Formerly known at Ascension Seton as the Finance Post Award group, Sponsored Projects Finance (SPF) provides financial support services for all sponsored projects including internally- and externally funded grants, clinical trials, and specifically identified non-research projects. It is the goal of SPF to work seamlessly with investigators and their staff to accurately account for all project revenues and expenses, to provide financial management support, and to ensure that all financial records meet federal and state audit standards.
Roles & Responsibilities
SPF is responsible for assisting investigators and their staff with the efficient and effective fiscal management of research and non-research grants and contracts once awarded. SPF ensures grant and contract accounts are set-up correctly and works with Research Support Services to see that the institutional Clinical Trials Management System (CTMS) is managed and administered accurately, and closed out correctly and timely. SPF also has a role in ensuring institutional compliance with financial responsibilities and provides documentation for external and internal audits.
Guidance and Training
SPF offers guidance for Investigators and their Study Teams. Local Study Start-up meetings typically occur immediately following contract execution and study start-up. Periodic meetings between study team and SPF personnel continue throughout the life of the project. SPF training addresses requirements and expectation of the Investigators and their Study Teams, in the following areas:
- Research participant billing & patient load forms
- Patient stipends
- Time & effort reporting
- Release of restricted funds
- Audit preparation and response
- Financial compliance
- Financial reporting
Financial Factors Impacting a Clinical Trial
Although it is impossible to predict every factor that will affect the cost and conduct of a clinical trial, some major setbacks can be identified and avoided. SPF encourages investigators and their study teams to consider the following common factors and wherever and whenever possible, plan ahead to avoid their occurrence.
- Insufficient recruitment of patients: either none or none meeting the criteria for reimbursement
- Lack of a renewal contract to continue the study past a given end date as per the agreement
- Termination of the contract by the agency for any stipulated reason; funds may be requested for return in such cases
- Departure or loss of credentials of the principal investigator from the institution
- A serious negative outcome occurring either at Ascension Seton or at another study site, impacting all related studies
- Lapsed IRB renewal of approvals causing research to be suspended until approvals are current
Account Set Up
When project funds have been granted by an agency, for a drug, device, or other industry manufacturer, and all internal documentation is in order, SPF can then establish a new project ID number. The project is set up indicating the period of performance, the title, the short title, the Principal Investigator name, the budget, applicable Indirect or Finance and Administration Charges (F&A), and any required Assurances, etc. Clinical studies generally receive funds based upon patient recruitment or milestones which are reported to the agency and are then paid for after-the-fact based upon the budget as finally agreed upon in the fully executed contract.
Funding is not guaranteed unless specific criteria are met, these projects are therefore set up to begin identifying expenses of the study and have funds applied as earned. Payment most often comes in the form of a check mailed to the designated Institutional Lockbox or by ACH. Investigators should also be in contact with Sponsored Projects Finance regarding all financial information associated with the project. This Sponsored Projects Lockbox was created to accept all payments for sponsored projects at Ascension Seton. Ascension Seton is notified electronically of the arrival of all checks or ACHs which arrive at the bank with any accompanying documentation. Include the following address on any correspondence instructing the funding agency on where to send awarded funds to Seton. Remit to:
PO BOX 204242
Dallas, TX 75320-4242
For some overnight deliveries a street address is required. If a street address is needed use the following address:
Lockbox Services – 204242
2975 Regent Blvd.
Irving, TX 75063
Contribution Release Form
This form is used by study coordinators on projects where up front funding has not yet been earned such as projects where a foundation (or sponsor) has submitted funds to Ascension Seton that will need to be returned if no patients are enrolled and/or no research activity takes place. The money in kept in restricted funds until there is evidence that the money has been earned. The contribution release form is used move the money from restricted funds to the project as they earn it and should be requested as needed.
Questions about Ascension Seton Sponsored Projects Finance? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org