Skip to main content

Set Up Project

In order for a project team (PI, grant administrator, researchers) to begin spending on a sponsored project, certain steps must be taken in order to set up the account or authorize pre-award spending.

Negotiating and Accepting an Award

Awards are reviewed and, if necessary, negotiated by the appropriate university official to ensure the terms and conditions are acceptable to the university. The type and scope of the project will largely determine the length and complexity of the negotiation process. The end result of award negotiations is a mutually agreeable set of terms under which the university will conduct the proposed project.

Pre-Award Account

When assured that a sponsored agreement is reasonably expected to materialize, a pre-award project ID can be established for the purposes of beginning to recruit project employees, order specialized equipment and supplies, and the like, in preparation for the start of the project.  In these cases, the principal investigator (PI) may request that a project ID (i.e., account number) be established in advance of the award document. By making this request, the PI and their administrative unit are acknowledging that they carry full financial responsibility for any costs incurred, prior to the receipt of the award.

  • Via email, send any and all correspondence received from the sponsor that indicates imminent funding to your college research officer (CRO).
  • Indicate the spending cap you would like placed on the pre-award project account number.
  • Acknowledge in the email text that you understand that should a sponsored agreement not materialize, any expenditures you make against the pre-award project account number will be the responsibility of the department.

Identify the pending project in the Research Administration Data and Reporting (RADAR) system, and in the “Proposal” section of the project, click “Request a Pre-award Account”.

  • Complete the three fields for your contact phone number, the spending cap and the unit responsible for unreimbursed expenditures.
  • Click “Access to Proposal Documents” to upload all correspondence you have indicating that eminent funding is forthcoming.
  • Supply the email addresses of all those you wish to notify; at a minimum, this should include the department head, the principal investigator and the departmental bookkeeper.

Upon SPARCS’ receipt of the request for a pre-award account, a member of the Operations Team reviews the pre-award request and correspondence. Once everything is in order, SPARCS processes the pre-award action in RADAR and forwards the necessary package to Contracts and Grants for review and account setup.

Award Set Up

Contracts and Grants generally establishes project IDs and processes any award modifications within six business days of receiving them from SPARCS. The information entered into PeopleSoft Financials is integrated overnight. An email notification is automatically sent when a new project ID is established. Hard copies of the award documents are sent to the college research office(s).


A subaward project ID is not issued automatically. Setup requires the submission and approval of a subaward Project Modification Request (PMR). Contracts and Grants will create a segment for each subaward. Funds must be readily available in the prime award’s project ID to establish the ledger 5 account for the subcontract. In the event there are multiple subcontracts, a PMR should be submitted for each.

Notice of Grant Award (NOA)

A notice of grant award — NGA, NOA or NOGA — is an award notification from a sponsor. Typically, it contains information about the amount of funds obligated, the time period for performance and the scope of work. In addition, the notice provides information about the terms and conditions associated with the award. If a PI receives an NOA directly, they should forward it to the SPARCS for review, negotiation, acceptance and award setup. NOA examples are listed below: