Welcome to CESS Research Administration Services, a partner unit of SPA, created under the SPA 2.0 initiative, generating a consistent and coordinated approach to sponsored project administration at the University of Vermont.

Special Announcements:

CESS Pre-Award Services

Find Funding/Grant Writing

In support of faculty efforts to obtain extramural funding for research, scholarship, and creative arts, please connect with the OVPR Research Development Office.

Services offered include; Find Funding, Proposal Writing Assistance, Proposal Editing Services, Proposal Critiques, and Proposal Workshops. 

If you have questions, please reach out to ResDev's Erin McConnell, the CESS primary point of contact for Research Development Assistance. 

Find your Pre-Award Administrator

The CESS Pre-Award Team will assist with all aspects of proposal preparation, proposal submission, revised budgets and award administration.

To coordinate a proposal submission, please email your assigned Pre-Award Administrator, based on the assignments noted in the below table.

In addition, the SPA 2.0 Pre-Award Team Lead, Deb Cannon, is always available to answer your questions and assist with urgent matters.

DepartmentPre-Award AdministratorPost-Award Administrator
CESS Dean's OfficeHannah Schoenberg (CAS)Kunie Renaud 
Dept of Counseling Hannah Schoenberg (CAS)Kunie Renaud 
Center on Disability Rachel Cronin Rachel Cronin 
Dept of EducationHannah Schoenberg (CAS)Kunie Renaud 
Dept of Social WorkHannah Schoenberg (CAS)Kunie Renaud 

Proposal Preparation and Submission

Please follow the SPA 2.0/CESS Proposal Preparation Procedures (PDF)


All proposal preparations and submissions should be coordinated with your assigned Pre-Award Administrator (UA) before the final UVMClick - Funding Proposal (FP) is submitted to SPA for review and submission to the sponsor.

SPA 2.0 Timeline:

At least 4 weeks ahead of a Sponsor deadline (and preferably 6 weeks):

  • The PI completes the Proposal Preparation Questionnaire Form (PDF) and forwards the document to their assigned Pre-Award Administrator.
  • The Pre-Award Administrator will then complete the following:
    • Use the completed questionnaire to create a UVMClick - Funding Proposal.
    • Review the proposal guidelines and provide feedback to the PI, where needed.
    • Initiate a draft budget and send to the PI for review, comment and/or confirmation.

SPA Internal Deadline (2 business days before deadline):

  • A submission-ready proposal should be received in SPA, using UVMClick, no later than two (2) business days before the sponsor published deadline. This gives the department, college and SPA time to provide a review, have any issues fixed and complete a successful submission.

All UVMClick - Funding Proposals are electronically routed for approval. See the UVMClick - FP Flowchart (PDF)

What our Pre-Award Team will assist with:

Prepare UVMClick - Funding Proposals, including SF424 system-to-system Grants.gov submissions
Prepare UVMClick - Funding Proposals for Gifts in Support of Research
Prepare UVMClick - Advance Account requests, when needed
Prepare proposals in sponsor electronic proposal submission systems, such as Research.gov, FASTLANE, and Proposal Central
Complete UVM and Sponsor proposal forms
Collect UVM Authorized Signatures on Proposal Documents
Develop Budgets & Revised Budgets
Obtain Cost Sharing approvals
Request and collect Subaward documents
Respond to Sponsor Requests for Additional information (Post Submission Updates, JIT)
Research questions and find answers
Assist PIs with standard documents, for example other support pages, facilities and resources
Assistance with post-proposal information requests, such as just-in-time (JIT) submissions, revised budgets and any other sponsor driven requirement
Prepare UVMClick - Non-Financial Agreements (Teaming Agreements, Data Use Agreements,  Non-Disclosure Agreements, No Money Collaboration Agreements)

Advance Accounts

You know your award is forthcoming, the sponsor has indicated approval but is delayed. You need to start work or you will fall behind. What to do?

Advance Account has numerous benefits, such as:

  • Begin work on time.
  • Project chartstrings remain the same after the award arrives.
  • Expenses are charged to the appropriate chartstring initially, resulting in fewer cost transfers and less use of department funds.
  • Facilities timely fiscal oversight by the PI and Unit Administrator.
  • SPA can invoice immediately once the fully-executed award arrives.
Next Steps:
1. Most often the PI will send an email to their assigned Pre-Award Administrator requesting an Advance Account. The email will include confirmation from the sponsor that an award is in process and include the effective dates and total amount of the award.  
2. The Pre-Award Administrator will complete the Advance Account Request Form and submit to SPA using UVMClick - Funding Proposal - Request Advance Account activity.
4. The Pre-Award Administrator coordinates within SPA and keep investigators informed through completion.

No Cost Extensions, Non-Financial Prior Approvals

Our Pre-Award Team will assist with all non-financial sponsored project prior approvals. For a matrix of prior approvals see: UVMClick - Award Modification Request Guide.  

The most popular request that requires a prior approval is a no cost extension.

No Cost Extension requests should be submitted to your assigned Pre-Award Administrator no later than 30 days prior to the award’s current expiration date. For more details, see SPA's No Cost Extension Procedures (PDF).

