The Business Center is located in D209 Engineering Quad, and manages the day-to-day financial tasks in support of departmental and sponsored research activities. The team is comprised of five staff - the Business Manager who supervises two Grants Managers and two Purchasing Support personnel.
The Business Center provides departmental support to faculty, researchers, students and staff.
- Financial Information - balances and chartstring budgets
- Purchasing requests - ordering on sponsored and non-sponsored projects
- Building access - Salto and CACS
- Capital Assets
- Sponsored Research
- Responsible for proposal submissions as well as award administration for MAE home-based faculty and researchers - see the Doing Research in MAE page for more information.
- Provide monthly portfolio overview, including internal and external awards.
- Assist with chartstring expeditures ensuring compliance with both University and Sponsor guidelines.
- Resource for policy and procedures for MAE as well as the University and Sponsors.
- Assist Business Manager with the implementation of departmental processes and changes to workflow, policy or procedures as required.
*New Guidance* effective December 9, 2020
- MAE staff should be notified of your intent to submit a proposal a minimum of 10 working days (two weeks) prior to the deadline. More than two weeks of notice is always preferred. We will provide ORPA with a weekly update of upcoming proposal submissions, which will then help everyone involved.
- To meet ORPA’s recommendation to submit proposals five business days in advance of the deadline, proposal budgets should be finalized at least seven working days prior to the proposal deadline. (this step enables MAE staff to have time to meet all the internal processing requirements).
- Please note: It is important that the budget be finalized early on so that all the necessary documentation can be completed and entered into appropriate systems. Last minute budget changes often lead to rushing, which leads to errors that we are trying to avoid.
- ORPA expects to receive the administrative sections of the proposal via ERA at least five working days prior to the proposal deadline. This includes the final budget.
- Technical sections of the proposal should be submitted via ERA to ORPA at least two working days prior to the deadline.
As a reminder, some proposals require extra time such as those to new sponsors, to international agencies, those with subawards, or proposals with multi-PIs/institutions. To allow sufficient time for MAE staff and ORPA to complete their required reviews, please add extra time to the above guidelines for these types of proposals.
We understand that last minute proposal requests do happen occasionally. To assist with MAE and ORPA workload planning, notices that do not meet the above guidelines on giving ORPA five working days (item 3) will require a written exception by the Department Chair. In these rare instances, you will write to your grants manager and to the chair so that a determination about department support for submitting a last-minute proposal can be made.
Buying & Paying
All order requests should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org and your assigned purchasing contact will manage your request.
- URGENT orders should be designated as such in the subject of your email, or sent a follow-up message to your assigned purchasing contact after the initial order is placed via the purchasing email.
- If you are an approved cart creator, you may create a cart in the marketplace and forward it to your assigned purchasing contact.
- You can view available and suggested vendors in the PRIME portal.
- Reference materials for buying & paying for goods and services can be found in the Information and Training button on the PRIME portal.
- Laboratory supplies should not be out-of-pocket expenses unless in emergency situations and be prepared to provide the necessary backup.
- Computers cannot be purchased on a personal or University credit card - always route the requests to the purchasing listserv. See the computer policy here.
- Threshold Approval Form (Required for all orders with a total of $5,000 or more)
Travel & Expenses - Concur
Travel and expense reimbursements are submitted through Concur and should include the requied information to allow for expedient processessing. Multiple, un-related expenses may be included on a single expense report - please do not route multiple reports with a single item on each report.
- As per the travel policy, expenses must be routed within 30 days from the date of the transaction. Do not wait to route advance expenses (hotel deposit, airfare, registration) after your trip or they may be counted as taxable income.
- If you hold a University netid you have been automatically granted access to Concur.
- Concur can be accessed from the PRIME portal or www.princeton.edu/concur or travel.princeton.edu.
- Reference materials for travel and expense can be found in the Information and Training button on the PRIME portal, and a new one-page guide will be available soon.
IMPORTANT: You must assign an expense approver before you can route a report through Concur. You will receive an error if you do not. Your Concur approver is your supervisor or faculty advisor and the faculty assistant is your expense delegate. Contact a faculty assistant for assistance.
- When submitting expenses you will need to obtain the full chartstring and enter it in the allocation tab for each expense before submitting the report. You will never have a program and a project in a chartstring.
- You MUST complete the Business Purpose for each line item - it should always answer Who/What/Where/When and Why - example: You have a meal expense, your last name should be first such as: Smith/meal/talk @ APS Mtg/SanDiego/Nov2019