Project Closeout

Project closeout is the process in which the award recipient demonstrates that all applicable administrative actions and all required work associated with the award have been completed. Closeout starts the day you begin to think about your proposal. Effective research administration over the life of the award will help eliminate problems at closeout. Manage the project closely during the period of performance, not just during the days after the end of the award. Keep faculty and staff informed of the rules.

Terms and Conditions

Federal award terms and conditions specify that closeout documentation be submitted to the awarding agency within 90 to120 days after the end of the period of performance.

Some sponsors require that the closeout is completed earlier than 90 days, so it is important to review the terms of the award and notify the PI about this requirement in a timely manner. For example, most federal pass-through awards require a closeout to be completed within 45 to 60 days of the award end date to allow for the prime recipient to complete a timely closeout of the entire project within 90 to 120 days.

Award TypeReporting Due Date
Federal90-120 calendar days after expiration
Federal Pass-Through45-60 calendar days after expiration
Other (e.g., State of North Carolina)See Contract (deadlines vary and may be earlier).

Failure to submit reports by the sponsor due date can result in suspension of the principal investigator (PI) and/or university from receipt of additional funding, reimbursement for current costs, and ability to submit future proposals. University closeout policies and procedures were developed to ensure that all sponsor requirements are met in accordance with OMB Uniform Guidance (UG).

Financial Report

Contracts and Grants will prepare the final financial report and submit it to the sponsor. All financial records should be retained for a minimum of three years after closeout, longer if circumstances require it. Sponsors have up to three years after the official closeout date to conduct a closeout audit. The three-year retention period can be expanded in the case of audits, lawsuits, patent applications, charges of misconduct, conflict of interest, etc.

Closeout Responsibilities

  • Review award expenditures
  • Review and approve sub-recipient reports
  • Finalize all related forms and reports

  • Confirm with funding agency that project is indeed ending
  • Review award expenditures (over the life of project and at closeout)
  • Remit final payment to sub-awardees
  • Receive final invoice from sub-awardees and remit payment
  • Reconcile grant fund – ensure costs are allowable, allocable, reasonable and consistent with the terms of agreement
  • Resolve overdrafts
  • Review who has spending authority and notify individuals to stop processing charges to the project
  • Provide cost-share report

  • Send final invoice to sponsors/funding agencies
  • Prepare and submit financial status report
  • Return unexpended balance per final report
  • Prepare supporting forms and reports
  • Close sub-award/consultant encumbrances
  • Prepare and process closing entries