Next Steps:
1. Most often the PI will send an email to their assigned Pre-Award Administrator requesting a NCE or other Non-Financial award adjustment. 
2. The Pre-Award Administrator reviews the request, completes required forms and collect the information needed to ensure a complete NCE request is submitted into UVMClick.
This includes obtaining the Vice Presdent for Research (VPR) written  approval of the new PI. See the VPR Change of PI Memo dated 3/9/2023.  
3. The Pre-Award Administrator logins into UVMClick, finds the UVMClick - AWD and makes the Award Modification Request. This is where you describe the request and attach all required documents.
4. UVMClick delivers the request to the assigned SPA Research Administrator for review and further processing.
5. The Pre-Award Administrator coordinates with SPA and keeps the new PI informed through the completion.

Financial Prior Approvals

  • Requests for financial prior approvals and award adjustments, for example, rebudgeting, carryovers, or establishing a new project under an existing award are sent to your assigned Post-Award Research Administrator.

Award Acceptance and Set-up

The CESS Pre-Award Team will assist PIs with the SPA Award Acceptance and Set-up Process, as follows;

Assist SPA’s Award Acceptance Officer with negotiation of award terms, as needed.
Assist with resolving any outstanding issues in collaboration with the PI.
Assist with completing any outstanding compliance items and make sure IRB and IACUC are linked to the UVMClick - Funding Proposal.
Complete the UVMClick “Award Data Collection” activity.
Complete the UVMClick “Final Dept Review” activity, the last step prior to release of budget to PeopleSoft
Review sponsor regulations as outlined in award documents and coordinate with PIs to ensure compliance with sponsor specific terms and conditions.
Request an Award Kick-off meeting, where SPA staff, Unit staff and, whenever possible, the PI, get together and discuss the award's terms and conditions reporting requirements, and roles.
Assist PIs with assembling Required Reports, as needed.

Outgoing Subawards

The CESS Pre-Award Team will assist PIs with the outgoing Subaward process.

Next Steps with New outgoing Subawards:
Where a grant or contract includes an outgoing subaward, SPA’s outgoing Subaward Specialist is notified by the SPA Award Acceptance Team.
The outgoing Subaward Specialist coordinates next steps with both the PI and CESS Pre-Award Administrator.
To generate the subaward the following documents are needed; (Subrecipient Commitment Form, Scope of Work, Budget, Budget Narrative). These documents are normally collected and attached to the UVMClick - Funding Proposal.
Where documents are missing the outgoing Subaward Specialist will request the CESS Pre-Award Administrator collect the documents in coordination with the PI.
Once the subaward is generated, both the PI and the CESS Pre-Award Administrator will review for accuracy.
Upon approval, the subaward is delivered to the subrecipient’s Sponsored Programs Office (or equivalent) for review and signature.
The Final subaward document is attached to the UVMClick - AWD for future reference.


Next Steps with outgoing Subaward Amendments:
Where a grant or contract amendment is received that includes a subaward, SPA's outgoing Subaward Specialist is notified by the SPA Award Acceptance Team.
The outgoing Subaward Specialist coordinates next steps with both the PI and CESS Pre-Award Administrator.
To generate a subaward amendment the outgoing Subaward Specialist will collect the needed documents with assistance from the CESS Pre-Award Administrator.
Once the subaward amendment is generated, both the PI and the CESS Pre-Award Administrator will review for accuracy.
Upon approval, the subaward amendment is delivered to the subrecipient’s Sponsored Programs Office (or equivalent) for review and signature.
The Final subaward amendment is attached to the UVMClick - AWD for future reference.


Research Data Management Plans

Many grant applications now require research data management plans be included.

If you need assistance with developing a Research Data Management Plan, please contact UVM's Data Librarian who will help create a high-quality research data management plan that meets UVM and sponsor requirements.

For assistance with the new 2023 NIH Data Management and Sharing (DMS) Policy see the following web resource:

Reasonable, allowable costs may be included in NIH budget requests, see the following NIH web resource:

UVM Research Impacts (Broader Impacts)

Many  grant applications now require broader impact statements be included.

If you need assistance, UVM Research Impacts is a collaborative effort of Research Development, the Office of Engagement, and Professional and Continuing Education.

Research Impacts services include:

• Assistance with Broader Impact Statements
• Consultations with research impacts professionals representing each office
• Seminars and workshops

Please contact UVM Research Impacts to take advantage of this fantastic new resource.

NSF Safe and Inclusive Working Environments for Off-Campus or Off-Site Research

Effective January 30, 2023, all proposals being submitted to NSF directly or as a subrecipient that include research being conducted off-campus or off-site, a Safe and Inclusive Working Environments Plan must be in place for that proposal.

The completed Plans are not intended to be submitted to the NSF as part of the proposal, however, upon submission SPA certifies that such a plan is in place.

See: Instructions for Principal Investigators at time of Proposal and at time of Award

Roles and Responsibilities

Everyone engaged in sponsored projects should uphold the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct in accordance with UVM, sponsor, state, and federal policies and regulations.

  • Principal Investigator
  • Academic Unit Administration
  • Department Chair
  • College Dean
  • Sponsored Project Administration

For an overview of what your role is see Sponsored Projects Roles and Responsibilities.


Updated 5/2/24