Many sponsors allow the grantee to incur expenses in the days immediately prior to receiving an award to ensure that the project has an efficient start.
Awards under the Federal Wide Research Terms and Conditions allow for ninety (day) pre-award spending without seeking sponsor prior approval. All awards set up in the University’s accounting system with this approval will automatically allow charges to post in that 90 day window. The project start date will remain as indicated on the award.
Other awards may include specific timelines or amounts or not provide any authority to spend prior to the period of performance. To request pre-award spending outside the award’s express limits, submit a UFIRST Award Modification with the amount, date, and reason for the request. It is best to include a letter addressed to the sponsor’s grants management official with the UFIRST record.
Temporary Release of Funds
Investigators often experience difficulties in starting or continuing personnel appointments when an award is assured but the arrival of the award documentation is delayed.
Departments and Colleges can request to spend prior to receipt of a fully executed agreement or other award document. To request a new project prior to the release of funds, the unit simply needs to indicate this on the project set up pages in UFIRST (a toolkit is available on the UFIRST Help Page). This will trigger a request to the individual in the unit who has the authority to commit funds. If the funds do not arrive or if the award start date is determined to be after the date established in the Temp request, the unit who made the guarantee will be asked to cover all expenses incurred.
Investigators should include as an attachment to the request any correspondence from the sponsor indicating an award is going to be made to the University.