Grants and Contract Administration

Effective Date: 07/01/95, Last Update 11/10

Policy Statement 2: Action Upon Receipt of Award


Upon receipt of a notice of award, the Office of Grants and Contracts (OGC) will take the following steps.

1. Assigns a Banner fund number for the financial accounting system.

2. Activates the fund in the Banner financial system so that costs may be incurred. This process normally takes 1 to 5 working days from receipt of the award.

3. By email, notifies the Principal Investigator (PI), the Departmental Administrator (DA), and the appropriate Associate Dean for Research (ADR) of the fund number activation.

4. Includes with the notification an Award Brief form which outlines the project dates, the budget for the project, and provides the full Banner FOP (fund, organizational unit, program code) which will be needed to process HR and financial transactions for the award.

5. Includes with the notification a PI Management Checklist – which outlines some management practices for sponsored projects.

6. If needed, includes with the notification a Cost Share Reconciliation Form – for projects that have match/cost share requirements.

7. As appropriate, includes with the notification additional information or attachments on management or compliance requirements, or unusual terms and conditions of the award.

At the time the notification is sent, the budget may not yet be visible in Banner. Sponsored projects funds do not need to have a budget in the system in order to process financial transactions. Financial transactions may occur immediately upon fund activation; even if the budget is not yet posted in Banner. The budget will normally be loaded into Banner within a week of fund activation.

Upon receipt of the notification, the PI/DA should immediately contact OGC if they think there are errors in any aspect of the fund set-up or budget presentation. (See Policy Statement 4 of this manual for additional information about budget presentation.)

In addition to reviewing the information from OGC, the PI/DA should carefully review the specific terms/conditions of the award. Most of the major sponsors also have policy manuals or guidelines; many of them are on-line (e.g., NIH, NSF). In addition to the specific terms of the award, the sponsor’s general policies should be reviewed to ensure that all planned activities and financial transactions are in compliance with the sponsor’s requirements and policies.

The PI should communicate with the DA to coordinate planned project financial activities and to determine if there are any additional internal procedures that may be required by the Department or the College/School.

OGC should be contacted if there are any questions about the terms or the requirements of the award.

Pre-Award Costs

Most sponsors do not allow pre-award spending. Only costs incurred on or after the project start date may normally be charged to a sponsored project. The date incurred is the effective date of the activity/transaction; not necessarily the date the cost is posted to the accounting system. (For example: If travel occurred/started before the award effective date, the cost is not allowed; even if the reimbursement request is processed after the project start date.)

Some sponsors do allow pre-award spending within a specified time frame (e.g., some federal awards allow pre-award spending up to no more than 90-days prior to the start date). A few sponsors may allow pre-award spending with a specific request and their authorization.
If there is a need for pre-award spending, contact OGC for procedures and requirements for the specific sponsor/award.

OGC must authorize all pre-award spending. OGC will disallow pre-award transactions if not in conformance with University and sponsor approval requirements.

Occasionally, an advance fund may have been established and costs incurred, before the final award documents were received, and the start date of the award is later than originally anticipated. In the event costs were incurred prior to the official award start date or the pre-award spending authorization date, OGC will disallow the costs.

All disallowed pre-award costs must be transferred to another University fund (state, special fund) and may not be transferred to another sponsored project fund.

See also Policy Statement 3.


Contact your OGC representative if you have questions about pre-award spending for your award. The OGC staff assignment listing is located on the OGC website