Research Affairs / 
Before the Award


Just-In-Time Information for NIH Grants
Negotiations with the Sponsor
Recommended Resources for Unfunded Projects
Starting Work Early/Pre-Award Spending
Before the Award Checklist  


Just-In-Time Information for NIH Grants

Following peer review, NIH will notify the PI of the proposal's priority score. If the proposal is in the fundable range, NIH will request via email that the PI prepare and upload to the eRA Commons the following "Just-in-Time" (JIT) information as applicable:

  • Other Support: Includes all financial resources, whether federal, non-federal, commercial or institutional, that may directly support the PI's proposed research project, including but not limited to research grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, and/or institutional awards.  Not included in other support are:  training awards, prizes, and gifts.  Research Affairs - Financial Management will review this document for accuracy before it is submitted.


  • For projects involving animals:
    • Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval date

After uploading all required JIT information into the eRA Commons, the PI should notify Research Affairs.  The Electronic Research Specialist will notify the following Research Affairs sections that JIT information needs to be verified and approved:  Research Administration, Financial Management, and Research Integrity.  After all JIT information has been reviewed and approved, the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) will submit the information through the eRA Commons. 

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Negotiations with the Sponsor

After submitting the proposal, one of the following may happen:

The sponsor approves the award

Unofficial notification:  Occasionally a sponsor will notify the PI/department/school office via phone, email, or letter that an award may be funded -- this communication should immediately be forwarded to Research Administration for processing.  Such communications do NOT constitute an official Notice of Award and are NOT authorizations to proceed. 

Unofficial notification often includes statements such as:  "subject to availability of funds," or "this notification is not an authorization to expend funds." Therefore any spending at this point is done at the institution's own risk.  If the PI believes that the award will ultimately be funded, s/he should review the appropriate procedures before starting work early.

The sponsor asks for a revised proposal

Situation 1:  If the sponsor asks the PI to revise and resubmit the proposal (and it will still be competing against other proposals), the revised proposal will be considered a formal proposal and MUST follow LLU's approval and submission process.

Situation 2:  If the sponsor indicates that they intend to fund the proposal but asks the PI to make certain changes, these changes are NOT considered to be a formal proposal. However, Research Affairs must review and approve all revisions before submission to the sponsor. 

The sponsor asks for a revised budget

The sponsor may indicate that the proposal may be funded, but at a reduced rate of funding. If so, the PI will submit to Research Affairs - Financial Management a revised budget reflecting the new specified amount and/or period of time.  Often it is also necessary to adjust the proposed effort and/or scope of work to make sure that the project can be completed with the specified amount of funding. 

The sponsor asks to visit the institution

Notify Research Affairs immediately if the sponsor wishes to conduct a site visit.  Provide Research Affairs with:

  • the visit date(s)
  • visitor name(s)
  • a statement about the visit's purpose

The sponsor wants to negotiate the award terms

Notify Research Affairs - Financial Management immediately if the sponsor wants to negotiate the terms and conditions of the award.  With the support of other administrative offices (such as Legal Counsel and Research Affairs - Technology Transfer) and with the PI's involvement, Financial Management will negotiate the award terms, including:

  • scope of work
  • budget
  • reporting requirements (technical and financial)
  • start and end dates
  • indemnity and liability
  • Facilities & Administration (F&A, also known as indirect) costs
  • ownership of technical developments
  • limitations on publications
  • intellectual property issues such as use of results in later projects and licenses
  • payment terms
  • consequences of adverse reactions in human subjects research
  • termination

The sponsor rejects the proposal

If a proposal is rejected, the sponsor usually sends a notice which may or may not include an explanation of the reason(s).  If the explanation is not satisfactory, the PI can request additional information from the sponsor.  These explanations often point out weak areas in the proposal that should be addressed in future revisions.  A rejected proposal may be resubmitted via LLU's approval and submission process after it has undergone suggested, reasonable, or substantial revision.

Recommended Resources for Unfunded Projects


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Starting Work Early / Pre-award Spending

It is sometimes necessary to obtain an account number before an award is finalized.  It may also be necessary to incur costs between budget periods or before the award process is completed.  For example, a PI may wish to begin a lengthy hiring process before the project's start date. 

Starting work and/or spending funds before the official award start date requires approval from Research Affairs - Financial Management and may also require written, prior approval from the sponsor:

For federal grants:  Most federal sponsors (including NIH) allow pre-award spending within the 90 days prior to the award start date without their written approval.  Financial Management will assist the PI in reviewing the grant terms regarding pre-award activities and spending.

For non-federal grants:  Financial Management will assist the PI in reviewing the grant terms regarding pre-award activities and spending.

To open a pre-award spending account:

  1. Submit to Financial Management a Request for Pre-Award Spending form, accompanied by a commitment letter from the school, department, or organization stating that they approve of the pre-award spending and recognize that they will be financially responsible for covering all incurred expenditures if the award is not received.

  2. Upon approval, Financial Management will issue an account number and the PI may begin spending.

  3. Charges are NOT to be made on a non-sponsored account and then transferred to the sponsored account when the award is established.  Charges must be made to a pre-award spending account so they receive proper review and oversight.

 

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Before the Award Checklist 

PI Checklist

LLU Roles & Responsibilities

Just-in-Time (JIT) Information
  • Review, approve, and submit uploaded JIT information
Negotiations with the Sponsor
  • Discuss programmatic aspects of the award with the sponsor's "program officer"/"program monitor"/"technical officer", such as:
    • Further program or technical information needed;
    • Scientific merit of the proposal

  • Forward any direct communication from the sponsor regarding the award to Research Administration

 

 

 

  •  Negotiate business aspects of the award with the "grants officer"/"business officer"/"contract officer" at the sponsoring agency
Starting Work or Spending Funds Early

 

  • Review award terms for pre-award activity and spending

 

  • Review Request for Pre-Award Spending

 

  • Set up pre-award spending account and issue account number to PI

 

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