Project Set-up

An award within Compass is set-up with a minimum of one project and no system maximum. A project can be thought of as a repository driven by programmatic, budgeting, billing, and/or reporting purposes. Projects can be set-up for various purposes including:

  • Tracking budgets in different buckets due to agency requirements or restrictions on an award.
    • A NIH "P" award that has Core A, Core B, Core C, etc. In this example each Core would be a separate project.
    • A NIH R01 which receives a minority supplement. These funds are restricted for use for the minority and their related expenses.
  • An award in which Emory does not have automatic carry-over authority. Separate projects are created for each budget year to segregate annual funds. If a carry-over letter is submitted and approved by the agency, a new project would be created with the approved carry-over budget or funds would be transferred to the current year's project funds.
  • To track internal collaboration on an award based on the Emory Collaboration policy (when work crosses multiple schools, see Emory Policies)
  • To track budgets in different buckets for internal reporting purposes (necessary for some foundation awards).
  • If an award has multiple billing methods. On few occasions awards are received where a part of the money is paid by patient and/or task and another part is billed based on expenses incurred by the award. In these cases, each billing method would be set-up as a separate project under the same award.

For most awards, the number of projects needed, their budgets, titles and associated effort for individuals are inputted on the EPEX proposal. If an additional project(s) is needed after the eNOA is received, then a New Projects After Award Request should be completed. An OGCA representative for review and approval.

Budget levels represent a hierarchy that supports budgeting requirements. All items within the same level represent the same kind of information. Two levels of budgets have been established for use within the GRANT project costing business unit. The budget detail level will vary depending on the type of award and/or sponsor. The budget level will also determine which FUND ChartField will be used within the project's SmartKey. A ChartField is a PeopleSoft term describing a field that stores a value, chosen from a table of valid values. PeopleSoft uses ChartField functionality to capture, access, and report its financial information; a combination of ChartField values (ChartField String) identifies a financial transaction. Each ChartField operates independently functioning similar to a slot machine and may have a many-to-one relationship with other ChartFields.

High Level/Level 1:

  • Is considered a lump sum level
  • Used for clinical trials and/or any awards or sponsors with unrestricted line-item budget
  • Consists of:
    • Direct Costs subject to F&A
    • Direct Costs not subject to F&A
    • Subaward/contract information
    • Facilitates and Administration Costs

Detail Level/Level 2:

  • Is considered a more detailed categorical level
  • Used for awards or sponsors with restricted line-item budget
    • Consist of:
    • Salary Pool
    • Fringe Benefits Pool
    • Prof Consult Service Pool
    • Computer Services Pool
    • Communications Pool
    • Maintenance/Repair Service Pool
    • Other Services Pool
    • Supplies Pool
    • Equipment Pool
    • Travel Pool
    • Student Aid Pool
    • Other Expenses Pool
    • Lease-Rent Space
    • Sub-Award Pool
    • F&A Pool

Chartfield Values

ChartField NameRequired or Optional for Grant BudgetDefinition/Comments

Business Unit


- An identification code that represents a high-level organization of business information



Filled in by PS from proposal page (via EPEX)

Operating Unit


Must be completed by DMG



- ChartField that indicates who is responsible for or affected by the transaction
- Filled in by PS from proposal page (via EPEX)



- ChartField that represents structural units for education and government accounting
- Must be completed by DMG



Must be completed by DMG



- The Project/Grant ChartField is used to identify a discrete set of activities that occurs within a finite time period. Financial activity is limited to the dates associated with the ChartField. Activities associated with this ChartField may span multiple Departments, Funds and/or Accounts
- Filled in by PS from proposal page (via EPEX)

Activity ID


Filled in by PS from proposal page

Project Business Unit (PCBU)


Filled in by PS from proposal page







GRANT SmartKeys are established from the Grants Module within the project budgets page, GRANT > AWARDS > PROJECT > PROJECT BUDGETS. They can also be looked up by using the Project ID on the SmartKey Maintenance page, SMART SOLUTIONS > SMARTKEY > SMARTKEY MAINTENANCE >MAINTAIN SMARTKEYS. All grant SmartKeys are set-up within the EMUNV business unit.

SmartKeys were established as a 10-digit code to expedite data entry of the full ChartField string. If they did not exist, individuals would be required to type in all the ChartField values listed in Project Budgets. SmartKeys should not be used as the criteria for reporting.

Originally, SmartKey descriptions were assigned by the system using a predetermined logic that was not editable. The system took the first 16 characters of the project title then added part of the project's business unit (GL ChartField), the Class/ NACUBO ChartField and then EMUNV. Now, however, due to a modification of the system and a new business process, the SmartKey description will no longer use the original, predetermined logic. The project title is now the SmartKey description. If a description still uses the original logic the department can complete the SmartKey Inactivation Request Form.

The Terms page is a tracking tool that stores the terms and conditions applicable to a particular award. This page includes information from the Award document's terms and conditions. The Compass navigation is Grants > Awards > Award Profile – Terms.

Once the award and the appropriate associated projects are established within Compass, the Data Management Group generates the Electronic Notice of Award (eNOA). The eNOA provides the Award ID and some demographic information, such as the agency name, the agency reference number, the title of the award, award dates, etc. It also shows the Project ID number(s) associated with the Award ID, as well as, the budget information for the project(s) broken into Direct Cost, F&A, and Total including the F&A rate and the base on which it was applied. The Key Personnel section of the eNOA provides information on the Key Personnel listed on the award, their effort and their role on the award. Other sections of the eNOA include Certifications, Subcontracts, and Remarks & Comments (if applicable). All sections of the eNOA should be reviewed, with particular attention paid to the ChartField information section, which is what permits spending on the award. The ChartField information section lists the SmartKey with its exploded values for each project. It is suggested that all department administrators review this section to ensure that the Department and Operating Units are correct before spending begins on the SmartKey.

The eNOA along with all of the agency award documents are scanned and uploaded into a third-party system called Comsquared. An email is sent to a listserv address that is based on the primary project's department. The email contains a link for users to log into Comsquared where they are able to view, save, print and forward any documents to all relevant parties.

**It is important to note that if the award crosses multiple Departments or Schools, only the primary Department will receive access to the award documents and must forward them to any additional Departments/Schools. The other Departments/Schools will not receive any notification from the system and will not have security access.

**The Department Listservs are co-managed by the Department Administrator and the Data Management group. Changes to the listserv should be made at the department-level, except when the Department Administrator has left. In such cases, the Data Management Group can be contacted to add the new co-manager/owner.