Office of Research, UC Riverside
Sponsored Programs Administration

Frequently Asked Questions

 


ARRA Award Reporting

Am I the award recipient or is it the University?

Awards made to UCR are received in the name of The Regents of the University of California.  Thus, the University is the recipient of record.

Do I or my department need to apply for a DUNS number?

No, the Office of Research established a DUNS number for UCR approximately twenty years ago.  This number uniquely identifies UCR to the federal government.  It will be used by the federal government to help complete some of the required ARRA data reporting elements.

Do I or my department need to register with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR)?

No, UCR registered with the CCR approximately ten years ago.  This registration uniquely identifies UCR and UCR’s key business officials to the federal government.  It will be used by the federal government to help complete some of the required ARRA data reporting elements.

How do I submit ARRA reports to the federal government? Do I use FastLane or Grants.gov?

The Office of Research is responsible for submitting all ARRA reports via FederalReporting.gov.  Key OR staff have already registered with this system.  It is not necessary for PIs or department FAOs to register at FederalReporting.gov.

What is the purpose of these reports and are they really required?

Yes, these reports are required by the enacting legislation for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Section 1512).  The purpose of the reports is to provide transparency in how the federal funds awarded under ARRA, as well as documenting the economic impact of the funds, especially as it relates to the creation and retention of jobs.


SPA Organization & Customer Service

How is Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) organized?

SPA is comprised of Contract and Grant Officers (CGO).   Each CGO is assigned a portfolio of departments/units and closely coordinates with other areas in the Office of Research and Economic Development (RED), such as Research Integrity and Technology Commercialization, to help facilitate a comprehensive, customer-oriented approach to providing sponsored programs administration services.  Information about CGO departmental assignments can be found at Staff Listing, which is accessible from either the RED or SPA webpage.

Who do I contact in Sponsored Programs Administration to ask questions?

You should first direct your questions to the Contract & Grant Officer (CGO) assigned to your department/unit. Please allow your CGO an appropriate period of time in which to return your phone call, e-mail or other communication before elevating the matter.  Information about CGO departmental assignments can be found at Staff Listing, which is accessible from either the RED or SPA webpage.

If your CGO is not immediately available and you are facing an emergent situation, please send an email to REDalert@ucr.edu or contact the receptionist at (951) 827-5535. 




Proposal Submission, Review and Approval

Do preproposals need to be submitted to Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) for institutional review?

Preproposals should be submitted to SPA for institutional reviewifany of the following apply:
  • The preproposal must be signed byan authorized institutionalofficial.
  • A detailed budget is required bythe sponsor, or the preproposalcontains a detailed budget that i) does not include facilities andadministrative(F&A) costs or ii)F&A costs are calculatedusing an F&A rate other thanthose rates contained inUCR'sF&A cost rate agreement or for which there is nocurrentlyapproved waiver.
  • Preproposals that must be submitted to the sponsor by SPAvia anelectronic proposal submission system (e.g., NSF FastLane,Grants.gov,etc.).


Do all proposals to external sponsors have to be submitted to Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) for review and institutional approval?

Yes. UC Presidential policy requires that employees who receive any part of their salary through the University, or whose activities use any University resources or facilities, must submit their proposals for extramural support to the appropriate local contracts and grants office for review and approval. At UCR, the local contract and grant office is SPA.

This policy is applicable to all proposals submitted to extramural sponsors, including UC-wide funding programs (e.g., Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, UC MEXUS, Pacific Rim Research Program, UC Energy Institute, UC Discovery Program, Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program, etc.), regardless of: i) whether the sponsor requires the signature of an authorized institutional official, or ii) the method used to submit proposals (electronic v. paper).

Some sponsors, such as marketing order boards, don’t require that a proposal be signed by an institutional official. Do these types of proposals need to be submitted to Sponsored Programs Administration for review?

Yes, UC Presidential policy requires that all extramural proposals be reviewed and approved by the local contract and grant office prior to submitting the proposal to the sponsor, regardless of whether a sponsor requires an institutional signature.

