4. Awards Process
Basic Types of Awards
- Cooperative Agreements
The following chart shows the basic differences and similarities between the 3 types of awards:
BASIC TYPES OF AWARDS
Provides assistance with
Provides assistance with substantial involvement between parties
Procures tangible goods and services
Application kit or guidelines
Request for Application
Request for Proposal or Quote
Short, may refer to
Describes involvement, party relationships
Long, detailed specs, FAR clauses
Scope of Work
Conceived by PI
Conceived by PI
Conceived by Sponsor
Approves activities; expected results
Can be more restrictive
Specified in grant
Specified in agreement
Specified in contract
Often Bayh-Dole, BUT...
Provision in contract (s/b 52-227-11)
May ask to be informed
May ask to be informed
May require review or approval
Annual summary report
Detailed reports, often monthly
Negotiation and Receipt of Award
Negotiation of the award and financial aspects of a project to be funded is conducted by Sponsored Research, in consultation with the PI.
For proposals that are funded by a contract, Sponsored Research, in consultation with the University's Office of General Counsel, negotiates the terms with the sponsor. When initial negotiations are complete, Sponsored Research staff will review the contract with the PI, paying special attention to the contract's accordance with proposal timetables, work statement, deliverables and constraints.
Upon the PI's approval, the contract document will be officially executed by an authorized official and forwarded to the sponsor.
For those funded with a grant, the PI and Sponsored Research must approve any changes required or recommended by the sponsor. Only after such agreement has been secured will Sponsored Research formally accept the award and authorize the opening of an account.
Acceptance of Award / Opening the Account
Once a grant or contract is accepted for the University by Sponsored Research, but before expenses can be incurred, RFM must be provided with documentation to enable them to carry out fiscal responsibilities in accordance with individual project specifications and administrative regulations of the sponsor.
See Sponsored Research Memorandum dated July 18, 2005 entitled "Proposal Documentation" as it relates to the documentation required prior to the opening of a project account.
When compliance approvals are not yet secured the project may be opened for a limited time and dollar amount while pending approval; the following is required: The PI must e-mail Sponsored Research a statement that no research related to pending compliance approvals will begin until approvals are secured and that no funds will be used to pay for any expenses related to such research pending compliance approvals. If approved by Sponsored Research,
Sponsored Research provides the following to the RFM and the PI:
- Project ID for the contract/grant, assigned by Sponsored Research (see below for more information)
- Research Award Notice form (RAN) - generated by FAST
- USF Grant Budget Release (GBR) form - prepared by the PI and signed by the SRA. For all federal and federal flow through awards, an itemized budget is needed as back-up documentation to the GBR before funding can be released.
- Original agency award notification
- Any other relevant documents. (a copy of the proposed budget and justification as submitted to the agency, CAS exception letter, an itemized budget if a Federal award, etc.)
Sponsored Research assigns each research project a FAST Project ID. The Project IDs can be accessed on the Sponsored Research Share Drive (srdata on 'escape\data' (o). Once in the Shared Drive, see the Folder entitled Shared Files). The Project IDs are generated from the series of account numbers that are assigned to each college or administrative unit. The first two digits of this ten-digit number identifies the College or Administrative Unit; the second two digits (third and fourth numbers) identifies the department; the next group of four digits (fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth numbers) identifies the numerical sequence of accounts in that Department, and the last two digits (ninth and tenth numbers) together identifies the numerical order.
For Example: 1205-1081-00
The first two digits (12) identifies the college (Arts & Sciences; the second two digits (05) identifies the department (Anthropology); 1081 - identifies the numerical sequence of accounts in that department, the last two digits identifies the numerical sequence of subaccounts. The first sub-account would be 1261-1081-01; the second subaccount would be 1261-1081-02 and so on.
Pre-FAST Project IDs (SAMAS Grant Accounts) were set up a little differently. The eighth digit indicated the type of activity performed on contract and grant accounts: "K,' for example, indicated contract or grant performing instruction or training activities, "L" identified research, "P" identified other sponsored activities, and PT' identified pharmaceutical studies An "R" in the eighth position of the nine-digit account number identified accounts that were funded from indirect cost earnings (administrative operating accounts, overhead rebates, support funds, faculty awards, etc.) or close-out of fixed price contracts and grants.
The last digit in a SAMAS Grant Account identified the campus:
- Tampa Campus - 0
- All Children's Hospital - 1
- St. Petersburg - 3
- Sarasota - 4
- Fort Myers - 6
- Lakeland - 8
An example of a SAMAS Grant Account: 1205-999-LO:
The first two digits (12) identified the college (Arts & Sciences; the second two digits (05) identified the department (Anthropology); 999 - identified the numerical sequence of accounts in that department; "L" denoted research and "0" denoted the Tampa Campus.
The contract number is the same as the Project ID, excluding the last two digits.
Underwriting the Account
Occasionally, a granting agency decides to fund a project before Sponsored Research receives a grant notice or a fully executed copy of the contract. If it is necessary for the PI to begin work in this circumstance, s/he may verbally request that Sponsored Research issues a temporary grant account.
