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Negotiation and Award Setup

Information on how negotiations work, where to check the status of an agreement, and additional requirements needed to finalize, accept and set up awards.

After a successful project has been selected by a sponsoring agency for funding, the sponsoring agency will provide either a notice of award document or begin negotiating an agreement with UC San Diego.  

At UC San Diego, only the sponsored projects office has the authorized delegated authority to negotiate and accept awards or agreements on behalf of UC San Diego. If a department research administrator and/or Principal Investigator receives the notice of award or agreement from a sponsoring agency, they should forward such documents to the sponsored projects office for review, negotiation, and acceptance. 

For successful proposals, principal Investigators (PI), fund managers, and departmental business officers, along with contract officers in the SPO and accountants in Sponsored Projects Finance (SPF) all work together to finalize the award document and electronic records before research expenses can be charged to the award.

Here are a few steps that must be completed before a fund and index is set up and activated so you can start spending on your award:

Receiving the Notice of Award (NOA)

The Notice of Award is a commitment of an agreement between the sponsor and UC San Diego. If a Notice of Award is not received, UC San Diego cannot authorize the research to begin.

A sponsor's grant management or contract office will typically send official communication to the institutional office responsible for contract and grant management, providing the award document, and notifying that office of the award terms and conditions. If award documentation is provided to the PI, departmental staff, or lab staff directly this documentation must be forwarded to the appropriate contract and grant office for institutional review and acceptance.

At UC San Diego, the offices with this role are the Sponsored Projects Office (SPO). These offices have UC delegated authority to accept sponsored project awards on behalf of the Regents of the University of California.

Required Compliance Approvals

Additional compliances may be applicable to the project. If so, such approvals will be needed from the offices responsible for compliance requirements prior to award set-up: 

If such approvals are pending, UC San Diego cannot accept the award until the applicable compliances have been approved. 


In some circumstances, it may be necessary to negotiate the terms of an award or other type of agreement that UC San Diego will be a party to.  In these cases, a Sponsored Projects Officer will work with the other party (and potentially other offices within UCSD or UC Office of the President (UCOP), as necessary) to negotiate certain terms & conditions contained in the agreement with the goal of establishing terms that meet the needs of both parties and which are aligned with the University’s mission/policies.

In order to facilitate productive negotiations between the SPO and the other party, the SPO encourages researchers/department administrators to provide as much detail as possible in the relevant KR-PD record submission. SPO Officers rely on the information included in KR-PD in reviewing and negotiating agreement terms. Should information become available to a researcher/department administrator after a KR-PD record has been submitted, please be sure to reach out to the SPO Officer assigned to the record and share that information. You can refer to the Research Administration Activity Dashboard to find the specific Officer assigned to a record.

Award Set-Up


(A) the award or agreement is reviewed, negotiated as necessary, and accepted by the sponsored projects office, and  

(B) all applicable compliances are received,  

the sponsored projects office will then enter the award information into the Kuali Award module. System integration between Kuali Award and Oracle Financial Cloud then pulls the data into OFC so that the Sponsored Projects Office can set up the chart string. 

Note: for projects managed by Internal Controls and Accounting (e.g. research projects funded through an interlocation transfer of funds) the department will need to set up the project and task through PADUA. See the Knowledge Base Article for additional instructions.  

To see the status of your award or agreement, please check out the Research Administration Activity Dashboard 

Advanced Spending Requests

In certain circumstances, an advance spending request can be submitted to the Sponsored Projects Office (SPO) for consideration and approval of spending prior to the final execution of the award or receipt of notice of award.

If a delay in receiving new funding might negatively impact a project, you can request advance approval to have an award, project, and task set up prior to official acceptance of the award by completing a form. The SPO must approve advance spending requests. A request for an advance is appropriate only when:

  • The funding agency makes a firm commitment to award the contract or grant.
  • There is an essential need to spend in advance of the award.
  • Other funding exists to cover the risk of a delayed start date or failure of the award.

For more information or questions email