Congratulations!! If you are checking this part of the website, you have either just received an award or are administering one! The pre-application research and development then the lengthy or harrowing process of writing the grant and then the long, long, long months of waiting are over and your hard work has paid off in that letter from the sponsor!! We hope that the detail and process explanation of these areas that fall under Award Management are helpful. When in doubt or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact any staff member in the Office of Sponsored Programs!
Although the role for the principal investigator or project director is critical to the performance of sponsored activity, whether research or programs, the University is the recipient of the award (through the Research Foundation) and is the responsible party to the grant agreement or contract. The University, in accepting the award, assumes the legal responsibility for observing the terms and conditions of the award and for assurances and compliance as the sponsor requires.
Upon notification of award, depending on the sponsor, the OSP may need to prepare paperwork and send to the RF Central Office to establish the award account. In some instances, assurances or final paperwork must be channeled through the RF Contract Officers and back to the sponsor before the expenditure account can be established. The campus is always asked to approve awards, and the OSP makes sure that the PI/PD has signed off or agreed with the terms before accepting.
Sometimes it seems that it takes an extended period of time to get an award account established. While the paperwork or contract may at first seem to be straight-forward, there may be language included (or not included) that may, for example, present problems of ownership, legal obligations, and certain actions to which the University cannot agree. During these negotiations, the OSP may be in contact with the PI/PD to clarify issues related to the programmatic scope of work and/or a budget modification (if necessary) while working closely with the RF Contract Officer in the Central Office in Albany. Every award is reviewed to ensure consistency between the approved proposal and the award instrument(s).
In extremity and on a case-by-case basis, the Campus Operations Manager, with the support and advice of the OSP staff, may direct Research Foundation to establish an account AT-RISK, essentially guaranteeing that if all goes belly-up, the campus will reimburse the RF for any expenditures made prior to the finalization of the award documents and contract execution.