The request is completed via an Underwrite Form which is prepared by the PI or the Departmental Representative (signature approval by the Department Chairperson or Dean must be obtained) and submitted to Sponsored Research for processing.
Underwrites require approval via signature by the Director or Associate Director of Sponsored Research.
The Underwrite Form includes a statement that certifies in case of any adverse development, the department will cover any expenses incurred.
NOTE: For Underwrites with Cost Share, use the Underwrite Form (for use with Cost Share)
Types of Underwrites
Initial Underwrites - Applicable for new awards or existing projects which require a new Project ID each year.
Bridge Underwrites - Applicable for subsequent-year funding of multi-year projects.
Underwrites, either Initial or Bridge, are
- granted for a period of up to three months of operation
- normally for not more than 25% of the award amount. (25% relates to approximately 3 months of expenses.)
- Include both direct and F&A costs in the underwrite request. The Department/College shall be responsible for only the direct expenditures in the event the project is not taken out of underwrite status.
Sponsored Research Procedure
Underwrites should be processed as soon as possible after receipt by Sponsored Research. The following guidelines are provided for your convenience:
Check the Form for Completeness
- Chartfield string information
- Oper unit
- Fund number
- Project id (existing project number if a bridge underwrite. Assign a project number if an initial underwrite.)
- Dept ID
- PI Name
- Sponsoring agency
- Project Title
- Effective Dates
- Budget Level Account Codes and Expense Categories
- Dollar Amounts
- Compliance Type and Number
- Underwrites should not be activated with a Pending status for Human or Animal Compliance certifications. In those unusual circumstances when an underwrite is necessary, but compliance approvals are not yet secured; the PI must email a statement to Sponsored Research that no research related to pending compliance approvals will begin until approvals are secured and that no underwritten funds will be used to pay for any expenses related to such research pending compliance approvals.
- CFDA Number for Federal or Federal Flow-Through Awards
- Prepared By Information
- Required Signatures
- PI / Co-PIs
- Department Chairperson
- Dean or Center Director
- Verify sponsor intent and funding start date:
- Sponsored Research must contact the agency to verify the award and the funding period. Contact the department and PI with any discrepancies.
- Care must be taken to confirm the start date of the project. The possibility exists that an Underwrite that carries a start date sooner than the actual award date will result in charges against the grant being disallowed. This is particularly true for contracts that carry wording similar to "...effective 10-01-2005 or the last date signed, whichever is later."
- Forward the Underwrite form to the Director for signature. Attach to the form:
- documentation confirming the award and start date.
- the internal form
- documentation/correspondence for "pending" certifications
- Once the Underwrite Form is signed by the Director of Sponsored Research and returned to the SRA, the Underwrite needs to be entered into FAST. See the FAST manual for directions.
- Mark either your Outlook Calendar or Task List to follow-up with the department as the end date of the underwrite draws near.
- The Department may, with substantial justification, request the time be extended via another Underwrite form. The extension must be approved by the Director of Sponsored Research. Extensions are normally granted in increments of 3 months, but vary with each circumstance.
- Forward the Underwrite Form to Staff Support for delivery to RFM.
Other Types of Awards
Various Sources Account
- The PI must submit a request to Sponsored Research to establish a new Various Sources Account.
- All funds deposited in this new account are for the single purpose that was negotiated for the sponsors.
- Sponsored Research will open the account for an initial two year period; the PI will need to request time extensions to Sponsored Research to extend the account end date.
- Each payment should have a corresponding signed agreement; the agreements should be either the same or very similar to the approved template.
- Sponsored Research must receive a copy of the payment, or payment request in the instance of on-campus sources, and the signed agreement before budget will be released.
- Specify expected dollar amounts per payment.
- Payments will be made on a fixed-price basis with no financial reporting requirements.
- Account will be operated on a cash basis. Account will be set up as "Control" in FAST to keep expenditures from exceeding released budget.
- It is expected that the account will be charged a 25% TDC F&A rate.
- Complete the online Internal Form
- Submit a memo to the Director of Sponsored Research requesting the establishment of a convenience fund. Include in the memo:
- Funding Source (see example of sponsors)
- Purpose of the fund
- Name of the Accountable Officer
- Project Period (open for one year, after which may be extended)
- Attach check or USF Foundation, Inc. Check Request/Transfer form to cover the project period.
- Complete the Request to Establish / Update a Chartfield form
- Return a printed copy of the digitally signed Internal Form (signatures of Accountable Officer, Chair, and Dean), copy of Check Request Form and/or check, Memorandum requesting set-up of new Convenience Fund, and completed Chartfield form to:
|University of South Florida
3702 Spectrum Blvd., Suite 165
Tampa, FL 33612-9446
|Phone: (813) 974-3679
Fax: (813) 974-4962
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Grant Budget Release Forms
Preparing the Grant Budget Release Form
When an award has been received, the PI or the Department Representative must prepare the University Grant Budget Release (GBR) form, as a step to "translate" sponsor cost categories into ones used in FAST.
