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New Instructions for Receiving Financial Transfers from ORIED

In response to changes in UT’s budget model, and in particular, to minimize the effects of financial transfers on academic units, the Office of Budget and Finance has made new recommendations for how transfers will be managed by institutional service units (ISUs).

As an ISU, the Office of Research, Innovation & Economic Development (ORIED) has updated some processes for financial transfers from our office to academic units. Please note that further changes may still be required as we learn more about how to navigate the new budget model and create the best outcomes for our customers.

ORIED’s budget is managed by Research Finance and Administration (RFA). All requests for financial transfers and reimbursements, as well as questions about processes described below, should be sent to the RFA team at

What Is Not Changing

Processes for transactions that are relatively small, or for a defined purpose over a short time, will not change. Some examples of these types of commitments include travel to a conference, participation in training and development programs, event costs, and most equipment purchases.

Funding for these commitments will continue to be made via reimbursement, which means that the faculty member or their department first incurs the cost and then requests repayment from ORIED.

Instructions are provided below for different ORIED funding opportunities that will continue to be processed via reimbursement.

Reimbursement requests should be submitted via the ORIED reimbursement form. To access the form, users must log in to their Google account using their UT NetID credentials.

Additional reimbursement instructions:

  • The department should submit a reimbursement request within 30 days after the cost is incurred;
  • ORIED can only reimburse cost centers (E-accounts);
  • Documentation: The reimbursement request must include the original email thread and/or official award notice that established the parameters of the award;
  • Travel: Attach the IRIS travel expense report and provide the IRIS doc # that begins with a “7” and the fund to reimburse;
  • Invoices: Provide an Excel document with the IRIS doc #, G/L account, posting date, and amount.

What Is Changing

Processes for financial transfers related to projects will change. In general, projects include large and/or multi-year financial commitments that often require line-item budgets corresponding to different general ledger codes; these commitments often include salary costs and/or funding for students. Some examples of projects include seed awards or large financial commitments governed by a formal memorandum of understanding.

Effective immediately, ORIED will no longer distribute funds for these commitments via budget transfers to colleges and departments. Instead, funds will be processed at the end of each fiscal year (June 30) for actual expenditures, up to the awarded or agreed amount. Charges above the awarded or agreed amount will be the responsibility of the academic unit.

  • Chancellor’s Grants
  • Bridge Funding Loans
  • Memoranda of Understanding with ISUs
  • Memoranda of Understanding with academic units
  • Professional and Scholarly Development Award (PSDA), with faculty salary or student costs
  • Seed Awards
  • Scholarly Projects Fund
  • Summer Graduate Research Assistants

ORIED will process a transfer to the academic unit at the end of each fiscal year (June 30) for actual expenditures, up to the awarded or agreed-upon amount. Academic units will be responsible for maintaining an accounting record of their actual expenditures related to the project. ORIED strongly recommends that academic units should establish an account for each project to ensure robust cost tracking.

Additional details for some funds are provided below.

  • Bridge Funding Loans: Repayment to ORIED from the department and/or college will occur at fiscal year end, unless otherwise indicated in the memorandum of understanding between ORIED and the department and/or college.
  • Chancellor’s Grants: Departments should process a pay funding change for the instructor(s) who will teach the faculty member’s course for the Chancellor’s Grant. Use account number E010135036, and in the workflow notes, departments should provide the name of the faculty member who received the Chancellor’s Grant, the semester and the year of the course release.
  • Memoranda of Understanding with ISUs: If ORIED has a memorandum of understanding with another institutional support unit (e.g., UT Libraries), budget transfers will still be used to transfer funds to the ISU. Transfers from ORIED to another ISU can occur at any time of year. The department receiving the funding should contact RFA to provide the cost center receiving the funds.
  • Memoranda of Understanding with Academic Units: If ORIED has a memorandum of understanding with an academic unit (e.g., Humanities Center, College of Law), funds will be processed at the end of each fiscal year (June 30) for actual expenditures, up to the awarded or agreed amount.
  • Summer Graduate Research Assistants: ORIED will provide departments with a cost center to be used for paying summer graduate research assistants via additional pay. Departments will continue to receive an award letter with instructions for this process.
  • Seed Awards: ORIED offers a changing selection of seed funding opportunities. Budgets for seed awards are often complex and require slightly different management.
    • As a best practice, departments should establish a cost center for seed awards; cost centers may be established in more than one department if the award involves multiple investigators.
    • The account name should reflect the details of the award (e.g., FY24 AI TENNessee Initiative – Faculty Last Name and First Name Initial).
    • ORIED will reimburse the distribution account used for actual expenditures, up to the approved award amount. Once the account is established, the department should send it to Research Finance and Administration. ORIED will provide a budget to cover the expenditures at the end of each fiscal year.
    • For questions about carrying over funding across fiscal years, contact your department or college financial specialist.

If you don’t see your funding opportunity addressed here, or if you still have questions about transfer or reimbursement processes, please contact Research Finance & Administration directly at