Research OSPA:Awards Process

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Effective Date

September 1, 2013

Statement of the Issue

Steps to follow to process a new incoming award and/or new subcontract.

Applicable Policy/Regulation

The Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) will negotiate all research agreements, subcontracts, amendments, and modifications in accordance with UT Dallas policies, the Intellectual Property Policy of The University of Texas System and, as appropriate, the Federal Acquisition Regulation, and/or OMB Uniform Guidance (UG) 2 CFR 200 and/or Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act. (See The University of Texas System Policy UTS145 and The University of Texas at Dallas Policy UTD PP-1002.) These agreements will comply with all standard and special provisions of individual awards made by a sponsor via a grant or contract to UTD, or through a first-tier contractor to UTD.

Process

Award documents take many forms depending upon the type of sponsor and project. These documents require review and signature by the official authorized signatory who is authorized to sign on behalf of the institution. OSP reviews the terms and conditions of every award received.

Federal awards usually have pre-determined Terms and Conditions; however, negotiations may be required.

Non-federal awards normally require negotiations, especially those agreements with industrial sponsors. Such topics as inventions, publication rights, liability, and ownership of research results are usually the subject of negotiation. The negotiations are coordinated between OSP personnel, the sponsor, the Principal Investigator (PI), and, as appropriate, the UT System Office of General Counsel. OSP leads the negotiations with the sponsor.

Upon receipt of fully executed award documents or other proof of award, OSP will work with the Office of Post Award Management (OPM) to initiate the generation of a cost center. The PI is notified of each new award and of the associated terms and conditions by way of a "New Award Notification" document sent by OSP. The PI is asked to sign and return the "New Award Notification" document to OSP which indicates the PI accepts the award and the responsibility for complying with all award requirements.


A. When an award is received, the respective Grant Specialist will negotiate and process it, then send the award to OPM.


a. The Grant Specialist will review the terms and conditions of the award. If any are problematic, they will need to be negotiated with the sponsor. Some awards will require a signature from the Office of Research and, possibly, a counter signature from the sponsor.


b. OPM will need a detailed budget breakdown. If there is not one, the Grant Specialist will obtain it from the PI.


c. The Grant Specialist will complete an Award Mission Complete Form – located Guidelines:osp:award doc.docx.

d. The information in the Proposal Module in PeopleSoft (PS) is edited to match the award, including the title, project dates, and budget breakdown.

e. In the Additional Information hyperlink on the Proposal tab, the Program Official and Grants Management Specialist name, email, and phone number will be entered under “POF”. Also, the award number will be added under “AI” as well as on the Reference Award Number.

f. If the award is from a federal agency, the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) will need to be added, under “CFDA” on the Proposal Tab. The CFDA number is required on all federal and federal flow-through awards.

g. In the Budget Detail tab, break down the budget based on line item entries to match the awarded budget. If there is cost share, it will need to be entered as well.

h. The Grant Specialist will check the Conflict of Interest (COI) spreadsheet on the G: drive under the Office of Research Compliance (ORC). The expiration date will need to go under “Certifications” using the “COI” code in the Certifications Tab. If the PI does not have a current COI disclosure, the Conflict of Interest Manager in ORC will need to be notified. A cost center will not be established until a current COI is in place.

i. Review the Export Control checklist to verify all answers are correct based on all documentation – proposal, solicitation, award. Once verified, sign and upload to PS and G:.

j. If any other certifications are applicable, verify with ORC all approvals have been obtained and update the PeopleSoft certifications tab. If Human Subjects are applicable, send the PI name, project title and sponsor to Amanda Miller for follow-up. If Animals are applicable, send the PI name, project title, sponsor and IDC rate to Kathan McCallister and Cynthia Tralmer for follow-up. If EH&S is applicable, send the PI name, project title and sponsor to Kathy White for follow-up.

k. Upload the award document to “Attachments” following the File Name Convention format.

l. Complete and sign the Restricted Research (RR) form, located here. Have Assistant Director, OSP, countersign RR form.

m. Following the template below, email the award document, RR form and budget, if necessary, to the Post-Award Management Specialists in OPM, and copy the OSP Business Process Analyst (BPA).
i. PI name
ii. Project ID
iii. Cost Share included – include amount and cost center, if known
iv. Billing Plan – cost reimbursable or fixed
v. Attach Research Determination form signed by specialist and Asst Dir.

n. If subcontracts are needed, Specialist should process subawards at the same time as the award, following the procedure outlined under Outgoing below.

o. When a cost center is created, OPM will notify the BPA who will send the New Award Notification and award documentation to the PI, his/her Administrative Assistant, and School Fiscal Officer. The PI will need to sign and return the New Award Notification to show that he/she has reviewed the terms and conditions of the award.

p. If there are special terms and conditions, or if this is the PI’s first award, a kick-off meeting should be held and include the Grant Specialist, OPM, the PI, his/her Administrative Assistant, and, possibly, the School Fiscal Officer. This meeting should address: restrictions, limitations, terms and conditions, reporting requirements, internal processes, internal contacts, etc. and all PI’s questions addressed.