Upon receiving notification of the award, Sponsored Research will:
- Notify the PI of the award via email, offering their congratulations if it is a new award, or competitive renewal
- Provide a copy of the award notice in the email
- Request the PI complete the GBR, sign and return to Sponsored Research for processing. (The SRA should pre-fill any areas known at the time of the email. In most cases Section 1, the Chartfield String and PI/project related information, can be pre-filled.)
Completed budget worksheets should be sent to Sponsored Research as soon as possible. This will assure minimum delay in the establishment of an account.
Pre-filling the GBR
Follow the form instructions when pre-filling the form.
NOTE: The Rosetta Stone was developed to link Purchasing Categories used for requisition and purchase of allowable supplies, equipment and services with appropriate Grant Budget accounts.
Section 1 CHARTFIELD STRING
- PROJECT ID - If new award, the SRA will assign the Project ID number.
- Dept ID – The FAST Department ID can be obtained from the Internal Form.
- PI Name - Is listed on the Internal Form and the award notification.
- Sponsoring Agency - The name of the agency does not always correspond to the information listed on the Internal Form. For example, the Internal Form could list NIH, while the awarding agency would be NIA.
- Budget Period - Use the dates provided on the award notification, not the dates listed on the Internal Form. New contracts, as well as continuations, renewals and amendments, may be budgeted for the period of the award, without regard to the University fiscal year.
- Project Title - The title as listed on the Internal Form.
Section 2 SALARIES and FRINGE
It is the responsibility of the SRA to verify the salary base of all USF employees in GEMS. The salary base can normally be increased by 3% - 4% to allow for yearly increases. If the salary base exceeds that increase, contact the Department for justification. It is possible an upcoming promotion could account for the difference.
If the project has Salary Committed Cost Share, enter the associated amounts and the Cost Share chartfield string.
Section 3 EXPENSES
Expenses are divided into two separate categories:
- Tuition, stipend and any contract amount greater than $25,000. These items are excluded from receiving indirects and are automatically excluded in the calculation on the GBR.
- Expenses that earn F&A. This category comprises all expenditures which are not capital expenditures. Expenses include office supplies, laboratory supplies, travel, postage, long distance telephone charges, etc.
If project has Expense Committed Cost Share, enter the associated amounts and the Cost Share chartfield string.
Note: If the Expense Item to be acquired is not an option in the drop-down list, use white cells for free text.
Section 4 EQUIPMENT
Equipment should be budgeted according to the University's definition.
For this type of equipment, also referred to as Operating Capital Outlay (OCO), appropriations are used for the purchase of property as defined by Chapter 216.011, Florida Statutes. The OCO category includes equipment, fixtures and other tangible personal property of a non-consumable and non-expendable nature, the value of cost of which is $1,000 or more and the normal life expectancy of one year or more.
Again utilize the Rosetta Stone to choose the appropriate budget level.
If project has Equipment Committed Cost Share, enter the associated amounts and the Cost Share chartfield string.
Post Award Responsibilities
The PI and the University jointly bear the responsibility for proper administration of the award according to the policies and guidelines pertinent to the particular project.
Sponsored Research aids in the clarification of regulations and acts as executive in all negotiations between the sponsoring agency and the PI.
It is, however, the responsibility of the investigator to implement actions according to these guidelines, to assemble the necessary staff, expend funds, and conduct the project as described in the proposal and agreed to by means of the award document.
All expenditures must be directly related to the sponsored project. The PI may authorize changes only if they are in compliance with the sponsoring agency's cost principles and any additional terms and conditions of the award.
The investigator may authorize salaries and wages only if they directly benefit the project within the permissible time frame.
Requisitions for equipment or supplies will be reviewed very carefully by grant accountants and rejected if they are submitted so near the end of the project period that there is too little time for them to reasonably benefit the project.
According to OMB Circular A-21, costs are considered "reasonable if the nature of the goods or services required, and the amount involved therefore, reflect the action that a prudent person would have taken under the circumstances prevailing at the time the decision to incur the cost was made."
The Department Research Administrator is responsible for keeping the PI informed about expenditures and encumbrances throughout the budget period, and providing required fiscal reports to the sponsor. The PI in turn must direct the work so that it will be completed within the budget period and with the funds authorized. If this is not possible, a request for supplemental funds, or for a no-cost time extension must be initiated. Although there is similarity among the regulations of major funding agencies, each PI should familiarize him/herself thoroughly with the regulations applicable to the specific project for which they are responsible.
Sponsored Research Responsibilities Include:
- Assisting in any Rebudgeting
- Noting and change of PI
- Transferring of grants
- Transferring grant equipment
- Extending the award
- Changing the scope of work
- Underwriting accounts
- Addressing conflicts of interest
- Monitoring compliances and assurances
- Awarding continuations
- Finding supplemental support
- Generating final report
- Retaining records
- Managing audits
3702 Spectrum Blvd., Suite 165
Tampa, FL 33612
30338 USF Holly Dr.
Telephone: (813) 974-2897
Fax: (813) 974-4962
Sponsored Research Staff
SRA Contact List
Submit Info Request
Direct questions or comments about the Sponsored Research website to email@example.com