2125 - Delinquent Payment/Nonpayment of Project Costs by Sponsors

Document purpose

To establish responsibility for the resolution of delinquent payment and/or nonpayment of project costs by sponsors.


December 1986


February 2020


June 2023

Responsible Office

Research Services


Research Services


Delinquent Payments are billed receivables aged more than 90 days past due;

Collection Activities are efforts to resolve delinquent payments from sponsors;

Uncollected delinquent project payments are billed receivables that remain unpaid after 180 days.

The Policy

The Office of Research Services (and the Office of Research Support Services in PSOM) is responsible for Collections activities related to non-payment of sponsored programs receivables.

Departments, schools and centers should regularly monitor invoices and outstanding receivable balances on sponsored projects and communicate with ORS when they identify risks of non-payment.

Collections activities will begin once an account is delinquent for at least 90 days or the total unpaid delinquent balance is greater than $100,000.

When ORS is not successful in recovering Uncollected Delinquent Project Payments, the responsible department, school or center may request the assistance of the Office of General Counsel to seek legal remedy. Legal costs associated with pursuit of legal remedy are the responsibility of the department, school or Center.

If efforts to resolve non-payment are not successful after 180 days from the date of the initial collection activity, the uncollected delinquent project payments will be moved from the sponsored project account to an unrestricted account in the responsible department that received the benefit of the award. Upon receipt of the outstanding payment due, the write-off will be reversed to remove the bad debt expense activity transferred to the responsible org departmental account to make the sponsored project account whole.

For information related to billing please see policy: 2124 DIRECT BILLING.


Roles and Responsibilities

Principal Investigator

  • Communicate with Business Administrator and ORS/ORSS regarding any known issues for non- payment (e.g. missing deliverable, dispute over performance, financial problems at sponsor).

Business Administrator

  • Monitor aged receivables on sponsored project accounts;
  • Communicate with ORS when need for collections activity is identified;
  • Assist ORS in resolution of non-payment issues;
  • Ensure that invoices billed directly by the department are provided to ORS/ORSS;
  • Pursue Collection of Delinquent Payments for projects billed outside of ORS;

Office of Research Services

  • Provide School with aged receivable reports monthly;
    • Individual staff members at the School or Org level have access to run these reports and are encouraged to do so. (School Report, Fund Summary Report- available in the Business Objects/Webi Public Folder). Additional information available on the ORS Website: https://researchservices.upenn.edu ;
  • Monitor Delinquent Payments;
  • Communicate with Business Administrator to coordinate Collections activities;
  • Pursue collection of Delinquent Payments;
  • Write off uncollected delinquent project payments;
  • Ensure monies are recorded appropriately.


The source of this document is Research Services