Award Set-Up

Overview

After routing and submitting your proposal, there is a waiting period while the sponsor makes its funding decision. This can last as long as 20 months for NIH awards. During this time, it is important that you resolve any barriers to funding to ensure timely execution of your award.  For NIH awards with priority scores in the competitive range, the PI will receive an e-mail requesting Just-In-Time information.  It is recommended that IRB and/or IACUC applications be submitted at this time as well.

Prior to award receipt, you may request to spend funds up to 90 days before the start of the budget period with approval from the sponsor, department, and OCGA (RAS/ERAS).

Once the funds come in, OCGA will issue the Award Snapshot which details the terms and conditions of the award based on the Notice of Award, including reporting requirements. This is the time to establish linked accounts for other investigators working on the project, set up multi-campus awards and subawards, set up recharge IDs and purchase orders, and complete paperwork to place personnel who will work on the project on this fund. These activities continue in the Award Management phase of the grant.

When Will I Get My Award? 

It can take as long as 20 months after your original application submission date to get a grant:

Timeline for Funding Decisionstimeline

Source: https://www.niaid.nih.gov/grants-contracts/timelines-assignment-review-funding

Action Items:

  • During this time, it’s important that you resolve any barriers to funding, including sending just-in-time (JIT) information when requested.

Receiving an Award

Extramural awards from federal and non-profit sponsors are handled by the Office of Contract & Grant Administration (OCGA). Their responsibilities include accepting extramural funds on behalf of the University.

Once UCLA is in receipt of an award, OCGA sends an email notification to the PI and OES that the award transaction is in process. You should not incur expenditures until you receive official notification that a fund number has been established.

Action Items:

Before the agreement can be executed, the PI or administrator must complete all compliance requirements, including any of the following:

  • EPASS
  • PI exception
  • F&A exception
  • IRB or IACUC approval
  • Approval if significant budget or scope changes
  • COI disclosures

Spending Prior to Award Receipt (RAS/ERAS)

The Principal Investigator of a research, training, or public service contract or grant may request permission to spend a specified amount of money during a specified period against an appropriate account and fund number prior to the receipt of an executed award from the funding agency. Three criteria must be met before the Principal Investigator is authorized to spend funds against approved projects in advance of receiving a Formally Executed Award. It must be demonstrated that:

  1. A Firm Commitment by a funding agency exists to award a contract or grant.
  2. There is an essential need to advance or commit funds.
  3. Other funding is available to cover the risk of a delayed start date or failure of an agency to make an award as anticipated.

The Principal Investigator’s Department, School, College, or Organized Research Unit is responsible for providing appropriate funds to cover expenditures which might be disallowed as a result of delay or failure of an agency to make an award as anticipated.

Action Items:

  • To request this, the PI or the administrator should submit the following items to their fund manager:
    1. A completed ERAS form (link this our forms page) signed by the PI, AND
    2. Written confirmation from the sponsor that the project has been selected for funding and that pre-award spending is allowed, if applicable.

Just In Time (JIT)

NIH uses Just-in-Time procedures to allow certain elements of an application to be submitted later in the application process, after scientific review when the application is under consideration for funding. The standard JIT elements include other support information (both active and pending) for senior/key personnel; certification of IRB and / or IACUC approval (s); and evidence of compliance with the education in the protection of human research participants requirement. Other program-specific information may also be requested.

For further details, see Just-in-Time.

Award Snapshot & Notice of Award (NOA)

The award snapshot and notice of award (NOA) outlines the obligations, rights and remedies of the parties involved in an attempt to prevent misunderstandings and litigation.

The terms of the award protect the Principal Investigator and the University from liability and risks associated with conducting research. They uphold the university’s policies, such as the right to publish research results, protect human subjects, and protect against the loss of a PI’s intellectual property.

Action Items:

  • (a) For NIH grants, the NOA can be accessed from the ERA Commons.

  (b) For non-NIH grants, the sponsor will send the NOA directly to the PI or upload it     to their portal

  • In the event that you receive an award notice or agreement directly from a sponsor, please forward it to awards@research.ucla.edu and list the PATS# in the e-mail subject line.

What is a Full Accounting Unit (FAU)?

A fund number is one component of the FAU, which consists of 8 fields.

