Federal Reports

The federal government requires at least two types of reports during the course of most federal grants:  grant effort reporting and conflict of interest reporting.  However, the terms of each grant agreement and the requirements of each federal agency may be slightly different.  We strongly recommend closely reviewing the reporting requirements for your specific grant award so that you understand your particular obligations.  Please contact the grants officethe provost’s office, and/or your federal funding agency’s program officer with any questions.

Each principal investigator for a federal grant must log-in to the PeopleSoft FACSIS system and complete the forms to satisfy their legal reporting obligation.  If a grant has more than one PI, each PI must complete their own individual effort report and financial conflict of interest forms.  Only one PI per grant should report on the activities of students and other research assistants for that project.  Both conflict of interest and grant effort reports must be filed in the PeopleSoft FACSIS system at least twice annually, approximately six months apart.

Grant Effort Reporting

Federal law requires that all faculty and staff with grant support from government-funded agencies report twice a year on the effort devoted to those grant projects.  The effort report should confirm that you, your research assistants, your research students, and anyone else whose work is being funded by the grant actually worked on the grant-funded project for the amount of time designated in the project’s official budget.

Financial Conflict of Interest Reporting

The law also requires that any faculty or staff member who has a federally-funded grant (or who is in a position to influence the outcome of an NSF- or Public Health Service-funded project) report the details of any conflict of interest or assert that they have no financial conflict of interest with regard to the project.  If a conflict does exist, reasonable efforts will be made to work with the investigator to manage it.

What Does Ethical Issues Mean?

Ethical issues occur when a given decision, scenario or activity creates a conflict with a society’s moral principles. Both individuals and businesses can be involved in these conflicts, since any of their activities might be put to question from an ethical standpoint. Individuals are subject to these issues in their relationships with other individuals or in their relationships with organizations and same goes for organizations.

These conflicts are sometimes legally dangerous, since some of the alternatives to solve the issue might breach a particular law. In other occasions, the issue might not have legal consequences but it might generate a negative reaction from third parties. Ethical issues are challenging because they are difficult to deal with if no guidelines or precedents are known. For this reason, many professional and industry associations have ethical codes that are discussed and approved by key participants to provide a useful framework for companies and individuals to make adequate decisions whenever they face one of these conflicts.