External awards in the form of grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements are made to NDSU in support of research and other sponsored activities. Award acceptance commonly includes the following:
Notification of Award
Sponsors will send awards or notice of intent to provide funding to SPA. If a PI receives an award it should be forwarded to SPA. SPA/Business Development staff will review each award document for terms and conditions and compare the award amount with the original proposal budget. The PI will be contacted to discuss any differences between the proposal and award amounts - an updated budget or other supporting documents may be requested. If sponsor does not have an award template, an NDSU agreement template can be provided by SPA.
During the award acceptance process, SPA will check with Research Integrity and Compliance staff to ensure that all compliance items have been completed as required for the awarding sponsor and NDSU policy. Compliance items may include IRB, IACUC, IBC, COI, Export Controls, and PHS FCOI. Sponsors typically require pending compliance matters to be completed prior to finalization of an award.
Review of Terms and Conditions
All sponsored project awards contain terms and conditions; SPA/Business Development completes a comprehensive review of all of the terms and conditions of the award. Terms and conditions often contain prior approval requirements, for example for foreign travel, food, or equipment. They may also contain requirements for budget expenditures and unallowable costs. Additional requirements may be included for the submission of technical reports that need to be submitted by the PI. Some terms may require negotiating changes with a sponsor.
SPA/Business Development are responsible for conducting all negotiations with sponsors to obtain mutually-acceptable terms and conditions that will allow NDSU to accept the award in accordance with federal regulations, sponsor policies, North Dakota law and NDSU policies and practices. Award terms that generally require negotiation include:
The Vice President for Research and Creative Activity is the designated university representative to sign all award documents. Signature authority has been delegated to SPA and Business Development for externally funded award agreements. In the event PI or other administrative signature is required, SPA or Business Development will facilitate the additional signatures.
SPA will notify the PI and department administrator once the award agreement has been accepted; it is essential that the PI read, understand and follow the award terms and conditions. Prior to sending the award to Grant and Contract Accounting for set-up in PeopleSoft, Research Compliance and Integrity staff will confirm completion of any outstanding IRB, IACUC, IBC, FCOI, COI, and Export Control matters. After compliance verification, SPA sends the fully signed award to Grant and Contract Accounting along with all proposal documents.
Grant and Contract Accounting Setup
Grant and Contract Accounting (GCA) will review the award terms and conditions to determine the appropriate budget restrictions and invoicing requirements before setting up the approved budget in PeopleSoft. Any cost share requirements will be reviewed and setup to collect documentation of matching cost share expenditures. Upon completion of budget, invoicing and cost share setup the GCA officer will send an email with the Award Information form to the PI and associated department administrators. The Award Info sheet will contain a snapshot of pertinent budget information and guidance to follow.
Subawards to External Entities
Within an award, the sponsor approved budget for NDSU may include a subaward to an external entity. After award setup by Grant and Contract Accounting, a request to initiate the subaward agreement will be sent to Business Development by GCA. Business Development will draft the subaward document and carryout any negotiations with the subaward entity in consultation with the NDSU PI as necessary.