Office of Research & Sponsored Programs

Pre-Award Spending

A PI/PD can begin a project before the official start date of an award, by requesting pre-award costs. If there is a reasonable expectation of receiving funding (even though the official award document has not yet been received) Office of Research and Sponsored Programs can establish a provisional account. The department spends pre-award costs at its own risk and is responsible for all costs not reimbursed by a sponsor.

Pre award costs are appropriate for a project if there is a reasonable expectation of receiving funding and advanced funding is necessary for the effective and economical conduct of the project. Pre-award costs must also be allowable, allocable, reasonable and consistent (PDF). Any spending restrictions established in the original contract likewise apply to pre-award costs.

Submitting a Request 

The PI/PD submits a request for pre-award costs to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. Applicants may request as much funding as is necessary and reimbursable. The request requires the signature of the PI/PD, the dean or division VP, the department head, and the Grants and Contracts Administrator.

After a Project has been Awarded

Pre-award costs will be reimbursed by the sponsor after the project has been officially approved by the sponsoring agency and a contract has been executed. As stated previously, any expenditure incurred while an account is in provisional status is made at the department's risk. Expenses that are precluded from being reimbursed must be covered by the department.