University of Vermont

Sponsored Project Administration - SPA

SPA A-to-Z topics | 217 Waterman Building . 85 South Prospect Street . Burlington, Vermont 05405 . (802) 656-3360


Pre-Award Spending

Pre-award costs are those incurred 

  • prior to the effective date of the Federal award directly pursuant to the negotiation
  • and in anticipation of the Federal award 
  • where such costs are necessary for efficient and timely performance of the scope of work. 
Such costs are allowable only to the extent that they would have been allowable if incurred after the date of the Federal award and only with the written approval of the Federal awarding agency. 

NIH and NSF 

  • After the December, 2014 release of the Uniform Guidelines, NIH and NSF have waived the prior approval requirement for pre award costs

  • We have to fill in the pre-spending memo for our documentation purposes

  • Pre-Award Spending Request Memo form - in SPA Forms Library - word

Other Sponsors

  • For other sponsors, prior approval is required before these costs can be incurred

To save time in the future, Sponsored Project Administration strongly encourages Principal Investigators to include the following language in their proposal budget justification wherever appropriate:

  • “If this project is funded, pre-award costs up to 90 days prior to the start date of the project may be incurred to allow for efficient and timely performance of the scope of work. All expenses incurred will be allowable and allocable to the project.”

 If appropriate, Principal Investigators may opt to include some additional context about the need for pre-award costs in their proposal budget justification, for example:

  • “As this proposal is for a continuation of an existing project, the pre-award costs are necessary to ensure a smooth continuation of the scope of work of the project.”

  • “Because the work of this project is seasonal in nature, it is critical that it begin in a timely manner.”

Last modified March 03 2015 10:21 AM

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