UMD SPA Services

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Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA) is the only institutional unit legally able to submit proposals to external entities for financial support in the form of a contract, grant, or agreement, and is the only entity authorized to commit the University on behalf of the Board of Regents in the event an award is made.

UMD SPA facilitates the submission, acceptance, and management of sponsored projects and related research agreements for UMD investigators and their staff.

To notify us of an upcoming proposal, please complete the UMD Upcoming Proposal Summary form.

Award Process

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Award Process


On many bilateral agreements (both parties must sign), the sponsor and SPA must come to an agreement regarding the budget, the scope of work, and other terms and conditions of the award. These negotiations can take weeks or months, particularly if the sponsor is slow to respond to questions or requests to revise clauses. See the section earlier in this chapter regarding advance accounts for information on establishing an account before the final contract is signed.

Notification of Award

The award document is considered an official agreement of the scope of work, the amount the sponsor will provide, and other terms and conditions that govern the project.

Sponsors usually send SPA official notification of an award. However, if award notification has been sent to the PI or to a department or college office, the award notice and any agreements or contract materials must be forwarded immediately to SPA. Remember that the award is made to the University and not to a PI.

The University of Minnesota System SPA site has additional Notice of Award information.

Officially Accepting the Sponsored Grant, Contract, or Agreement

Through their policy on Submitting and Accepting Sponsored Projects, the Regents have delegated signatory authority for accepting awards to designated individuals in SPA. Once an agreement has been reviewed by SPA and the PI, it can be accepted and executed on behalf of the University by SPA. Since awards are made to the University of Minnesota and not to faculty, staff, or others, these individuals cannot accept grants or sign contracts or agreements.

Award Close Out

The final steps in closing an account are extremely important for complete recovery of costs. Unless a request for an extension of time has been made to the sponsor, SPA assumes that the termination date marks the close of project activity. Closing a sponsored award in Peoplesoft Financials is a joint effort between SFR and the academic departments.