Award Processing

Award Processing

What is an Official Award?

Awards are the official documents received from the Sponsor Agency, which will include the final approved budget; the period of performance (i.e., project dates); and terms and conditions of receiving the award. This award can come in the form of a Grant, Contract, MOU, MOA, Cooperative Agreement, Research Agreement, or Subcontract.

It is the responsibility of the ORSP to review the terms and conditions of the award document and negotiate a resolution to any terms that would create a compromising or undesirable situation for the investigator or the institution. The Principal Investigator is often integral to this process. Although ORSP strives to finalize negotiations of an award document as quickly as possible, negotiations may take several weeks depending upon the sponsor and the scope of the requested amendments.

Please note that only an Authorized Signing Official/Authorized Organizational Representative has institutional authority to legally bind the institution in grants administration matters (see Board of Governor’s Resolution for more detail).

Establishing an Award

Following the receipt of a sponsored award notice and/or an agreement indicating an intention to fund, ORSP is responsible for approving terms and conditions, processing budget reductions, approving subawards, and consolidating any relevant compliance approvals. Once these steps are complete, the award is routed to GCA for award set-up in the financial system.

Beginning November 2015, the Award Set-Up Unit, consisting of staff from GCA and ORSP, will be responsible for setting up sponsored projects for Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS).  Following the receipt of a sponsored award notice or fully-executed agreement, the Award Set-Up Unit is responsible for processing budget reductions and consolidating any relevant compliance approvals. Once the initial set-up process is finalized and the information is electronically routed, the award will be set up in Banner. The Award Set-Up Task Force will then electronically notify the Principal Investigator (PI) and Departmental Administrators listed on the Endorsement Form or within RAPSS of the assigned index number in Banner so the PI can begin spending on the award.

The assigned ORSP Grant Specialist will continue to set-up awards for legacy Rutgers units until the fall of 2016.  Ultimately, all award set-up will be processed by the award set-up unit.

Once an award notice or fully-executed agreement is received, the ORSP Grants Specialist or the Award Set-up Unit will notify the PI and Department Administrators listed on the Endorsement Form of the received award documentation and any outstanding actions required prior to completion of award set-up, including areas outlined below:

Fund Source/Index Form

If the award requires issuance of a project account(s) due to collaboration between investigators of multiple units within the university, a Project Fund Source/Index Request & Modification Form must also be submitted at the time the award is processed to ORSP. The form requires the signatures of the PI and Business Official of the prime award unit, and the signatures of the Co-I and Business Official of each “project” account unit. Additionally, a detailed budget for each project account will be required to reflect the breakdown of the account for award set-up.

Budget Reductions (new as of 09/01/2015)

ORSP will communicate the need for a budget reduction due to a sponsor award reduction to the PI/Department Administrator via a standardized email template.

  • Scenario A: If the award matches the proposed budget, or budget submitted at Just-In-Time or equivalent, no further action is needed.

  • Scenario B: If award reduction is greater than 25% of the total proposed budget or rebudgeting requires sponsor approval, ORSP will request a revised budget from the PI/Department Administrator.

  • Scenario C: If award reduction is less than 25% of the total proposed budget and rebudgeting does not require sponsor approval, ORSP will notify the PI/Department Administrator that a revised budget should be submitted within 5 working days. Otherwise, ORSP will perform a straight line budget cut by the overall percent reduction across each category for award set-up purposes only.

Outgoing Subawards

If the award includes outgoing subawards, the Award Set-Up Unit or ORSP Grant Specialist will contact the PI/Department Administrator listed on the Endorsement Form to complete the Subrecipient Commitment Form (if not completed at time of proposal), and provide the required subaward documents (final budget, budget justification, final SOW, Subrecipient Commitment Form, and Statement of Intent) to the subaward team. For more information on issuing an outgoing subaward, please see Subaward Processing

Compliance: Conflict of Interest

ORSP or the Award Set-Up Unit will verify compliance approvals, as applicable, with the Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORRA). Once the review has occurred and appropriate approval obtained, ORSP or the Award Set-Up Unit will continue with the award set-up process.                      

