Research Finance

The Research Finance team within the Office of Research Administration serves as a key resource for principal investigators and their staff members. Primarily, the team focuses on post-award activities—such as research and gift funding—and ensures that post-award activities comply with federal and sponsor regulations, terms and conditions, and Cedars-Sinai's policies. In addition, they collaborate with researchers on administrative and financial tasks throughout the project life cycle, making sure that financial reporting is timely and that researchers adhere to award closeouts.

Finance Services


Every Research Financial Administrator at Cedars-Sinai manages a portfolio of research departments and is responsible for the overall finances of various projects and teams. This includes:

  • Financial reconciliation and compliance reviews
  • Generating invoices and preparing financial reports
  • Processing cost transfer entries
  • Resolving surpluses and deficits
  • Maintaining accounts receivable
  • Coordinating audits
  • Completing closeouts
  • Ensuring the data integrity of PeopleSoft financials

PeopleSoft Training


The Office of Research Administration and the Research Finance team have devised a special training program for PeopleSoft, Cedars-Sinai's accounting software.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When it is permitted according to the terms and conditions of the specific award, policies and federal regulations, and when it serves a purpose consistent with the research and within the specific aims and timeline of the award
  • When the cost provides a sole benefit to the project or benefits the project and other work proportions that can be readily estimated
  • When the cost is necessary for the performance of the sponsored project or for hospital operations
  • When a prudent person would purchase the item at that price given the circumstances
  • When the incurrence of the cost is consistent with established Cedars-Sinai policies and procedures
  • When like expenses are treated in the same manner under like circumstances—that is, costs are either directly charged to the award or included in F&A recovery, not both

A DCTR Brief is required for all cost transfers with the exception of these 3 scenarios:

  • The cost transfer moves costs from the 0 to 9 activity within the same project number.
  • The RFA is processing a fringe adjustment, F&A adjustment, salary cap adjustment, mismatch correction, funding quarterly cost sharing or adjustments/entries at project closeout.
  • A payroll error occurs that is initiated by the Payroll Department. In this case, the RFA must contact Payroll to make the correction within 30 days from transaction date on federal projects and within 60 days from transaction date on nonfederal projects.
  • No. With errors involving the salary charges of individuals who are subject to Time and Effort Reporting (TER), submit corrections according to the Time and Effort Reporting policy and any associated instructions.
  • A DCTR Workbook is a tool used to facilitate cost transfers for any non-TER and/or errors not related to salary.
  • A cost-reimbursement sponsored project provides for payment of allowable incurred costs to the extent prescribed in the agreement.
  • A fixed-price sponsored project operates under an established price that's not subject to any adjustment on the basis of the contractor's cost incurred while performing the agreement.
  • For cost reimbursable sponsored projects, Office of Research Administration will prepare and submit all invoices to the sponsors.
  • For non-cost-reimbursable projects, milestone/per patient projects, the department (DRA/research coordinator) will submit all invoices to the sponsors and provide a copy of the invoice to the office, with the exception of the startup invoice. The assigned office RFA will prepare and send the startup invoice to the sponsor.
  • For a fixed-price nonclinical trial, the DRA will inform the Office of Research Administration RFA of the milestone completion, and the members of the office will prepare and submit all invoices to the sponsor.
  • The assigned RFA will forward a copy of the final invoice to the PI and DRA for review and approval before it is routed for signatures. Once all approvals are obtained, the final invoice will be submitted to the sponsor.
  • The Office of Research Administration is responsible for the submission of financial reports to the sponsor.

Cost-sharing is the financial support that a research institute will commit to in an effort to continue research. Cost share can either be a mandatory or voluntary commitment that is required to follow the sponsor's regulations under the same policies that govern allowability. For cost-share policy, please refer to the PPM, under "Cost-Sharing on Sponsored Activities Policy: Sponsored Research and Funds Administration."

A cost-sharing form is part of the budget-building tool at the time of proposal. However, if cost-sharing activities have changed after the award, an updated, approved cost-sharing form—or an email from the DRA copying the PI—must be submitted. The cost-sharing form can be found in the PPM, under "Commitment and Cost-Sharing Confirmation/Modification Form: Sponsored Research and Funds Administration."

