All awards are made to the Regents of the University of Minnesota and can only be accepted (i.e., authorized signature) by SPA on the Twin Cities campus. Call us to facilitate the process.
New Award Acceptance and Set-up Steps
After negotiation and acceptance of awards, the Grants Office will initiate setup of the award within the University of Minnesota system. An EFS account(s) will be established and a Notice of Grant Award will be prepared. The Grants Office will work with the PI to ensure the funds are set up appropriately and that the PI is aware of the terms and reporting requirements of the award. An email will be sent to the PI, Division Chair, Dean/VC and University Relations when the award is officially set up. The following is excerpted from Managing Sponsored Projects at the University of Minnesota.
Notification of the Award
The award document is considered an official agreement of the scope of work, the amount the sponsor will provide, and other terms and conditions that govern the project.
Sponsors usually send SPA official notification of an award. However, if award notification has been sent to the PI or to a department or college office, the award notice and any agreements or contract materials must be forwarded immediately to SPA. Remember that the award is made to the University and not to a PI.
- If it is a bilateral agreement (both parties must sign), SPA will send the PI a copy of the notice along with a memo requesting PI confirmation of technical terms, reporting requirements, and overall PI concurrence with the document. The agreement cannot move forward without PI input.
- If SPA receives an electronic award transmission, staff members will forward them to PIs.
- Final agreements which are fully executed must be copied to the PI and their representatives (i.e., administrators and/or the RSO, as appropriate)
Award notices typically contain the following information:
- title or description of the award
- award beginning and ending dates
- dollar amount of award
- the terms of payment, e.g., letter of credit vs. invoicing
- programmatic deliverables
- financial invoicing/reporting requirements
- cost sharing or matching expectations (if applicable), and
- a budget, if it has changed from the proposed budget
Negotiations with business and industry funders can take several weeks and may include final review by the University General Counsel. Please do not indicate to a sponsor the changes in budget, work scope or intellectual property issues are OK before checking with the Grants Office. The Grants Office will assist in any negotiations between the sponsor and the PI. Please alert the Grants Office when you have contact with a sponsor.
Officially accepting the sponsored grant, contract, or agreement
Through their Submitting and Accepting Sponsored Projects policy, the Regents have delegated signatory authority for accepting awards to designated individuals in SPA. Once an agreement has been reviewed by SPA and the PI, it can be accepted and executed on behalf of the University by SPA. Since awards are made to the University of Minnesota and not to faculty, staff, or others, these individuals cannot accept grants or sign contracts or agreements.
After the award has been formally accepted, SPA staff members will perform the following tasks so that work can begin:
- prepare the Notice of Grant/Contract Award (NOGA)
- assign an account number, and
- activate budget lines (Object and Revenue Source codes) for the EFS account
Notice of Grant/Contract Award (NOGA)/Notice of Program Income (NOPI)
SPA prepares a Notice of Grant/Contract Award (NOGA) to provide information regarding the award’s important terms and conditions. It should be referred to by PIs and departments to provide guidance in managing the project. It usually contains the following information:
- the University account number
- award amount
- beginning and ending dates
- the F&A/indirect cost rate
- matching or cost-sharing requirements
- program income distribution requirements
- technical reporting requirements
- other terms and conditions
If program income occurs on a sponsored project and it is determined that the income can be used under the additional alternative and/or add/deduct alternative, SPA staff will assign a “child account” under the prime sponsor account to recognize the income. This assignment will occur upon receipt of the initial check/payment of program income. A NOPI will be prepared and distributed to the principle investigator, department, college, certified approver, Sponsored Financial Reporting (SFR) and External Sales. Any income received thereafter, for the identified activity, will not generate a NOPI and instead be setup directly by SFR staff.
Reviewing the NOGA
When you receive the NOGA, read it for changes from the original proposal. If you find differences or have questions, contact the Grants Development Office.
Assigning an account number
As soon as SPA receives the award notice or final agreement, a staff member will assign an account number to the project. This number identifies the project in the University’s accounting system. When the accounting number is assigned, SPA will notify the PI and the department and collegiate offices through email.
For an account of this type to be used, the award must require that an interest-bearing account be established. At the written request of a grant administrator, the Office of Budget and Finance will set up the account. The balance at the end of each trimester must be at least $15,000 for interest to be accrued. At the end of each trimester, the grant administrator will transfer the interest revenue into the project’s operating budget. Consult SPA and the University financial policy Participating in a University Investment for details.
Activating Budget Lines (Object and Revenue Source Codes) for the EFS account
When the Grants Office establishes the account, an allocation of the awarded amount will be made into the appropriate expense categories (expense budget lines, also know as object codes). Check that expense categories are set up in accordance with the sponsor’s approved budget. Some sponsor’s categories do not correspond with the University’s accounting system. Therefore, it may be necessary for the grant administrator, PI and unit administrator to work together to establish the budget, and monitor compliance with sponsor financial terms and conditions.