When do you need to disclose in eCOI:

  • At Proposal Submission: A Financial Conflict of Interest Disclosure must be submitted and be active (research certification made within the past 12 months) at the time a proposal is submitted for sponsor funding.

  • At Award Set-up: A Research Certification must be created in the eCOI system once an award is received.  If a disclosure has never been submitted before, the Investigator must submit a disclosure now.  The award will not be processed for set-up until all study team members have certified in the eCOI system.

  • Annually: Disclosures must be updated at least annually.  Investigators will only be notified to update their disclosure annually if no action has been taken within the last 11 months.

  • Within 30 days of a new Significant Financial Interest (SFI): A revised COI disclosure must be made within thirty days of discovering or acquiring a new significant financial interest (e.g., through purchase, marriage, or inheritance).
Compliance: Human Subjects (IRB)

Award Type

Protocol Status


New Awards (Including supplements or new scope of work)


ORRA will complete congruency review

Non-Competing Continuation/Modification

Pending, Approved with Stipulations

Aproved and Protocol End Date ha passed or will expire within 30 days

Approved and Protocol End Date has not passed (and will not expire in 30 days)

Congruency review not required, continue with award set-up
Compliance: Animal Subjects (IACUC)

Award Type

Protocol Status


New Awards (or Supplement with Scope Change)


ORRA will complete the congruency review


Significant Change to Vertebrate Animals as identified in RPPR

Protocol has expired

All Other Award Types


Congruency review not required, continue with award set-up

Compliance: IBC Biohazards (REHS) / Materials, Machines, Lasers, Chemicals (REHS) / Human Embryonic Stem Cell (hESCRO)

REHS will complete review for protocols on all awards types with permits and/or registrations from a non-Rutgers organization

Compliance: Export Controls

ORRA will complete review for protocols on all award types with export controls.

Clinical Trials

For clinical trials with a defined budget (ex. NIH):

  • Rutgers internal budget template is required for award set-up (new, modifications, continuations, etc.). The full budget will be entered into the financial system.

  • If an end date is specified, the sponsor defined end date will be entered in the system. Otherwise, the award will be set-up for a three year period.

For clinical trials without a defined budget (ex. Industry):

  • Rutgers internal budget template is not required for award set-up. Only the per-patient budget provided to the sponsor is needed. The initial budget allocation will be set at $5,000 in the financial system.

  • The award will be set-up for a three year period initially. At the end of the three year period, departments can request a three year extension.

Departments will send invoices to Grant and Contract Accounting (GCA) monthly when sent to the sponsor. GCA will increase the budget and book AR accordingly.

Modifying an Award

The table below  provides additional detail regarding areas related to processing award modifications:

New Budget Periods

When an award is sent from ORSP for set-up, Grants and Contracts Accounting (GCA) or the Award Set-up Unit will determine whether a new Index/Account will be created for each budget period or the project period.  This process applies to the main account, as well as any project accounts (unless the project account has a defined period of performance).


  1. Index/Account created per budget period: A new index/account will be created each year, if any of the following applies to the award:

    • New award number

    • New competing segment

    • Change in payment method (e.g. from G to P subaccount (NIH only))

    • Restricted carryforward

    • Supplemental funding with new scope

    • Restricted funding with concurrent indirect cost rate

  2. Index/Account created per project period: For all other awards, the same index/account will be used for the duration of the project period or competing segment (or equivalent).

No-Cost Extensions

The ORSP Grant Specialist is responsible for submitting No-Cost-Extension requests to the sponsor on behalf of the Principal Investigator. Please see No Cost Extensions for more information.

Carry Forward of Unobligated Funds

The ORSP Grant Specialist is responsible for submitting Carry Forward (or Carryover) requests to the sponsor on behalf of the Principal Investigator. Please see Carryover for more information.

Budget Reallocations

The ORSP Grant Specialist is responsible for submitting Budget Reallocation requests to the sponsor on behalf of the Principal Investigator. Please see Budget Reallocation for more information.