If there is an approved cost-sharing form on file, the RFA will fund cost-sharing activities on a quarterly basis or as required. At the end of the project period, the RFA will true-up the funding for all cost-sharing activities.

If an RFA discovers that cost-sharing activities hit the project, they must confirm with the GCO and PI/DRA that activities are accurate and relevant. If so, then the PI/DRA must submit an approved cost-sharing form to the Office of Administration within 30 days from date of discovery. Any cost-sharing activities that post to the project will be considered a deficit until a cost-sharing form has been received.

At project expiration, a project closeout form for external, internal and industry-sponsored projects must be completed and submitted to the Office of Research Administration to begin the closeout process. The assigned GCO and RFA will review the file to make sure all reporting requirements have been met in accordance with the terms and conditions of the sponsoring agency. Additionally, the RFA will work with the DRA to resolve any deficits or surpluses prior to closeout, and the RFA will complete a thorough reconciliation of the project before placing it in closed status.

Contact your RFA to develop a plan and timeline for clearing the deficit. Per the PPM's "Deficit Resolution Procedure: Sponsored Research and Funds Administration," the PI will have 60 days from the date of the memo to resolve the deficit. If the deficit is not resolved within 60 days, the Office of Research Administration will ask the department chair to assist in resolving it or to provide an action plan that eliminates the deficit.

  • Submit a DCTR to your RFA with either expenses or funds to transfer to clear the deficit.
  • Submit a funds transfer memo to your GCO.
  • Confirm with your GCO that additional funding will be added to the project, and ask for that confirmation in writing.
  • Inform RFA that costs posted to the project are in error, and initiate the appropriate cost transfers.

If the residual balance is unrestricted and therefore not required to be returned to the sponsor, the balance may be resolved as follows:

Residual
Less than 25% of revenue received and less than $25,000
Greater then 25% of revenue received and/or greater than $25,000
Closeout

Complete requested information. No residual balance statement needed.

Complete requested information. Residual balance statement is required.

Approval Needed

PI, department chair and internal Office of Research Administration approval

PI, department chair, internal Office of Research Administration  approval, VP of Research and/or VP of Compliance

  • Disposition of funds is at the discretion of the VP of Research and Office of Research Administration management.
  • Please see the procedure titled "Disposition of Residual Funds on Clinical Trials and Other Types of Fixed Price agreements Procedure: Sponsored Research and Funds Administration" in the PPM for more information.

An IRP is a research project with a specific scope of work or aims funded by restricted or unrestricted donations (Fund 15), interest income from an endowment, the Research Institute, the department, or GRF. Paperwork to set up an IRP must include a face page, budget, and lay summary. IRPs are assessed with 20% F&A. IRPs are required to have a 10% expenditure in a fiscal year.

A GRF is a research project funded from unrestricted donations or residuals. No specific scope or aims are required for setup. Paperwork to set up a GRF must include a face page only, and GRFs are required to have a 10% expenditure in a fiscal year.

Upon receipt of your 90-day project expiration notification, please contact your GCO to discuss your next plan of action.

Contact your GCO to verify whether your effort is reflected in the Faculty Commitment page in PeopleSoft.

All purchasing requisition errors should be directed to the Purchasing Department for resolution. If additional information is required, Purchasing will contact the assigned RFA.

Equipment is property that is expected to last 2 years or more and has an original cost of $5,000 or greater if purchased separately. When equipment is ordered and paid for with a grant or project, federal or nonfederal, it is tagged and entered into the equipment database by Materials Management. It is then tracked and monitored by the Office of Research Administration for audit purposes. If equipment is disposed or transferred, that process also needs to go through Materials Management for proper disposal in the database.

The fringe and indirect cost rates for industry, nonfederal, restricted and federally sponsored projects are as follows:

Research Finance
Fringe Rate
Indirect Cost Rate
Industry

28.7%

30% TDC

Non-Federal

29.7%

30% TDC
*any exception requires prior research institute VP approval

Restricted

19.3%

20% TDC

Federal

26.9%

75% MTDC

  • MTDC base excludes equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, tuition remission, rental costs of off-site facilities, scholarships and fellowships—as well as the portion of each subgrant and subcontract in excess of $25,000.
  • TDC base includes all direct costs.
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Office of Research Administration

If you have questions or wish to learn more about the Office of Research Administration, please call us or send a message.

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