The Trouble With Duplicate Projects

There are many reasons that students create multiple projects in SAFE but the outcome is always the same--confusion and added work to correct the records. Multiple projects for the same activity or same time period are problematic because funders cannot easily determine how much a student needs and how much she has already been given.

Below are several common examples of such confusing situations. Funding Opportunity Administrators should be familiar with these situations so they can recognize them when they arise. Regardless of the reason for multiple projects, FOAs can avoid problems later in the process by consistently checking the student's project history before offering an award and again before paying an award.

Keeping Their Options Open

Students may apply for admission to several study abroad or internship programs. As they are not sure to which programs they will be admitted, they may create projects in SAFE for each of their possible activities.

Other students are indecisive about what they want to do and they create a variety of projects intending to decide later--perhaps based on where they receive the most support.

FOAs may not realize that the student has other projects for different activities--maybe even in different countries. FOAs should always view the project histories and verify that there are no potential conflicts. For example, a student cannot be in two different places and/or doing two different activities on the same dates.

FOAs should not pay their awards until the student has committed to one activity and withdrawn requests for funding for other SAFE projects .

Separate Applications for the Same Project

Some students do not understand that they can add funding opportunities to an existing project at any time until the project start date--even after the project application has locked. Instead, they create a duplicate project and apply to additional funding opportunities with the new application. FOAs may not notice that the student has already received some or all of the funding they need for this activity because it may be reflected in a different SAFE project.

Before paying, FOAs should check the student's other projects to verify how much the student actually still needs.

Funder-Initiated Duplicate Projects

When an FOA makes a funder initiated award to a student, a new project is created on the student's behalf. If the student had already created a project in SAFE or another funder had already made a funder-initiated award, the student will have duplicate projects.

Funders should check for related, existing projects before making an award. If there is already a project created for the activity they are awarding, FOAs should select that project from the drop down list and add the new award to it.

Students' SAFE histories need to be checked when making awards as well as when paying awards. The student's history may have changed in the time between the 2 processes. If FOAs notice conflicting commitments on the student's part or duplicate projects, they should ask the student to clarify and confirm the plans in SAFE and communicate with the other funders involved.