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 Award

Sponsored Project Administration (SPA) under the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) is the only UVM office authorized to accept awards, typically grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, and other related agreements, made in support of research, extension, or other sponsored activities on behalf of the University of Vermont.

In addition, any document or agreement related to sponsored activities requiring an authorized official signature, including no money collaboration agreements, must be submitted to Sponsored Project Administration for review, approval, and signature.

Non-Sponsored Agreement (no money collaborations)

  • 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. 
  • Examples, include CDAs, DUAs, and Teaming Agreements.

•    Refer to our Non-Sponsored Agreements webpage for instructions on how to process.

Sponsored Agreement (with money collaborations)

Award Document
  • When a sponsor decides to fund a proposal, an Award Notice is delivered to Sponsored Project Administration. 
  • This award document is called many different things, Grant, Contract, Cooperative Agreement, Purchase Order, Subaward, but no matter the award type, it represents a binding agreement upon acceptance.
  • Until the award document is received by SPA, reviewed and accepted, the project is not officially awarded and performance of the work should not begin until awarded.
Deliver Awards to SPA
  • To begin the review, negotiation and acceptance process, all awards, grants, contracts, agreements or  otherwise must be received in SPA.
  • Award notifications can be received in various ways from our sponsors. Typically SPA receives the award notification directly from the sponsor; however, if the award is received by the PI or Unit Administrator, the award must be forwarded to
  • SPA logs all awards received and each award is assigned to a SPA Award Acceptance Specialist who will coordinate and complete the acceptance process.
InfoEd Proposal on File
  • Every award must have an approved InfoEd proposal on file that has completed the InfoEd review process. Completion of this process provides SPA, the department, and college level approval to move forward with the award acceptance process.
  • If a proposal is not on file, SPAwill notify the PI and/or Unit Administrator and request a proposal be submitted to SPA using InfoEd. Your assigned SPA Research Administrator can assist you with this process. 
  • The award acceptance process cannot begin until the proposal has been submitted and approved by SPA.
Award Review
  • Upon assignment the SPA Award Acceptance Specialist will alert the PI and Unit Administrator of the award and request certain elements be confirmed (i.e.: statement of work, budget, the period of perfomrance, reporting requirements).
  • For an example of the alert see SPA to notify PIs of Award Notification.
  • After obtaining PI approval, SPA begins negotiation with the sponsor.
Award Negotiation
  • SPA follows national organizations (NCURA, FDP, COGR, AUTM) recognized university standards when reviewing and accepting awards in support of sponsored projects.
  • Areas of negotiation typically include the following. 
    • Publication rights
    • Intellectual Property
    • Termination Conditions
    • Data Ownership and Use
    • Reporting Requirements
    • Confidentiality
    • Billing Frequency 
    • Pricing Conditions
    • Indemnification
    • Governing Law
  • If any of the terms and conditions of an award are considered unacceptable as determined by the PI or SPA or would place UVM in a non-compliance situation with federal, state, sponsor or UVM rules or regulations, SPA will commence negotiations with the sponsor and inform PI and Unit Administrator.
  • SPA will engage other UVM offices on topics of concern and request support in the negotiation process.
  • SPA leadership is available at any time to assist in the acceptance process.
Industry Sponsored Research Agreements: UVM Innovation Reviews Intellectual Property
  • At time of award, SPA will request UVM Innovations review Intellectual Property terms of industry sponsored research agreements. 
  • Within 2-business days from the SPA request, UVM Innovations will provide a reply indicating the IP language is 1) acceptable as written or 2) requires negotiation. 
  • Where IP terms require negotiation, UVM Innovation will take the lead and work directly with the sponsor in coordination with the PI.
  • UVM Innovations will provide SPA with the final IP language.
  • SPA will incorporate and finalize the agreement.
    Award Acceptance
    • Upon completion of a mutually acceptable agreement with the sponsor and with PI concurrence, SPA on behalf of UVM accepts the awards, collects needed signatures, and completes the InfoEd record. 
    • To expedite acceptance, UVM accepts electronic signatures for awards contract/subcontract documents.
    • Funds are not released into PeopleSoft until all pending compliance concerns are completed and green light is given to move forward from the respective compliance office (i.e.: IRB, IACUC, FCOI, Export Control).
    Award Set-up and Budget Release
    • Detailed information is compiled and organized by SPA in a checklist to facilitate entry into UVM's financial system.
    • When this set-up process is complete, funds are available for use and the project budget is released to the department. The date funds are available to the department for spending is considered the Award Start Date.
    • SPA will notify Principal Investigators and Unit Administrator with system generated emails when the award set up process is complete in both InfoEd and PeopleSoft and all chartstrings have been created.
    • There will be three types of notifications - New Award, Advance Account, and Award Modification. The major difference between them is the list of attachments that will be included with each notification type. For example, there will be no Award Document attached to the Advance Account set up notification. Instead, we will attach the relevant Advance Account Request.
    Cost Reimbursement vs Fixed Price
    • UVM accepts both cost reimbursement and fixed-price awards to conduct sponsored projects related to research, extension, and public service.
    • Both types of awards are subject to UVM’s normal sponsored project proposal and budgeting practices, as well as our normal award acceptance process.
    Cost Reimbursement Highlights
    • Cost-reimbursement is an award mechanism where the sponsor is providing an amount not to exceed that may be used to pay for allowable costs that support the performance of the project. UVM normally receives payment only after expenditures are made, and invoiced the sponsor, and found to be appropriate.
    • Cost Reimbursement projects require detailed budgets and justifications be delivered to the sponsor at time of proposal submission. Detailed budgets and justifications indicate the intended use of the funds as this detail helps define appropriate and allowable expenditures.
    • Performance of the work continues until the award’s period of performance expires or funds are exhausted. Annul and final technical reports are the expected deliverables.
            Fixed Price Award Highlights
    • Fixed-price agreement, also known as firm-fixed price or fee-for-service contract, is an award mechanism where the contractor pays a fixed price for agreed-upon work, regardless of the ultimate cost to complete the work.
    • The level of financial risk for UVM is higher than that of a cost reimbursement awards as UVM thru the PI, Department and College must complete all work, even where the cost will be greater than agreed. PIs working with their departments are responsible for cost overruns or over-expenditures resulting from inaccurately priced projects or non-payment by sponsor.
    • The expectation is that fixed-price awards will have expenses that closely match the payment received.
    • Fixed price projects should have very well developed statement of works with payments tied to milestones or specific deliverables, avoiding all payment tied to completion of the entire project.
    • Under fixed price contracting, UVM may retain any unexpended balance after contract work is completed and following SPA’s Residual Balance Procedures.

     To view a pdf of the procedure see Award Acceptance Procedure.
    Contact SPA

    If you have any questions about the process, please contact any member of our Award Acceptance Team.

    Last modified April 12 2018 04:16 PM

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