The President of the University has delegated to the provost the legal authority to sign grants, contracts, and assurances and to commit University funds in connection with those grants and contracts. Only an authorized representative may sign a sponsor agreement or other instrument to indicate the University's acceptance of an award.
The terms and conditions of an award, including the text of the accepted proposal and its budget, legally bind the University and its employees. Most sponsors require that the University formally accept the award by signing an award notification. Some sponsors do not require a signature but rather state in the award notice that the University indicates its acceptance of the award terms and conditions by drawing down funds. In either case, only an authorized representative of the University may accept an award, either by endorsing an award agreement or by authorizing the establishment of an account from which sponsor funds or University cost share funds may be expended.
Upon receipt of award notification, the SPARC Director will seek consultation or concurrence as necessary. In some cases, the Director of SPARC may seek the advice of the Office of the General Counsel regarding the form of the award agreement.
SPARC will prepare a response to the sponsor organization if appropriate, forward relevant documentation to the PI and to the Accounting office along with a request for a restricted account, prepare appropriate internal notifications of the award, and update the project file maintained by SPARC.
Contracts and subcontracts (i.e., procurement actions) are, as a rule, more restrictive than grants from government agencies or non-profit foundations. For this reason, agreements involving corporations require especially careful review.
In cases where the award does not modify the original proposal, SPARC will regard the Endorsement of the PI and others on the External Funding Routing Form as sufficient concurrence and will consult only with the PI before accepting the award.