Award Setup

The first step in the post-award life cycle is award setup. After a proposal is selected for awarding and the award (unofficial or official) is communicated to the University, the research administration process advances to the post-award stage of the research life cycle. 

Award Setup Process

Award Setup Process

The University of Memphis Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) and Principal Investigators (PIs) receive notice of awards from sponsors, typically in the form of an email with an official Letter of Notice of Award attached. Then, the Award Administrator enters the award into Cayuse. Once entry and compliance requirements are complete, a notice is sent from the Cayuse record to Grants and Contracts Accounting (GCA). Next, GCA establishes a 5-account index and FOPA for the award and, if applicable, a cost share index. GCA will notify the PI, Business Officer (BO), Department Chair, and University that the account is set up. Finally, GCA will send a confirmation email to the PI and associated units that includes the account details and the fund, organization, and program (FOP) details. Spending may now commence on the award.

The following are types of budget categories on most project awards that require immediate action for setup once the index and FOP are issued. It is important to immediately address those actions to meet the spending down plan in each year of the award.   

  • Advance Account – Have you received unofficial notice, such as verbal communication or an email from the sponsor stating that the award will be funded and need an advance account? Visit the Advance Account page for helpful information and instructions for requesting an Advance Account.
  • Notice of Award (NoA) – The NoA is the official notice from the sponsor informing UofM central and decentralized research units are responsible for reviewing and understanding the language within the notice of award. PIs help ensure the Office of Sponsored Programs receives the official NoA by uploading it directly to the associated Cayuse proposal record and emailing it to ospawards@memphis.edu as soon as it is received.
  • Budget – The budget approved by the sponsor is included in the NoA. The budget must be accurate for the assigned GCA to enter it into the Banner Financial System. In cases where the sponsor may change the budget from the proposed budget to the final awarded budget, the Award Administrator will inform the PI/BO that a revised budget is required before it is sent down to GCA for index and FOP setup. When this happens, the PI/BO is responsible for revising the budget for the current period of performance and uploading an accurate budget that matches the budget details in the NoA to the associated Cayuse record, cutting down any potential delay in award setup.
  • Organization Code – Typically, faculty who engage in research are assigned an organization code, a six-digit code representing their organizational hierarchy within their established academic unit. An organization code is required when an individual receives an award. It is encouraged for individuals without an organization code to request one is created at the time of proposal submission but no later than JIT for anticipated awards. Early establishment of an organizational code will cut down delays in award set-up.    
  • Personnel – Does your award provide approval and funding to support other personnel, and do you need to hire personnel to perform the work outlined in the aims and scope of the work for your project? The following is a list of the types of recruiting for hire PIs may require for their project:
    • Effort – Time spent on award project-related activity by an individual. All personnel on an award may have some effort level. Upon establishing an account, Grants and Contracts Accounting is responsible for entering award-related efforts as stated in the NoA, budget, and budget justification. Any deviation from the sponsor-approved effort level may require prior approval. Change in effort level 25% or more requires prior approval from the sponsor. 
    • Staff HirePIs work with their respective administrative personnel or Business Officers to recruit, search and hire personnel needed for the project. Consult with the HR Business Partner assigned to your specific unit for assistance with defining the title and duties, and responsibilities for the position and to begin an HR workforum new hire requisition. Visit the HR Staff Directory for the list of HR contacts. Visit HR’s recruitment page for guidance on the recruiting process.
    • Graduate Assistant, Research PIs work with their respective administrative personnel or Business Officers for the appointment of the GAs selected to perform work on a respective project. PIs determine the stipend and tuition amount for the GA and work with the Chair/Dean in their area if any portion of student support will be provided by the Chair/Dean budget. More information about Graduate Assistants can be found on the Graduate School website, and appointments may be entered in the e-Contracts Portal. 
    • Student Worker (SW) PIs work with their respective administrative personnel or Business Officers to appoint the student workers selected to perform work on a respective project. A Student Worker is classified as either a Regular Student Employee or a Federal Work Student (FWS) who is a U.S. domestic student or an international student holding an F-1 or J-1 visa to study in the U.S. Student Workers may work up to 25 hours per week. However, the student’s work schedules cannot interfere with their class schedules. More information about student workers and appointments can be found on the Student Employee website, including Policy SA8010: Student Employment.
    • Temporary Employee PIs work with their respective administrative personnel or Business Officer for the appointment of the temporary employee selected to perform work on a respective project. The e-Contract Portal may be utilized to enter temporary appointments.
  • Establish Vendor – PIs work with their respective administrative personnel or Business Officer to ensure all suppliers for material, supplies, and equipment required for the completion of the research project are established vendors to the university.  
  • Consultant – an individual or entity that receives a contract, a legal instrument by which a non-Federal entity purchases property or services needed to carry out the project or program under a Federal award, to obtain goods and services for the non-Federal entity’s use and created a procurement relationship with the contractor.
  • Subrecipient – a non-Federal entity that receives a subaward from a pass-through entity to carry out part of a Federal program; but does not include an individual that is a beneficiary of such program. A subrecipient may also receive other Federal awards directly from a Federal awarding agency (source: Grants.gov).
  • Subaward – An award provided by a pass-through entity to a subrecipient for the subrecipient to carry out part of a Federal award received by the pass-through entity. It does not include payments to a contractor or to an individual who is a federal program beneficiary. A subaward may be provided through any form of legal agreement, including an agreement that the pass-through entity considers a contract (source: Grants.gov). 

Roles & Responsibilities


Proposal Specialist:

  • Performs a thorough review and negotiation of terms with the sponsor as necessary.
  • Finalizes award details and package. 
  • Analyzes the award for changes from the proposal to the award.
  • Forwards file to appropriate Award Administrator.

Award Administrator:

  • Initiates award in Cayuse.
  • Reviews award to identify the awarded amount, period of performance, and special/problematic terms.
  • Evaluates compliance and determine if further documentation or approvals are needed.