The Award Lifecycle

Award Notices

After negotiations, the sponsor will send an award notice to NIU. In some cases, the sponsor may send the award notice to the PI. When this occurs, the PI should contact the SPA Award Coordinator to confirm whether SPA has also received a copy of the award. 

Award Acceptance

After SPA review is complete, SPA will proceed with accepting the award. The specific procedure differs depending on the sponsor and the type of grant issued. SPA personnel will determine what steps need to be taken to execute a grant award. A completed System Tracking and External Project (STEP) form must be on file prior to the acceptance of an award. This includes approvals from the Principal Investigator (PI), Co-PI(s), Chair(s), Dean(s), and Director of SPA. 

Acceptance by Authorized Organizational Representative

Only the Director of Sponsored Programs Administration and the Vice President for Research have Signature Authority to accept awards.  When a signature is requested of the “Signing Official” or the “Authorized Official,” the documentation must be sent to SPA for signature. 

SPA Review

When SPA receives a Notice of Award from the sponsor, SPA will compare the Notice with the original proposal before accepting the award. SPA will contact the PI to discuss any discrepancies between the proposal and award prior to accepting the award.  SPA reviews the following award elements as part of the award acceptance process:

  • Project Period
  • Funds Awarded
  • Terms and Conditions (in some cases, Legal Counsel may be sought)
  • Reporting Schedule and Procedures
  • Sponsor Agency Staff Contacts
  • Sponsor Award Number
  • Cost share commitment
  • Approvals for use of human subjects, laboratory animals, or biohazards
  • Any changes to the initial submission

After SPA has completed the negotiation and/or the review of the award, an electronic Notice of Award (NOA) is sent via the NIUeRA system to the PI, and multiple administrators and includes award information necessary to set-up the grant account and to manage the award.

Award Notices are sent via the NIUeRA system to:

  • PI
  • Co-PI(s)
  • Chair(s)
  • Dean(s)
  • Assistant Director and Director of SPA
  • Vice President for Research

The Notice of Award will contain the following information:

  • award amount
  • project dates
  • cost share
  • facilities & administrative cost distribution
  • Official agency award documentation and a detailed budget.

Always review the award information carefully and immediately contact SPA with any concerns or changes that should be made to the award.

The official Notice of Award, including the Grant Account Number (44 fund), and internal signature cards will be provided.

The assigned Grant Administrator will sign the Notice of Award. Financial questions regarding your award should be addressed to this individual. PIs are encouraged to request a meeting with the grant administrator to discuss post-award processes and expectations for managing an award.