 2019 Grant Connections Notes

This month's Grants Connections was focused entirely on ensuring the safety and security of the university's institutional resources in light of federal concerns over foreign influence in U.S. academic research. The presentation for this meeting can be found here.

Not able to attend? We’ve got you covered. Here’s a link to the recording of the session:

Next month's meeting will be on May 22, 2019 from 11am - 12pm. See you there!

April 15, 2019

2019 Fiscal Year End Processes

As the weather starts to get warmer and we look forward to summer vacations, it is also time to start preparing for the fiscal year end fun. Here is a brief overview of all the important things to keep in mind as we approach the end of FY2019.

First, all deficits on overspent projects must be cleared as of June 30. Your Post-Award Team will reach out with a list of overspent projects. Please work with them to clear the deficits by the end of June, which is critical to ensure the accuracy in our Schedule of Expenditures of Federal Award (SEFA) and our system-wide financial statements. 

Next, the Controller’s Office has set the FY2019 Closing Calendar. For future reference the calendar can be found here. Note, as of today, the website does not reflect the updated calendar, but we anticipate all documents to be uploaded this week. Below are the essential dates to put on your calendars now.  

  • PeopleSoft Production Maintenance/Outage: 5PM 6/28 – 6/30
  • Department JE Cut-off 7/15
  • OSPA JE Cut-off 7/19
  • Accounting Services JE Cut-off 7/26

REMEMBER: When you enter a correction to an FY19 transaction (including clearing a deficit on an overspent project), change the journal date in the upper right-hand area to 6/30/2019. This will ensure the correction posts to the appropriate fiscal year.

Finally, state funded projects with an end date of 6/30/2019 often require a final invoice/financial report prior to the end of the project. Your Post-Award Team will contact you in the event an early report is required and request an estimate of final expenses.

That’s all the updates we have for now. We will reach out with any new information as it arises, but don’t hesitate to reach out to your Post-Award Team if you have any questions or need clarification as we close down another fiscal year.

MyVita Updates

The University of Missouri uses myVITA, a web-based faculty activity reporting system, to provide faculty members system-wide with an easy way to capture their research, teaching, service, scholarship and creative works in one place. It replaces the Faculty Accomplishment System (FAS), and is easier to use, more flexible and more powerful.

Data on externally funded grants and contracts feeds from the PeopleSoft Grants Module to MyVita as part of nightly processing. Internally funded grants such as PRIME and Research Council funding, do not feed into MyVita and must be entered manually by the faculty member. For more information on how to understand the MyVita grants portal, please visit:

If you or the faculty you support have questions about MyVita, you can email the MyVita team (, or reach out to OSPA ( with grant specific questions.

Post-Award Team 1 Lead Departing for Opportunity in Kansas City

It is with mixed emotions that we announce that Cody Hogan is relocating to Kansas City at the end of April. He has accepted a position at Forest T. Jones as a Financial Analyst.

Cody started in the Office of Sponsored Programs Administration as an Accountant in 2012. He left us for a brief time to work in the Controller’s Office, then returned in 2017 as a Team Lead. He has consistently demonstrated a strong work ethic and technical skills, but what we’ll miss most of all is his sense of humor and amazingly positive attitude in all situations. Cody has been a highly valued and dedicated colleague and friend.  Although he will be missed, we wish him all the best for the future.

Federal Sponsors Express Concern Regarding Improper Foreign Influence in U.S. Academic Research

This topic will be discussed at the upcoming Grant Connections meeting on Wednesday, April 17. The presentation from that meeting can be found here.

While the University of Missouri strongly supports international collaboration and values its partnerships with other organizations worldwide, it is important that all researchers understand the current regulatory landscape and the actions that researchers should take in light of this reality.

In the past few months, federal sponsors have expressed concerns about improper foreign influence in U.S. academic research. Examples of this include a letter sent by Francis Collins, director of the NIH, alerting the research community to “threats” from foreign entities, and the FY19 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes a provision alluding to the restriction of federal funding to institutions doing business with certain Chinese telecommunications companies.

As a result, academic research institutions have a heightened awareness and interest in understanding the relationships federally-funded researchers may have with foreign governments or entities. Researchers should continue to exercise transparency in disclosure of outside activities through the annual disclosure of outside interests, in completing the NIH Other Support and NSF Current and Pending and similar documentation submitted to other sponsors, and keep lines of communication open with College-level and Campus leadership concerning any foreign recruitment or “talent” programs.

The Office of Sponsored Programs Administration and the Office of Export Controls are committed to assisting faculty with these matters and ensuring the safety and security of our institutional resources. As questions arise, please reach out to OSPA or OEC for assistance.

February 22, 2019

February 2019 Grant Connections Notes

Minutes from the Grant Connections meeting on February 21 are now available.  Please follow the links below to access the materials.

Meeting Notes

Benefit Rates Presentation 

We hope to see everyone at our next meeting on March 27, 2019! 

February 5, 2019

January 2019 Grant Connections Notes

Minutes from the Grant Connections meeting on January 23, 2019 are now available. Please follow the links below to access the materials.

Not able to attend? We’ve got you covered. Here’s a link to the recording of the session:

We hope to see everyone at our next meeting on February 27, 2019!

January 2019 Grant Connections Minutes