Award Management

University Research Administration (URA) is the campus office with responsibility for reviewing, negotiating, and institutionally accepting awards received from external sponsors. All award documents should be routed to URA for review and institutional endorsement. Individual PIs and staff should not sign award agreements until URA has agreed to the terms and conditions of the award.


Acceptance of an Award

URA is the institutional authority for the negotiation and acceptance of financial support or other contractually-binding obligations in the form of a contract, grant, or agreement, including material transfer agreements and clinical trials. If the department receives an award document, it should be delivered to the appropriate URA manager for review. After the review, individual PI’s and administrators should not sign award agreements unless instructed by URA.


The need to negotiate an award for acceptable terms and conditions is determined by the URA during the proposal submission and award review processes

Categories of most common institutional concerns are:

  1. Publication Restrictions
  2. Indemnification Provisions
  3. Insurance Requirements
  4. Intellectual Property
  5. Unreasonable financial reporting requirements
    a) Original receipts, time cards, hourly rates, etc.
    b) Frequency; or not enough time lag after end of reporting period
  6. Unreasonable audit requirements – with or without financial resources to support the costs
  7. Unrealistic technical reporting requirements
  8. Conflict with other involvements of the PI (IP, ownership of data, copyright, etc.)

URA Managers review each award document for terms and conditions. URA will also consult with the principal investigator/program director on the award and keep them informed of any negotiations.

URA will notify the PI and local unit administrators via email once the award agreement has been accepted.

Account Creation

After the award had been accepted by the University, a Financial Accounting System (FAS) account should be created. There are several different processes for creating or updating an FAS account for a new or amended award. The Local Business Centers (LBCs), BSD Dean’s Office, Medicine, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB), Ben May, Pathology, Cancer Research Center and CALGB create or update Financial Accounting System accounts for awards that they manage. For other units, Sponsored Award Accounting (SAA) creates/updates the account. SAA creates an account for a new award upon receipt from URA of an award notice. In addition to the account create processes described above, FAS accounts can be created in advance of receipt of a Notice of Grant Award (NGA). The party who creates the FAS accounts is responsible for updating AURA with those account numbers.

Sponsored Award Accounting

Sponsored Award Accounting performs the central University post award accounting and other financial administration functions for all of the University’s sponsored awards. It also prepares the Facilities & Administrative (F & A) and Fringe Benefit Rate Proposals that must be submitted to the federal government. SAA collaborates with University Research Administration and other administrative and academic units to develop and maintain financial policies, procedures and systems that are required to comply with the financial terms and conditions of sponsored awards.