Office of Sponsored Programs & Research Compliance

Students Receive Medallion

Congratulations! You've received an award. What to do next:

Although the role of the principal investigator or project director is paramount in the performance of sponsored activity, the University is the recipient of the award and the responsible party to the related agreement. In accepting a grant or contract, the University assumes legal responsibility for observing the terms and conditions of the agreement and for delivering to the sponsor such assurance of compliance as may be required.

When an award document is received by SPARC, the Director and grant officer verifies that it is in conformance with university policy and that the proposal has been fully routed and approved in RAMSeS. Then, forms are prepared and forwarded to accounting for entry into the Banner system with a copy of the award document attached. Accounting returns the request with the fund number and the SPARC office emails an award letter for the PI that provides the fund number and budget line items with the complete award document available in RAMSeS. This process takes approximately 10 working days.

When the fund number is received, a PI should review the project's scope of work to determine if sub-agreements need to be issued, employees hired, or other activities need to begin.

Why is it taking so long?

SPARC is the authorized institutional office to submit proposals, negotiate awards and accept awards. A faculty member may not accept an award on behalf of the university. If a faculty member does sign an agreement, even if it's sent directly to them, they put themselves at risk personally. Any difficulties during the conduct of the project could result in personal liability and the inability of the university to provide protection. While a contract may appear at first brush to be straightforward and simple, there is a good deal of language often included (or not included) which presents problems of ownership, legal obligations, and certain actions to which the university cannot agree. If a faculty member receives an award document directly, s/he should immediately contact the SPARC office and deliver the document to that office.

Sometimes revisions to agreements may result in lengthy delays; other times the award is straightforward and can be agreed to immediately. During these negotiations, sponsored programs staff may contact the PI to clarify issues related to the programmatic scope of work and/or budget modifications. Every award is reviewed to ensure consistency between the approved proposal and the award instrument. It is also reviewed for existing approvals for animal or human subject involvement prior to the fund number being released to the PI.

Hyper links: PI Checklist


1-a - Receiving the Award: Subcontracts

SUB-AGREEMENTS (sometimes called subcontracts, subawards):

Because of possible restrictions imposed by the sponsor, all sub-agreements must be closely coordinated with SPARC. A letter of commitment, scope of work and detailed budget with budget justification will be needed from the PI to prepare sub-agreement. The sub-agreement with scope of work, budget and budget justification will be forwarded to the other institution and a signature obtained by the institution's sponsored programs office.

The original agreement will be retained in the Sponsored Programs and Research Compliance office where invoices will be received and approved. The PI will be asked to review the invoices and notify SPARC to process them for payment through University channels. The PI is responsible for authorizing a requisition to encumber the funds.

Due to legal restrictions on agreements and subcontracts, it is critical that the PI work closely with SPARC in this area.