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Office of Research & Sponsored Programs

Provisional Account

A provisional account allows the PI/PD to spend funds before the sponsor issues a formal award document or the university accepts the award.When the award is fully executed, a provisional account status is changed to active, but the account number remains the same.

A provisional account is appropriate under the following circumstances: 1) when a PI/PD wishes to begin a project up to 90 days before the official start date of the award (pre-award costs); 2) when a PI/PD wishes to begin a project after the official start date of an award but before the sponsoring agency has sent the official award document to the grantee or; 3) when a continuation award is pending and the PI/PD needs to continue incurring costs. 

A PI/PD may request a provisional account by accessing the provisional account authorization form.You can either print the form as a PDF or download it in Word and fill in the form fields.Once the form is complete and approval signatures are obtained, it needs to be mailed (mail code 0394) or delivered to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (RSP). 

Once RSP receives the request for a provisional account and approves it, an account is set up and activated.The PI/PD is then notified of the provisional account via email.

An account changes to provisional status when an expected continuation agreement has not been received by the expiration date and the provisional account authorization form has been approved by Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. The account number remains the same.

Once the PI/PD receives the email notification of a provisional account, he/she may begin using the assigned account number for expenditures against the anticipated grant or contract award for which there is an immediate need. As a condition of the provisional account assignment, the department is responsible for covering any pre-award expenditure that the sponsoring agency does not reimburse.