Quarterly Review & Certification

University policy RPH 3.2: Management of Project Expenditures requires that each sponsored project and cost sharing accounts receive:

eCertification records and tracks the results of Stanford's quarterly process of  review & certification of all sponsored project and cost sharing expenses.

In eCertification, individuals who are assigned the overseer role at the department or division level are expected to monitor both the research administrator's review progress, and PI's review and certification progress.

RMG’s Research Financial Compliance Managers (RFCM) serve as School Overseers and work with their assigned departments as needed to ensure timely certification of sponsored project expenditures.


At the Beginning of Each Certification Quarter

The DFA or designee (e.g., Research Administrator, Task Manager) ensures all of the sponsored PTAs within his/her department/division are properly assigned in the eCertification System. This can be accomplished through the overseer role.

How to Make Changes to Account Updates/Authorization


Contact your DFA if accounts for your project aren’t properly assigned.

Research Admin / Task Managers

  • Use the overseer role to assign/edit PTAs in your department/division
  • If you need to have the overseer role assigned to you, contact an RFCM
  • If you have difficulty assigning/editing accounts, contact an RFCM
  • If you are also a task manager, and can’t assign/edit accounts for this reason, ask an RFCM for help

Deadlines for Certification

The deadline for the PI certification is approximately 75 days after the end of the academic quarter being certified.

Certification Process

Both the Research Administrator’s Review and the PI’s Quarterly Certification is tracked through the eCertification System.

  1. Each month, the Research Administrator (or Task Manager) reviews the rates of expenditures with the PI
  2. The Research Administrator/Task Manager completes and documents their review of project expenditures in the eCertification system
  3. At the end of the quarter, the PI (Task Owner) reviews the account details screen in eCertification for each sponsored project and costs sharing account
    1. What to look for: reasonableness of all expenses, including salaries, charged to the project
  4. The PI requests clarification or corrections, if required
  5. Research administrators/task managers make expenditure corrections—refer to RPH 15.8 Cost Transfer Policy for Sponsored Projects
  6. The PI certifies in a timely manner
  7. Research administrators ensures PI completes certification is complete
  8. RFCMs review all accounts to insure completion of review
  9. RFCMs report completion to SoM leadership


The SoM goal is for ALL PTAs to be certified by the quarterly certification deadline.

The escalation framework below may be used by departments to work with principal investigators to achieve the goal of 100% on-time certification.

Level Timeline Description Escalates To

Level 1

(internal to department)

5 days before University deadline


Day of Department / Division / Institute deadline

Research Administrator or Analyst seeks assistance from Division, Department, or Institute leadership to communicate with PI if they have not certified  DFA or Chair

Level 2

Optional (only after departmental escalation)

2 days before University deadline 

If PI has not completed certification after Level 1 intervention, DFA should first send a second “Level 1” message to PI.

For certifiers that have been repeatedly late* (more than 2x in the past 4 quarters), the DFA can request escalation from RMG leadership. Upon request, a direct email will be sent to the PI with CC to DFA, Chair, and SOM Associate Dean of Research.

DFA or Chair


RMG Executive Director, SOM Senior Associate Dean of Research)

Level 3

Required (only for Faculty who have not certified by the day after the deadline)

After University Deadline  RMG Compliance Staff will communicate with Department, Division, or Institute staff regarding any faculty who have not certified by the deadline. In consultation with department staff, RMG Compliance Staff may recommend an additional escalation to RMG and SOM research leadership or to the Associate Vice President of Research Administration.  RMG Executive Director), SOM Senior Associate Dean of Research 

*DFAs may access a tableau report to see the late certification history for their departments: eCertification Dashboard
Note: only DFAs may access this dashboard. If you are a DFA and cannot access this report, please contact the RFCM for your department.


For faculty on sabbatical, leave or have left the university, refer to eCertification System: Leave/Sabbatical FAQS.

A full listing of roles and responsibilities for the quarterly certification is on the DoResearch Website.


The PI (Task Owner) reviews the account details screen in eCertification for each sponsored project and costs sharing account quarterly.

For more information, see the eCertification PI briefing.

Department/ Division

The Research Administrator (or Task Manager)

  • reviews the rates of expenditures with the PI
  • ensures PI completes certification of all expenses, including salaries, charged to the project on a quarterly basis

Department Overseers update task manager assignments:

  • via PTA Manager for Quarter-To-Date review
  • via eCertification “Temp Task Manager Reassignment” Tab for the current Certification Quarter.

For more information, see the eCertification briefings for:


The RFCMs act as the School of Medicine Overseers. They:

  • Grant departmental overseer responsibility
  • Help departmental overseers troubleshoot problems (including system issues)
  • Review completion status and report to management


Stanford Internal Resources

Internal Forms/Templates

In the rare instances a PI needs to manually complete a paper certification you can from within the eCert application access a streamlined PDF quarterly report that contains the certification language. To access the eCertification PDF report navigate to the relative Account Details page(s) within the eCert application and click on the "View PDF” link at the bottom of the page. The PDF will open on a new tab for review and/or printing. Note: Manual (paper) certification is only allowed with explicit prior approval from the eCertification team. See Leave/Sabbatical FAQS.


All Research Administrators (Task Managers) should complete:

Recommended Electives for Cardinal Curriculum Level II: