(i) Hiring an EMU Student Employee
(ii) Payment by Honorarium
(iii) Hiring an Independent Contractor
We are pleased that you have been awarded funding (and, in some cases, released time) to support your research, creative activity, or special project.
Whether your funding has come from Eastern Michigan University or some external agency, all awards are considered University funds and must be spent according to University policy and procedures.
Some faculty, especially those who are receiving an award for the first time as an employee of EMU, encounter difficulties in spending their awards. In fact, about 20% of all dollars awarded, both internal and external, are unexpended by the end of the grant period. This money, which could have been used to accomplish the goals of a project, must then be returned to the funding source. We want you to spend your entire award. To that end, we have prepared this document to explain procedures to fully spend your award with the least amount of trouble.
The exact amount of your award is stated in the award letter. If any amounts from your original proposed budget have been disallowed, the reason will be explained here. You are required to spend funds in accordance with the approved budget. If you need to rebudget later, you will need to have the revised budget approved by the Associate Provost & Associate Vice President for Research (AP & AVP for Research).
If you have received a Faculty Research Fellowship (FRF) or Provost’s New Faculty Award, the following fund, org, and program numbers should be used on all Direct Pay Forms, Inter-Department Expense Transfer Forms, and Employee Reimbursement & Travel Forms:
Faculty Research Fellowship (FRF) G00005/116350/20
Provost’s New Faculty Research Award G00005/116300/20
All completed paperwork must be forwarded to the AP & AVP for Research, Academic Affairs, 106 Welch Hall, for an authorized approval signature. Be sure to note the award and year (e.g., FRF Fall 2011) on all paperwork.
Unless you have obtained prior approval for an extension, funds must be expended within the stated award period. For Released Time and Cash Only FRFs, University funds must be expended during Eastern Michigan’s fiscal year, which runs from July 1 through June 30. For spring-summer support FRFs, University funds must be expended by June 30 of the fiscal year following the award. The Provost’s New Faculty Award is awarded on a calendar-year basis and funds must be expended between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31 of the award year.
It is important to expend your award as early as possible in the fiscal year and ensure that accounting paperwork has time to clear before the fiscal year closes on June 30th. New Faculty Research award expenditure paperwork should be received by December 15.
If an expenditure poses a special problem, if a transaction must be completed swiftly, or if you are undecided as how best to expend funds, contact the AP & AVP for Research’s office at 487-3201.
The following describes each type of expenditure you are likely to encounter and the steps to follow. If you have questions about procedures or want to know the balance available in your account, call the AP & AVP for Research’s office at 487-3201.
Meanwhile, best wishes on a successful conclusion to your project!
While the upper limits of cash funding for internal research awards range from $3,000 to $5,000, there are instances where cost sharing with departments/schools may result in a combined payment in excess of $5,000. In this case, your department/school should initiate the purchase procedure and send an Expense Transfer Form to 106 Welch for our share of the cost.
1. Employee Reimbursement
Employees can be reimbursed up to $300 for allowable tangible goods purchases. Employees can obtain reimbursement by completing an Employee Reimbursement Form. Eastern Michigan University is a tax-exempt entity. Therefore, Michigan taxes paid on these purchases may not be reimbursable. Employees should contact the Purchasing Department prior to securing goods for University purposes to obtain a Blanket Certificate of Exemption letter to be presented at time of purchase whenever possible. It is recommended that the employee secure a preapproval before purchasing goods out of their personal funds. If the purchase is deemed not reimbursable, the purchase will not be reimbursed and the purchase becomes the sole responsibility of the purchaser.
2. University Payment Card
The Payment Card (P-Card) will be used for all direct purchases of goods or services of less than $5,000. The intent is to eliminate the need for small dollar purchase orders, direct reimbursements and operational advances (if applicable). The Payment Card may not be used to pay for consulting services.
3. Direct Payment
Direct Payment will only be utilized for the purchase of goods or services for dollar amounts of $5,000 or less where suppliers do not accept the University Payment Card. The vendor invoice should be attached to a Direct Pay Form, which should be forwarded to 106 Welch. Please note: Business & Finance regulations state that invoices submitted for payment that are not in accordance with University policies will be considered a personal expense by the individual placing the order with the vendor.
1. Hiring an EMU Student Employee
Your department secretary can help you with this process. Student employees are hired as though they work for your home department. This ensures efficient reporting, tracking, review, and payment of wages. For reimbursement to your department of this expenditure, the department secretary should complete a Student Payroll Expense Transfer Form and attach a copy of the relevant Labor Report. This form should be sent to the AP & AVP for Research’s office in 106 Welch.
2. Payment by Honorarium
Honorariums can be used to pay modest compensation to:
Submit both the Honorarium/Supplemental Employment Request for Payment form and the Honorarium Approval Request form to 106 Welch. Only the top portion (down to the employee signature line) of the EMU Honorarium/Supplement Request for Payment should be completed; do not obtain any signatures prior to seeking approval. Reminder: do not promise payment to recipient until after approval has been received. Please submit these forms at least 30 days before employment starts.
3. Hiring an Independent Contractor
An independent contractor:
Paying an Independent Contractor is a very detailed process that requires strict adherence to all University policies and procedures. As procedures are currently being reviewed, please contact your department secretary or the AP & AVP for Research’s office (7-3201) to obtain further information.
Never pay an employee, student worker, or outside organization/person out of your own pocket. Even if such expenditure is in your approved budget, you cannot be guaranteed a University refund if proper procedures were not followed.
E. Small payment as incentives to research participants
In order to meet the dual requirements of preserving the confidentiality of human subjects’ data and ensuring compliance with IRS Tax law and internal controls, the Business and Finance Division and the UHSRC (University Human Subject Research Committee) are implementing the following procedure for payments.
For studies involving payments of $50 (includes cash, gift cards or tangible gifts) or less, only the number of subjects, amount, and location of log needs be reported to the Accounts Payable Office. Studies in which participants are anonymous should limit payments to no more than $50. Each department is required to keep a log of recipients on file for review by auditors (both internal and external) and the IRS.
When requesting a cash advance or reimbursement, please use the Human Subject Cash Advance/Reimbursement Form.
All Cash advances for human research studies must be reconciled and submitted to Accounts Payable no later than 60 days after the date of the advance check. Cash advances will only be given to EMU Faculty or Staff (dissertation chairperson). Multiple cash advances may be required for studies where data collection exceeds 60 days. Amount requested should represent that which can be spent within 60 days.
Payments of more than $50 to individuals participating in research studies will be recorded by Accounts Payable. All research participants receiving more than $50 must complete a W9 form and be paid through Accounts Payable. These individuals must be informed in the consent document that their Social Security number and home address will be required and payments from EMU in aggregate of $600 or more will be reported to the IRS as compensation.
Confidentiality of subjects for the study must be determined by the UHSRC and justified in the UHSRC approval letter. Any exception to the $50 anonymous payment must be recommended by the full UHSRC.
EMU employees may not receive anonymous compensation for their participation in any human subject research. All Payments for HSR to employees must be processed on an Honorarium through Payroll.
If you have any questions, want to check the status of your award budget, or need advice on the best method for paying an expense, please contact the AP & AVP for Research’s office (7-3201).