January 18, 2012 (rewrite)
A. General. Frequently, a Principal Investigator (PI) is aware that a sponsored award will be made, but either the University has not received the award document, or the agreement is not fully executed (all required signatures in place). By requesting what is referred to as an “early set-up” budget, expenses can be processed using what will become the permanent budget number, thereby eliminating the need for cost transfers at a later date.
B-1. Award Document or Notice of Award: Any of various funding vehicles used by external sponsors to indicate that the sponsor is making a commitment to fund a proposed scope of work. It may take the form a grant notice requiring no additional signatures; a formal contract and/or agreement requiring signatures of one or more parties; an award letter which may or may not include a check payment in advance; or a purchase order.
B-2. Fully Executed Award. An award which includes all required signatures by authorized individuals of both the University and the sponsor. For the sponsor, this is typically the contracting officer; for the University the authorized signer is the Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) or her/his authorized designee.
C. Policy. Early setup budgets are normally established for no more than 90 days and the lesser of $10,000 or half of the award amount. As long as the agreement is not effective on the date of the final signature, an early set-up budget may be requested and the PI may start the research project prior to receipt and execution of the award. A budget must be identified by the unit that can be used to absorb the expenditures should the project not be awarded, with appropriate unit/college approvals received, before an early set-up budget may be established. Situations that arise outside these parameters will be evaluated and a determination made on a case-by-case basis by the Director of the OSP or her/his authorized designee.
If compliance protocols such as IACUC or IRB (FSH 1640.12 and 1640.54) are required before project work can begin, these compliance protocols must be in place before an early set-up budget will be established.
D-1. Budget Set Up Request. If the PI needs to have a budget number established for payroll or other startup expenditures prior to the receipt of a fully-executed award, the PI and/or the Grant Administrator (GA) must submit a Preliminary Budget Request Form to OSP. This form is available on the OSP website.
D-2. Warning. If an official award document or notice of an award is not received within 90 days of the early set up, all expenditures must be cost transferred to the unit’s budget identified in C, above.
E. Information. Any questions regarding the early setup of a sponsored project budget should be addressed to the Office of Sponsored Programs at 208-885-6651 or OSP Email.