Example FAU: 4-441357-AF-32222-BRUINS-03-4630-ALAN

  • Location – Designates campus within the UC system. UCLA = 4.
  • Account – A 6-digit department specific number
  • Cost Center – For contracts and grants, PIs are assigned a cost center, which is comprised of 2 letters.
  • Fund – Each contract or grant is given a separate fund number, which is established and controlled by the University (EFM or Accounting).
  • Project – Optional. Can be used to identify a group of activities that require financial tracking.
  • Sub – See Sub (link this to the Sub section) section below.
  • Object Code – Used to break expenditures into categories. Object codes are established and controlled by the University.
  • Source – Optional. Can be used to best meet the needs of the Department, such as breaking down an expense into a lower subset or classification, similar to a Project Code. Departments are allowed to establish and control the Source field.

Action Items:

  • PI and administrator will need the account, cost center, and fund to charge expenses to the project (i.e. assign staff, make purchases, etc.).

What is a Sub?

A sub categorizes expenses into the following types:

  • 00 – Academic Salaries
  • 01 – Staff Salaries (This sub is not used for Semel contracts & grants)
  • 02 – General Assistance Salaries (This is where non-academic salaries will go)
  • 03 – Supplies and Expense
  • 04 – Inventorial Equipment
  • 05 – Special Items (i.e. travel & student stipend fees)
  • 06 – Employee Benefits
  • 07 – Special Items (i.e. student tuition fees, subawards, rent)
  • 08 – Special Items (i.e. unallocated appropriations)
  • 09 – Recharges (typically not used)
  • 9H – Overhead (indirect costs)

Action Items:

  • PI and administrator will need to identify the correct sub when filling out personnel forms, making purchases, etc.

Linking Accounts

Reasons to request to link additional accounts:

  • To separate supplement funds from the main award to keep accounting separate (required for restricted supplements).
  • To separate funding for different budget periods for awards with restricted carryforwards.
  • To transfer funds to different PIs working on the project.

Action Items:

  • To set up a linked account, the PI or administrator can request that the fund manager link additional accounts to an award. This is typically done in conjunction with a TOF request. See TOF section. (Link this to the TOF section)

Recharge ID

A recharge ID is a shorthand for the FAU, and it is essential when ordering goods and services from certain UCLA on-campus vendors.

Recharge IDs are made up of 4 alphanumeric characters, e.g. MV22 and are unique to each FAU.

Action Items:

  • Please e-mail your fund manager if you would like to establish, close or reinstate a Recharge ID.

Understanding Project & Budget Periods

The initial notice of award provides funds for the project during the first budget period. Budget periods usually are 12 months long; however, shorter or longer budget periods may be established for compelling programmatic or administrative reasons.

A project period may consist of one or more budget periods.

Action Items:

  • It is important that all spending occur within the applicable budget period, unless the award has automatic carryforward.
  • No funds may be spent prior to the start of the first budget period unless a RAS is granted. See RAS section (link this to the RAS section) for more detail.

Transfer of Funds (TOF)

 The TOF system is how appropriations are transferred between subs or different linked accounts. Two common reasons for a TOF are as follows:

  • Fund manager transfers funds from sub 08 (unallocated appropriations), to the appropriate subs based on the approved budget.
  • PI collaborates with a Co-Investigator in another department at UCLA, so PI or Administrator requests that the fund manager transfer funds to the Co-Investigator’s account and cost center.

Please note: TOFs can only be processed within the same fund number.

Action Items:

  • PI or administrator can request that the fund manager process the transfer. Please provide the amount (direct & indirect cost), dates and the destination account and cost center.

Subaward BruinBuy Requisition Set-Up

In order to set up an outgoing subaward, the administrator generates a requisition number via BruinBuy.  Prior to submitting a requisition, the administrator will need to request an increase to their spending limit from the department DSA. The administrator then submits the subaward checklist and back-up documents to the fund manager, who will then forward the request to OCGA.

Multi-Campus Awards (MCA)

 In order to set up an MCA, the administrator submits an MCA checklist and back-up documents to the fund manager, who will then forward the request to the subaward team. The Extramural Fund Management office will set up the transfer based on the information on the agreement.

Action Items:

  • MCA Checklist: http://ora.research.ucla.edu/OCGA/Documents/Outgoing-Subawards/MCA-checklist.pdf
  • PI and administrator should review monthly financial reports to confirm that the MCA funds have been appropriated to the sister campus. See Monthly Report (link this to monthly report section) section for more details
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