Award Negotiation and Acceptance

Learn about negotiating the budget and accepting your award.
Step 3

Pre-Award Administration

Budget Negotiations

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 Investigator. Such preliminary discussions are encouraged. The Principal Investigator should contact OSP for established rates for fringe benefits, facilities, and administrative costs, or other budgetary matters that may impact the total support required for the project. The Principal Investigator should not attempt to negotiate rates for facilities and administrative costs that are different from the federally-approved rates for the University, nor should it be implied that a reduction in the approved rates would be acceptable to the University. Facilities and administrative 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, the University must subsidize them from other institutional resources. In the event that a sponsor indicates that it does not wish to pay these costs in full, OSP should be contacted for further negotiation regarding this issue. If formal budget negotiations are required, OSP will conduct the negotiations, including the confirmation of approved salary, benefits, facilities, and administrative cost rates. The OSP will seek the Principal Investigator’s input and concurrence for any modifications proposed by the sponsor.

Award Negotiations

The OSP reviews the terms and conditions of every award received. Terms and conditions are negotiated in accordance with UT Dallas policies and the Intellectual Property Policy of the University of Texas System.

Federal Awards: Terms and conditions are usually pre-determined; 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 OSP personnel, the sponsor, the Principal Investigator, and, as appropriate, the UT System Office of General Counsel. The OSP leads the negotiations with the sponsor.

Award Acceptance and Post Award Administration

Award documents take many forms depending upon the type of sponsor and project. These documents require review and signature by the official institutional representative authorized to sign on behalf of the institution. The OSP is responsible for award document processing. The Principal Investigator is notified of each new award, its terms and conditions, and is asked to accept the award and responsibility for complying with all award requirements by returning a signed acknowledgment to OSP.

Upon receipt of fully executed award documents or other proof of award, OSP works with Post Award to facilitate the creation of a cost center and notifies the Principal Investigator.

The Office of Sponsored Projects plays a dual role in the post-award phase of sponsored project activity. The OSP serves as a central point of contact for sponsor grant or contract officers regarding administrative matters throughout the duration of the project. The OSP 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, the OSP coordinates compliance with each sponsor’s requirements for interim and final technical reports. Principal Investigators are responsible for submission of all required reports in a timely fashion.

If the award documentation is delayed, procedures are available to obtain a pre-award letter for a limited period of time (for government grants only). Contact OSP with information regarding the amount of credit needed. After the award information is verified by a representative of the sponsoring agency with the authority to commit funds, overdraft approval may be given. Credit will be limited to emergency expenses. Many federal agencies allow pre-award costs up to 90 days prior to the start date of a grant. If pre-award costs are required, the above procedures for verification will be followed and pre-award costs may be approved.

Subcontract/Subrecipient Agreement Award Development

The OSP has the overall responsibility for issuing subcontracts/subrecipient agreements under sponsored project awards. The OSP will maintain documentation relative to subcontract/subrecipient agreement placement and any modification thereof. The accounting and payment function is performed by the Office of Finance and Procurement Office.

OSP will negotiate all subcontracts and subrecipient agreements in accordance with standard business practices and, as appropriate, the Federal Acquisition Regulation and/or OMB Uniform Administrative Requirements, cost principles, and audit requirements for federal awards. These agreements will comply with all standard and special provisions of individual awards.

After the subcontract/subrecipient agreement is fully executed and work has commenced, it is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to:

  1. Review all invoices from the subcontractor/subrecipient to determine if the charges are appropriate;
  2. Prepare a voucher to make payment for all appropriate charges;
  3. Monitor the progress of the subcontractor/subrecipient; and
  4. Obtain all required deliverables from the subcontractor/subrecipient.

Cost Center Setup and Budget Modifications

Learn how to submit budget changes, request supplemental funds, and more.

Read More Step 4