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Setting Up an Award, Contract, or Clinical Trial

An award is the mechanism used by the sponsor to provide funding of a proposal. An award can come in many forms. It can be in the form of a Notice of Grant Award (NGA), a letter, a contract (industry, non-profit foundation/entity, federal), a cooperative agreement, a purchase order (PO), etc. The award is a legally binding document between the sponsor and the institution. Typically, notices of awards are official award documents, contracts or letters that indicate an amount, time frame and additional terms and conditions.

Only authorized institutional representatives may execute contracts on behalf of the institution. All awards must be processed through InfoEd (review required routing checklists for InfoEd). Faculty members may not sign contracts in the name of the institution.  

When a contract is signed...

All original contracts should be sent to the Office of Sponsored Programs as they are responsible for the management of original contracts. If OSP receives the signed contract from the sponsor they provide a copy of the fully-executed contract to the PI or Departmental contact. If funding is involved, a chartfield is established in PeopleSoft. 

The account is set up as quickly as possible after receiving the signed contract. The department is notified when the chartfield has been established in PeopleSoft. Once Office of Sponsored Programs has completed the signature process, a copy of the fully-executed contract, along with a copy of the signed Route Form and internal budget are sent to the Department of the Principal Investigator.

For additional information regarding account set up specific to clinical trials, see Policy on Establishing Clinical Trials Accounts. Also review our Frequently Asked Questions

When an Award is Received...

The notice of award should be sent to the Office of Sponsored Programs with the associated GTS number assigned to the proposal routed through BRSA. If OSP receives a Notice of Award from the sponsor via e-mail, fax or mail, the business official forwards the award letter to the PI and departmental business manager. If the awarded amount differs from the requested amount, the grant administrator requests a revised budget from the PI. Once the budget is received a chartfield is established in PeopleSoft. Financial Services will send the signature card to the primary contact (this may be the PI or business manager depending upon how your department has predetermined the process).

If a proposal has been routed through OSP, a chartfield is established in PeopleSoft as quickly as possible, typically within 5 business days of receiving the complete information. If you want to set up a pre-award account to facilitate the process, please reference the Preaward account policies below to determine the appropriateness of a Preaward account.

A Preaward account is set up once the pre-award account approval form has been processed and reviewed by the Office of Sponsored Programs .

Avoid Delays

  • Be sure you've routed a proposal through the Office of Sponsored Programs.
  • If you receive the award notice from the sponsor, forward it to the Office of Sponsored Programs for processing
  • Be sure to submit revised budgets that match the award notice to the Office of Sponsored Programs in a timely fashion

Proposals to external sponsors that are not routed to OSP through the InfoEd system prior to sponsor award issuance will experience delays in processing and award setup. If appropriate approvals are not obtained prior to the receipt of an award, the institution is not contractually bound to accept an award on behalf of the PI. In all instances, when routing is not completed prior to issuance and receipt of an award, review and acceptance consideration will not be given priority over others in the queue that have followed institutionally defined processes.

Prior Approvals 

All requests requiring prior approval by the Sponsor require review and approval by the Office of Sponsored Programs before submission to external sponsors. These include but are not limited to, reduction in effort 25% or greater, change or absentee of PI, and changes in scope.

Signature of Acceptance

Once an award that needs a signature of acceptance is received by the Office of Sponsored Programs any terms and conditions associated with the award are reviewed. A revised budget may be requested in the process, if the awarded budget is different from the original proposal. Once the award is signed, the original is returned to the sponsor. The department is notified when the chartfield has been established in PeopleSoft. 

Also review our Frequently Asked Questions.

A Clinical Trials Account is set up to manage and track the deposits and expenditures of study funds.

  • accounts will be set-up upon contract execution and IRB approval of the study.
  • accounts will be set up for the budget period submitted to Sponsored Programs via the InfoEd submission. 
  • The PI/Department is responsible for monitoring and ensuring that expenses (including PI and staff effort) are appropriately charged to the account.  
  • the PI/Department will be responsible for all deficits resulting from non-payment.

For additional information regarding account set up specific to clinical trials, see Policy on Establishing Clinical Trials Accounts.