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Award Management

The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) is here to support successful stewardship of grant, contract and other sponsored program funds. The office assists staff with post award services from award notice and account set-up to providing support during audits and grant close-out. Below is a brief overview of selected post award services, processes and requirements. For full details on any of these topics, contact

Award Notice, Negotiation and Setup
Post Award Responsibilities
Subcontracts and Consultants
Audits and Record Retention

Award Notice, Negotiation and Setup

An agreement, award letter or subcontract is made to Spectrum Health and is the official document that details the terms and conditions, period of performance and dollar amount of an award. The original notice of grant award for all sponsored programs should be provided to the OSP immediately after it is received so that the review and negotiation process can begin.

The OSP is responsible for contract negotiations in partnership with the Principal Investigator/Project Director (PI/PD) and Spectrum Health's Legal Department. Following negotiations, only the Authorized Official has authority to sign awards on behalf of Spectrum Health.

Once the agreement is fully executed, your award is set-up in the Spectrum Health accounting system (Lawson) and OSP is available to facilitate a start-up meeting with the entire project team. Any future changes to your award must be requested through the OSP. Examples of common changes include budget revisions, no-cost extensions, and changes to the Scope of Work.

Post Award Responsibilities

PI/PDs, on behalf of Spectrum Health, are responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of their sponsored program and for disclosure of conflicts that could be determined to be related to their awards. In order to carry out this responsibility, the PI/PD should be aware of all grant/contract terms and conditions and should give special attention to those terms and conditions regarding budget limitations, patents and copyrights, inventions, confidential information, safety and security, and required reports.The PI/PD monitors all project expenses and ensures that all project goals and objectives are achieved in accordance with the award document.

The OSP's role in this process is to ensure the proper stewardship of sponsor funds by offering support and guidance to PI/PDs. We can provide ongoing education and support in award management and closely monitor sponsored programs to mitigate risk. OSP accomplishes this active monitoring through review of financial reports, interpretation of guidance from sponsors, information provided by the PI/PD, conflict of interest disclosures and participation in select meetings or site visits.

The PI/PD, designee, and OSP share responsibility to ensure that only allowable costs are being charged to a sponsored program and to ensure sponsored program funds are tracked separately in the accounting system. There are financial systems in place to monitor grant expenditures and each grant is set-up with its own account in Lawson. The unique identifier of this account is called an activity/BRN number.

OSP provides the PI/PD with the appropriate coding so that expenses are charged directly to the grant account. It is important that charges are expensed to the grant account to eliminate cost transfers. Cost transfers are a compliance issue and can indicate a lack of internal controls for managing sponsor funds.


There are some budget categories that are set-up to be expensed directly to the grant account - without action by the PI/PD - and this includes salary, fringe and indirect costs. For federal awards, an after-the-fact certification of the time and effort is required to document that time spent by staff was dedicated to grant activities. Indirect costs are established using rates negotiated between Spectrum Health and the federal government to determine the percentage of funds that can be used for facilities and administrative costs. If there is salary, fringe or indirect costs in your budget, these items are automatically expensed to the grant account by the Grants Financial Management Specialist.

Supplies, equipment, and services charged to a sponsored project must be purchased in accordance with the purchasing policy to ensure that supplies, equipment, and services purchased for the performance of a sponsored program are obtained in a cost-effective manner, are expensed to the appropriate grant account, and in compliance with federal regulations.

Travel and mileage reimbursements are expensed to a grant accounts through appropriate coding in the reimbursement system. You need to be aware of your cost center, activity/BRN number and account category before you submit the reimbursement request. If you do not have the appropriate coding sheet for your award, contact OSP.

Flowchart for Routing Sponsored Program Proposals (PDF)

Subcontracts and Consultants

All sub-recipient and consultant agreements are generated through the OSP in accordance with the Subaward Management Policy. It is important the OSP is engaged early in this process to determine the appropriate contracting mechanism and nature of the relationship.

The PI/PD and OSP share responsibility for monitoring periodic progress reports and invoices for compliance with the terms of the subaward. The PI/PD is expected to:
Maintain communication with the sub-recipient and consultantsReview progress reports and performanceReview all invoices to ensure that expenses are appropriate and aligned with technical progress.


Every grant will have unique reporting requirements that could include financial, progress and performance reports. It is the responsibility of the PI/PD to ensure all progress and performance reports are submitted per the award document. For financial reporting, a Grants Financial Management Specialist has the responsibility for completion and submission to the sponsor with assistance from the OSP, PI/PD and designees to reconcile expenses.

Audits and Record Retention

Every grant award carries potential to be audited by the sponsor, federal or state agency or Office of the Inspector General. The OSP is the point of contact for all audits.

Occasionally, awards involving large scale or complex scopes of work will result in a site visit by the sponsor. The purpose of these visits is to reassure the sponsor that the program will be completed successfully. Issues involved in site visits include programmatic clarification, project timetables, staffing, reviews of financial and organizational controls, and tours of facilities. Please inform OSP as soon as you have been contacted about scheduling a site visit. OSP is

The PI/PD, or designee, is responsible to maintain current and accurate records of sponsored-program performance and expenditures.


The following is a checklist of the PI/PD's responsibilities at the time of closeout. Most awards are closed within 90 days of the project end date.

90 Days before Budget/Project End Date:
  • Review report schedule and reporting requirements
  • Ensure subaward recipients have met goals
  • If a no-cost extension will be required, notify OSP
  • Determine if cost-sharing requirements have been met

At Budget/Project End Date:

  • Review all charges, including salary and benefits
Within 60 Days after Budget/Project End Date:
  • Ensure sub-award recipients have met goals
  • Notify OSP if subaward is subject to de-obligation
  • Prepare/submit timely final reports: technical, invention, property, contractor's release, subcontract, etc (reporting requirements are sponsor-specific). Note: All financial reports are prepared and submitted by the Grants Financial Management Specialist
Within 90 Days after Budget/Project End Date:
  • Contact OSP when project is complete and ready for closeout
  • Provide OSP with copies of all final reports