Award Acceptance

“Award” is a generic term applied to all external funding provided to the University for sponsored activity the acceptance of which represents a formal obligation by the University. The award instrument will influence the degree of freedom the sponsor allows in carrying out the project, the number and complexity of technical reports required by the sponsor, and the flexibility to amend program budgets.

Award Document:  The award document provides the framework under which the project should be completed based on the proposal that was awarded. The award document should identify the required reporting (technical and financial) outline the rules and guidelines that govern the project. An award may arrive in the form of a letter from an authorized agent of the sponsor or it may consist of a detailed contract or other agreement. [Once a proposal has been reviewed and recommended for funding, the sponsor will often notify the Principal Investigator (PI) directly. The process for accepting an award begins when PSU receives official notification from the sponsor containing award terms and conditions]

Award Negotiations:  Award provisions must be reviewed (and negotiated if needed) prior to acceptance. Award documents that require a signature for acceptance are to be signed by an authorized University official in Sponsored Project Administration.

If a sponsor offers an award which is not immediately acceptable due to non-conformance with Portland State University policy, or an unacceptable budget or work plan, negotiations ensue. These  negotiations are always between an authorized representative of the sponsor and the SPA Administrator assigned as the authorized representative of PSU. 

No faculty or staff member is authorized to negotiate the terms and conditions, including funding, of sponsored program awards. The results of any such unauthorized negotiations will not be binding on the University or any of its fiscal agents. 

Negotiations with sponsors have the following general pattern:

Terms and conditions offered by the sponsor in the notice of grant award should be provided to the Principal Investigator for review and are simultaneously reviewed by the appropriate SPA administrator. 

The Principal Investigator is responsible for determining whether the terms that affect program performance, such direct cost funding and reporting requirements, are acceptable.  The SPA administrator is responsible for
determining acceptability of all other terms and conditions.

If there are terms which are not acceptable, the SPA administrator, in consultation with the Principal Investigator, develops and transmits an acceptable counter proposal to the sponsor. The process is repeated, if necessary, until terms and conditions acceptable to both parties are reached.

The detailed procedures for administering PSU's award acceptance process vary with the type of proposal submission and instrument used by the sponsor to award the funds.