q. For additional information, refer to the OPM process for [up a cost center]

B. An __//incoming//__ subcontract is received if UTD will participate as a subrecipient in a project with another institution or organization as the prime (a.k.a. pass-through entity or federal award ‘recipient’). UTD is performing a service or a portion of a project for which the first-tier contractor received an award from a prime sponsor.**At the time of proposal submission, OSP should have the following documents:
a. Letter of commitment signed by Assistant Director, Office of Sponsored Projectsb. Statement of Work (SOW) (the description of the work to be performed and completed by UTD)

c. Detailed budget and budget justification

d. Review the Export Control checklist to verify all answers are correct based on all documentation – proposal, solicitation, award. Once verified, sign and upload to PS and G:.

e. Signed Cert form

f. Visual Compliance checks

g. If applicable, research compliance approvals (e.g. IRB, IACUC, Human Subjects training, //responsible conduct of research//, etc.) . If Human Subjects are applicable, send the PI name, project title and sponsor to Amanda Miller for follow-up. If Animals are applicable, send the PI name, project title, sponsor and IDC rate to Kathan McCallister and Cynthia Tralmer for follow-up. If EH&S is applicable, send the PI name, project title and sponsor to Kathy White for follow-up.

Incoming subcontracts should include the OGC dispute resolution clause and should be governed by Texas law or be silent. The signature page should not be free standing – there should be other text of the contract on the page to make it harder to substitute signatures. The agreement should also have all pages numbered to ensure we have a complete agreement. When possible, get a copy of the prime award to make sure our subcontract doesn’t have more or less stringent terms – i.e. our agreement limits carryover but the prime agreement does not.


The same award procedure will be followed for subcontracts as grants (see steps a-p above), with additional steps below:


In the Proposals tab of PeopleSoft, include the following under “Additional Information”:


a. Award number of the original award and subcontract number under “AI”

b. List the top tier sponsor under “FLW”. (e.g.: Sponsor: NIH; Prime institution: UTSW; Prime PI: John Doe; Prime Award amount: $1,000,000)

c. If the subcontract is over $25,000 and the prime sponsor is federal, FFATA (Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act) information will need to be added. Enter the prime sponsor, prime PI name, and prime DUNS number under “FFA”. (e.g. Subcontractor Institution: UT Arlington; Subcontractor PI: John Doe; Subcontractor DUNS: 064234610; Subcontract Start Date: 9/1/14)


For additional information, refer to the OPM process for [management].


C. An __//outgoing//__ subcontract is processed if UTD is outsourcing a service or a portion of a project for which the first-tier contractor received an award from a prime sponsor. Outgoing subcontracts are processed by the respective Specialist in OSP.**The following documents are required from the subrecipient in order to process a subaward:

a. Letter of commitment signed by the authorized organizational representative

b. Statement of Work (SOW) (the description of the work to be performed and completed by the subrecipient)

c. Subrecipient’s detailed budget and budget justification

d. If applicable, research compliance approvals (e.g. IRB, IACUC, Human Subjects training, //responsible conduct of research//, etc.)


When UTD’s Prime Sponsor is a federal agency and member of the //[Demonstration Partnership (FDP)]//, use the [Standard Template Subaward Agreement Forms]. Always download a new form to make sure you are using the most current version.


When the Prime Sponsor is not a member of FDP or the subawardee is an industry partner, use UTD’s standard Subrecipient Agreement, found here.
(G:\Sponsored Projects\Contracts\Agreements\Subcontracts\Subcontracts Out\Nonfederal Subawards\Subrecipient Agreement)


Once the Prime Award is processed, the Specialist will work with the subrecipient to negotiate and finalize the subaward. As the Prime Awardee, UTD is responsible for administration of overall project and ensuring all individuals working on the project, including subawardees, are in compliance with the terms and conditions of the Prime Award. It is important the Specialist read the Prime Award terms and conditions and flow any relevant terms on to the subawardee institution. Also, verify the Prime Award authorizes the subcontract and the authorized total matches the subrecipient’s budget total.


The signature page should not be free standing – there should be other text of the contract on the page to make it harder to substitute signatures. The agreement should also have all pages numbered to ensure we have a complete agreement.


Complete the Sub vs Contractor Determination form for each new subcontractor:
G:\Sponsored Projects\TEMPLATES\Forms\Sub vs Contractor Determination.pdf


Complete the Risk Assessment checklist for each new subcontractor:
G:\Sponsored Projects\TEMPLATES\Forms\Risk Assessment.xls


For PS entry and instructions, follow the procedure found here.
(G:\Sponsored Projects\Processes\PeopleSoft Processes\PS-Outgoing Subawards)


Once the subaward has been fully executed, upload the signed agreement to PS following the above instructions and save to G: drive. Put the folder on the BPA table for processing.


For additional information, refer to the OPM process for [management].




Definitions

A. //Authorized Signatory// – UT System Policy authorizes the President of each System component to sign for and commit the University to obligations in contracts and agreements. Each University President can, in turn, delegate that signature authority as he or she sees fit. At UT Dallas, for Research grants and contracts, the authorized signatories are the Vice President of Research, the Associate Vice President for Research, Assistant Director, Office of Sponsored Projects and Director, Research Contracts.

