Sponsored Projects Administration

Awards are reviewed and, if necessary, negotiated by Pre-award to ensure the terms and conditions are acceptable to the University. Once the terms and conditions of the award have been negotiated, Pre-award will accept the award on behalf of the University.

Pre-award will send the PI a copy of the Notice of Award or finalized sponsored agreement for review and approval, as well as assist in collecting the necessary documents needed by the Post-Award Finance team (PAF) to setup and manage the account. As part of Pre-award’s responsibility, the allow ability of pre-award costs will be reviewed and finalized prior to sending the account setup request to PAF. All pending items (including any required approvals or assurances) must be complete prior to account set-up.

In order to limit retroactive personnel actions and cost transfers, an account may be established for projects prior to receiving the first payment. These guarantee accounts are established as cash-basis accounts with zero budgets.

The process begins with Pre-award receiving a Notice of Grant Award from a sponsor and ends with PAF creating an account in FMS.


Upon receiving, negotiating, and accepting an award or modification to an existing award, a Sponsored Projects Administrator in Pre-award will begin the initiation of the account set-up process.

To set up a grant account efficiently and effectively, Pre-award must have a complete file, including:

  • The Notice of Grant Award/Award Letter/Subcontract Agreement and any accompanying award amendments.
  • The completed and signed R&A Form.
  • A complete PDF copy of the grant application that was submitted to the funding agency or sponsor.
  • A budget (on SPA internal budget template) and budget justification to match the Notice of Grant Award. This includes an outgoing subcontract, if applicable. The Sponsored Projects Administrator may request a detailed budget for new and renewals. In some instances a detailed budget may be requested for continuation awards. Appropriate and detailed explanations and/or agency approval should be provided for any and all uncommon costs such as food, rent, and office supplies.
  • Current approvals (title on approvals must match project title and PI on application/award documentation), covering the start date of the budget period, for all applicable assurances, including: human subjects, use of animals, biological agents, hazardous chemicals, and radioactive materials.
  • Research Conflict of Interest Certification forms for all personnel on the project.
  • Assurance the PI has completed Human Subjects Protection training and the Investigator Briefing.

Once Pre-award has the information listed above, they will notify the PAF team to set up the account. Departments and PI’s will be cc’ed on notification from tracking purposes.

Note: If the file is not complete when the notification is sent to PAF, it will take longer to get the account set up.

Post Award Finance

To set up an account, the PAF team completes the following steps:

  • Review the request to set up the account to make sure all elements required for setup have been completed.
  • Check the R&A Form for assurances, multiple investigators, multiple departments/schools, cost sharing and appropriate Facilities & Administration rates.
  • Review the budget to make sure it matches the award, as well as to make sure that all budget information is accurate and complete.
  • Determine the type of fund, the school, and the organization to establish the correct account number.
  • Determine if the work is taking place on or off campus to ensure an accurate indirect cost rate has been assessed.
  • Review all funding agency, institutional, and contractual policies and guidelines in order to administer the account appropriately.
  • Set up the UTH Grants Panels in PeopleSoft FMS. This includes completing the Attributes and Miscellaneous Note sections of the panels, which provide the PI and departmental staff with a summary of the terms and conditions, or guidelines, for managing the award.
  • Complete a budget transaction in FMS to establish both the expense budget and the revenue budget.
  • Code the award check, if necessary, to identify the right account to receive the funds.
  • Send an email to the PI or organizational manager and other appropriate personnel, including billing and development, informing them that the account has been set up.
  • Update the Financial Status Report (FSR) log to ensure that the new account is included in the reporting schedule.
  • Scan the account file into the Documentum imaging system to establish an official electronic record of the account


Guarantee account set-up follows the same process as a regular award set-up. Setting up an account immediately allows expenditures to be charged to the correct project and therefore limits cost transfers and retroactive personnel actions. The allowability of pre-award costs must be taken into consideration. All standard award documentation requirements, including assurances, must be complete prior to setting up a guarantee account.

*Note: Schools/departments requesting a guarantee account do so at their own risk. If funding for a project on guarantee does not materialize, or is less than expended, incurred expenses will be transferred to an eligible departmental account.

Allow five (5) business days to complete the majority of requests. Large projects or projects with uncommon costs may require more review time. All requests will be reviewed in the order received and in accordance with major proposal deadlines.

Guarantee accounts may be established for grants as long as the start date in FMS is not before the start date on the grant award notice. Federal accounts that allow pre-award costs are the exception. In the exception cases the FMS project start date (when spending may begin) should be within 90 days of the start date on the Notice of Grant Award.

Guarantee accounts are not set up on non-federal clinical trial agreements and cannot be set up prior to the effective date of the contract. Contracts do not allow for pre-award spending. Subcontracts off of federal grants may be set up on guarantee as long as the start date matches the start date on the prime institution’s NOGA.

Guarantee accounts are set up for four months with a $0.00 budget. An extension of an additional four months may be requested.


The following procedure is to be used when requesting the establishment of a guarantee account for contracts and grants for new & renewal projects that have been reviewed & approved by Pre-award.

The responsible business official will submit a written request to the appropriate Sponsored Projects Administrator in Pre-award. The request should include:

  • PI name.
  • Project title.
  • Sponsor name.
  • Estimated beginning and ending dates of the project.
  • Anticipated amount of funding to be received.
  • The source of funding (i.e., federal, state, local or private).
  • Budget pools to be set-up.
  • Approvals from the PI and Responsible Department or Business Official.

SPA has the created a guarantee request template to ensure correct information is provided.

All guarantee requests adhere to the same requirements as a regular award set up with the exception of a finalized award document. This includes but not limited to application, assurances, budgets and certifications.

Once all appropriated documentation and information is received, Pre-award will notify Post Award Finance who will set up the guarantee account and notify the department.

It is the department's responsibility to monitor all guarantee accounts closely.

Establishing Expenditure Budgets on Clinical Trial Projects

In order to limit retroactive personnel actions and cost transfers by allowing expenditures to be charged to the correct fund source, an expenditure budget may be established for clinical trial projects prior to receiving the first payment.  (Formerly, these projects were established as cash-basis accounts with ‘zero’ budgets.)  Schools/departments requesting an expenditure budget on a clinical trial project are guaranteeing coverage.  If payments are not received equal to or greater than the expenditure budget established, the expenses incurred that exceed the revenue will be transferred to an eligible account.  The use of the “guarantee” account is advisable if the expense will be incurred by the department regardless of a clinical trial receipt.

If effort reports have been certified, expenses may only be transferred to a departmental or discretionary account.

The following procedure is to be used when requesting the establishment of an expenditure budget clinical trial projects:

  • Upon account setup notification by Post Award Finance (PAF) to the department, the responsible business official will request that an expenditure budget be established up to one-third (1/3) of the total anticipated revenue from the study. The request should include the budget pools to be set up.

These accounts should be monitored closely by the department to ensure that revenue covers or exceeds expenditures.