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Award Negotiation & Acceptance

Award Acceptance

Awards are accepted on behalf of UHD for the Principal Investigator.

Award documents take many forms depending upon the type of sponsor and project. These documents require review and signature by the Authorized Institutional Representative. Currently, the Assistant VP of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs is authorized to sign on behalf of the institution. ORSP is responsible for award document processing.

Upon receipt of fully executed award documents or other proof of award, ORSP forwards information to Grant Accounting within Business Affairs for assignment of a cost center number (formerly called account number) and setup of the account. Once the Principal Investigator receives notification of the project account number and the effective date from Grant Accounting, funds may be encumbered or expended against the project.

ORSP serves as a central point of contact for sponsor grant or contract officers regarding administrative matters throughout the duration of the project. ORSP also serves as facilitator and advocate for Principal Investigators in all matters pertaining to the non-technical management of their grants and contracts. In addition, ORSP coordinates compliance with each sponsor's requirements for interim and final research technical reports and approves expenditures to the grant cost centers.  Principal Investigators are responsible for submission of all required reports in a timely fashion.

Business Negotiations

ORSP reviews the terms and conditions of every award received. Terms and Conditions are negotiated in accordance with UHD policies.

  • Federal Awards:
    Terms and Conditions are usually predetermined; however, negotiations may be required.
  • Non-Federal Awards:
    Normally, most non-Federal projects require negotiations, especially those agreements with industrial sponsors. Such topics as inventions, publication rights, liability, and ownership of research results are usually the subject of negotiation. The negotiations are coordinated between ORSP, the Sponsor, the Principal Investigator, and, if appropriate, the UH System Office of General Counsel. ORSP leads the negotiations with the Sponsor.

Budget Negotiation with the Sponsor

Preliminary budget negotiations are often conducted between the Principal Investigator and the technical contact for the sponsor in order to determine an appropriate level of funding for the program proposed by the PI. Such preliminary discussions are encouraged. The PI should contact ORSP, however, for established rates for fringe benefits, indirect costs or other budgetary matters that may impact upon the total support required for the project.

The PI should not attempt to negotiate rates for indirect costs or fringe benefits that are different from the federally-approved rates for UHD, nor should it be implied that a reduction in the approved rates would be acceptable to UHD. Indirect costs represent substantial, real expenditures incurred by the institution to support each research program, and if these costs are not fully paid by each sponsor, UHD must subsidize them from other institutional resources. In the event that a sponsor indicates to the PI that it does not wish to pay these costs in full, ORSP should negotiate with the sponsor regarding this issue.

If formal budget negotiations are required, ORSP will conduct the negotiations, including the confirmation of approved salary, benefits, and indirect cost rates. ORSP will seek the Principal Investigator's input and concurrence for any modifications proposed by the sponsor.

Submitting a Revised Budget

During the course of business negotiations it often becomes necessary to reduce or adjust the budget initially proposed. If this is the case, the PI should send the revised budget and any other pertinent information (a revised budget explanation or revised statement of work or project duration may be appropriate) to ORSP for processing prior to sending the revision to the sponsor. Any major changes in the budget that would involve additional faculty or staff should be approved by the applicable Department Chair(s) and Dean(s).

Interim Funding - See Insert A


Page maintained by Office of Sponsored Programs

Last updated or reviewed on 1/22/13

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