B. //Grant// - A type of financial assistance awarded to an organization for the conduct of research or other program as specified in an approved proposal. A grant is used whenever the awarding office anticipates no substantial programmatic involvement with the recipient during the performance of the activities.

C. //Contract// - A contract is a mechanism for procurement of a product or service with specific obligations for both sponsor and recipient. Typically, a research topic and the methods for conducting the research are specified in detail by the sponsor, although some sponsors award contracts in response to unsolicited proposals.

D. //Subcontract// - A document written under the authority of, and consistent with the terms and conditions of an award (a grant, contract or cooperative agreement), that transfers a portion of the research or substantive effort of the prime award to another institution or organization.

E. //Cooperative Agreement// - An award similar to a grant, but in which the sponsor’s staff may be actively involved in proposal preparation, and anticipates having substantial involvement in research activities once the award has been made.

F. //Letter of Commitment// – Required for any organization participating as a subcontract. The letter must state the organization’s commitment to the project, indicating the specific role it will fulfill, and state its share of the grant proceeds. The letter must be signed by an official signatory at the organization.

G. //Statement of Work (SOW)// - The SOW is incorporated into the subcontract and is the yardstick against which the respondent’s performance is measured. A SOW describes the work to be performed or the services to be provided. It describes tasks, directs methodologies to be used and sets forth the period of performance. It should contain only qualitative and quantitative design and performance requirements. It must delineate the entire scope of work to be performed and specify all the tasks within that scope. It must cover the following points: What needs to be done; Who will do what; When it should be done; Where it should be done; and How the performance will be judged.

H. //Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA)// - FFATA was implemented to bring transparency to government spending. Prime Grant Recipients awarded a new Federal grant greater than or equal to $25,000 as of October 1, 2010 are subject to FFATA sub-award reporting requirements as outlined in the Office of Management and Budgets (OMB) guidance issued August 27, 2010. Monthly FFATA reports are required for all organizations receiving federal funding.

I. //Restricted Research// - The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) requires disclosure of Restricted Research Expenditures for select institutions of higher education. This information is solicited annually, and is utilized to determine Research Development Fund allocations to Texas institutions.

J. //Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA)// - Contains detailed program descriptions for 2,209 Federal assistance programs. The top five issuing agencies include: Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Interior, Department of Agriculture, Department of Justice, and Department of Education. These federal programs are available to State and local governments (including the District of Columbia); federally-recognized Indian tribal governments; Territories (and possessions) of the United States; domestic public, quasi-public, and private profit and nonprofit organizations and institutions; specialized groups; and individuals.

K. //Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP)//
a. Cooperative effort among federal research agencies and recipients of federal funds aimed at reducing the administrative burden associated with research grants and contracts.
b. Implemented streamlined terms and conditions for research grants.

L. //First-tier subcontractor// is the entity to which a sponsor makes an award (prime award), who then subcontracts to UTD.

M. //Flow-through funds// - Monies that are passed from the Recipient to a secondary entity or Subrecipient

N. //Flow-down or Flow-through// - Applying the terms and conditions in the Prime Award to the Subaward

O. //Pass-through entity// - A non-Federal entity that provides a Federal award to a subrecipient to carry out a Federal program

P. //Prime Award// - The grant/contract from the sponsor (funds the subaward)

Q. //Recipient// - A non-Federal entity that expends Federal awards received directly from a Federal awarding agency to carry out a Federal program

R. //Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)// - Responsible conduct of research is defined as the practice of scientific investigation with integrity. It involves the awareness and application of established professional norms and ethical principles in the performance of all activities related to scientific research. UT Dallas students, postdoctoral researchers and associated lab personnel supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) or the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are required to complete RCR training commensurate with the requirements of the funding entity (see Regulations).

S. //Subaward// - An award of financial assistance in the form of money, or property in lieu of money, made under an award by a recipient to an eligible subrecipient or by a subrecipient to a lower tier subrecipient. The term includes financial assistance when provided by any legal agreement, even if the agreement is called a contract, but does not include procurement of goods and services.

T. //Subrecipient// - The legal entity to which a subaward is made and which is accountable to the recipient for the use of the funds provided. The activities of a subrecipient will have significant impact on the total project with distinct deliverables for work that is unique to the project. The terms of UTD subrecipient relationships are documented in Subgrant/Subcontract or consortium agreements.

U. //Incoming// – An incoming amend/mod is issued to UTD from a prime sponsor. UTD is performing a service.

V. //Outgoing// -An outgoing amend/ mod is issued by UTD to another organization to perform a service.

W. //Uniform Guidance// - In effect December 26, 2014 and published by the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB), this guidance supersedes and streamlines requirements from OMB Circulars A-21, A-87, A-110, and A-122; Circulars A-89, A-102, and A-133; and the guidance in Circular A-50 on Single Audit Act follow-up. This guidance provides a governmentwide framework for grants management which will be complemented by additional efforts to strengthen program outcomes through innovative and effective use of grant-making models, performance metrics, and evaluation. http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_docs