There are two types of pre-award spending that can be requested for sponsored projects.
Type 1: 90-Day Pre-Award Spending Authorization:
For federal grants and cooperative agreements issued under Expanded Authorities, the federal funding agencies have transferred to the University the authority to incur costs up to 90 calendar days prior to the official start date of the award.
If a PI would like to request 90-Day Pre-Award Spending Authorization for an award that has already received a project grant number, the Department should submit to ORPA a completed and signed ORPA Prior Approval Request (OPAR) Form. If a PI is requesting 90-Day Pre-Award Spending Authorization before the award has been issued by the sponsor, refer to the guidelines under Type 2: Pre-Award Spending Account below.
Type 2: Pre-Award Spending Account:
There may also be circumstances on both federal and non-federal awards in which the PI wants to begin incurring costs to initiate project activities prior to the sponsor issuing the award. In such cases, the PI may request the creation of a Pre-Award Spending Account as an alternative to incurring charges on a departmental non-sponsored project grant account. Any such expenditures that precede the award are solely at the financial risk of the PI and Department .
The risks, liabilities, and restrictions associated the creation of a Pre-Award Spending Account must be carefully considered prior to requesting authorization to spend funds in advance of receiving the award. Approval for the creation of Pre-Award Spending Account is contingent upon the following requirements:
- Pre-award spending must be allowed by the funding agency.
- There must be a strong indication in writing from the sponsor's grant administrator that an award is forthcoming.
- The appropriate Dean or Chair must agree in writing to assume the financial risk if the sponsor fails to issue the award.
- The PI or Department must provide ORPA with a back-up non-sponsored chartstring where expenses will be transferred if the sponsor fails to issue the award.
If a PI would like to request the creation of a Pre-Award Spending Account , the Department should submit to ORPA a completed and signed OPAR Form that includes the requested pre-award start date (no more than 90 days prior to the anticipated award start date), a justification for the request, and documentation of the satisfaction of the four requirements listed above.