University of Vermont

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Sponsored Project Administration - SPA

217 Waterman Building . 85 South Prospect Street . Burlington, Vermont 05405 . (802) 656-3360


Accept and Set Up Award

A word about Non-Sponsored Agreements (No Money Changing Hands) - Researchers often collaborate and share research tools with other scientists or institutions without receiving funding.  For many of these collaborations, a written agreement is beneficial or necessary. These agreements set out expectations, terms, and requirements that protect the interests of the investigators and the participating organizations.  For examples and instructions on how to process, visit Non-Sponsored Agreements

Award Document

When a sponsor decides to fund a proposal, they send a Notice of Grant Award to UVM.  This document is called many different things, but in all cases, it represents a binding agreement to provide funding for a project.  Until this document is received, reviewed, accepted and executed, the project is not officially awarded.

  • Award
  • Award Letter
  • Contract Award
  • Cooperative Agreement
  • Letter of Agreement
  • Master Agreement
  • Memorandum of Understanding
  • Notice of Grant Award
  • Purchase Order
  • Sponsor Award
  • Subcontract
  • Others...

Negotiation of Terms and Conditions

The Principal Investigator is responsible for carefully reviewing and verifying the scope of work and deliverables (when present).  SPA will negotiate on behalf of UVM and the Principal Investigator to correct or amend any unfavorable wording relating to the work product.  The Principal Investigator needs to make clear to the SPA Research Administrator any needed changes early in the negotiation process.  SPA is soley responsible for negotiating favorable terms for all sponsored projects on behalf of UVM and the Principal Investigator.

Keep in Mind...
  • All grant awards are made to UVM - not to the Principal Investigator
  • SPA is solely responsible for accepting grant awards on behalf of UVM and the Principal Investigator
  • SPA Research Administrators are authorized to negotiate on behalf of UVM
  • Projects may not begin until after the award has been accepted by UVM
Sometimes the negotiation process is quick and easy and sometimes it takes more time. The ease or complexity of the negotiation largely depends on the type of sponsoring agency and the complexity of the negotiations.  

Federal government agencies are usually well versed in the terms and conditions acceptable to universities and these negotiations tend to move quickly.  

On the other hand, industrial sponsors, foundations and state sponsors may not have a clear understanding of university requirements and the negotiation process may take longer. 

In every case, the Principal Investigator is kept informed of the progress of the negotiations.  SPA Administrators are skilled negotiators who work to establish and maintain good working relationships with sponsors to help streamline the award negotiation process while ensuring that sponsored projects are entered into under the best possible terms and conditions.

Areas of concern typically include the following:

  • Publication rights
  • Non-disclosure/confidentiality
  • Intellectual Property
  • Data Ownership and Use
  • Warranty and Guarantee
  • Indemnification
  • Arbitration
  • Governing Law
  • Pricing Conditions
  • Billing Frequency
  • Reporting Requirements
  • Termination conditions

Award Acceptance

Once UVM and the sponsor reach agreement on the terms and conditions, a new Notice of Grant Award is issued, or the original Notice of Grant Award is amended. Once the Notice of Grant Award is fully executed (signed by both parties), SPA can move forward to set up a new project account in PeopleSoft so that the Principal Investigator can begin the project work.

Contracting with Industry

  • Click here for additional guidance about contracting with industry

Set Up Notification

  • Click here for additional guidance about Set Up Notification

Advance Account

  • Click here for additional guidance about Advance Accounts

Last modified October 25 2017 02:15 PM

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