When should proposals be submitted to Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA)?

Standard proposals should be submitted to SPA no later than three (3) full business days and non-standard should be submitted to SPA no later than seven (7) business days prior to the date that the proposal must leave UCR to ensure that it is received by the sponsor's submission deadline.

What is the difference between a standard and non-standard proposal?

A standard proposal is a new, supplement, continuing or renewal proposal to:

  • U.S. federal government departments,agencies and entities; State of California departments and agencies; University of California entities, including UC-managed DOE labs; U.S. institutions of higher education,or U.S. non-profit sponsors (e.g., foundations, charitable trusts, etc.); and
  • Where the resulting award will be a grant, cooperative agreement or subaward; and
  • Do not involve any of the elements of a non-standard proposal.
A non-standard proposal is a new, supplement, continuing or renewal proposal that involves any of the following:
  • The PI or a Co-PI has an appointment that requires approval of the VCR to submit proposals as PI and/or does not hold a UCR appointment for the full period of the proposed work.
  • A Request for Proposals, Request for Quotes or any other solicitation stating that the resulting award may be, or will be, a contract and where the submission of a proposal indicates acceptance of the award terms and conditions contained in the solicitation. 
  • A sponsor's requirement to submit an intellectual property management plan; laboratory safety plan; or any other set of plans that would require coordination with other UCR administrative offices;
  • One or more subawards to entities outside of UCR;
  • Construction,alterations/renovations of existing space, special space requirements (e.g., renting or leasing space off-campus,approval to access non-UCR facilities);
  • Institutional cost sharing requests of $250,000 or more.
  • Any institutional commitment that requires or necessitates the approval of the Dean, Vice Chancellor for Research, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, or the Chancellor.
  • Use of non-standard Facilities and Administrative (F&A) cost rate not previously approved by the Office of the President or where a request for F&A rate waiver must be coordinated with the Office of the President;
  • Total direct costs of more than $5million per year requested from the sponsor.
  • Proposals to establish a new centeror institute on the campus.
  • Programs/projects involving a consortium of participants (e.g., other universities and/or for-profit entities)


How close to a deadline may I submit a proposal to Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) for review and institutional approval?

SPA prioritizes proposals for review by the order in which they were received by the Contract and Grant Officer (CGO) assigned to your unit.  Please keep in mind that your CGO provides sponsored programs services to a large number of units on campus, all of which are also submitting proposals.  Thus, if a proposal is received after the lead times established for standard and non-standard proposals, SPA may not be able to complete its review and provide institutional approval in time to meet the sponsor’s deadline.

Do I submit my proposal to my Contract & Grant Officer or the Team Leader?

Neither. Proposals may be submitted to SPA in one of three ways: i) hand delivered/campus mail to the Office of Research front office (200 University Office Building); ii) via proposals@ucr.edu, and iii) via eCAF (currently limited to eCAF pilot departments).  Information about how to submit proposals to SPA may be found on the OR website on the Obtaining Institutional Review and Endorsement page (click on How may proposals be submitted to SPA?).

How will I know if my proposal has been received by Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA)?

When proposals are hand delivered to SPA or received via proposals@ucr.edu, the PI and department/unit administrator will receive an acknowledgment via e-mail within two to four business hours.  That is to say, if a proposal is received at 4pm, the acknowledgment e-mail may not be issued until the next business morning.  The acknowledgment e-mail is not automated and is created and sent as part of the SPA proposal log in process.

Those departments who are using eCAF receive an e-mail notification that is automatically generated as soon as the proposal is made available in eCAF for SPA review.

How are proposals prioritized for institutional review?

Once a proposal is received and logged in, it is reviewed in the order received by the Contract and Grant Officer assigned to your unit.  In those instances when the above prioritization methodology would jeopardize the timely submission of a proposal to meet a sponsor’s deadline, and where circumstances outside of the control of the PI and department/unit prevent the submission of a proposal in accordance with SPA’s established lead times, exceptions may be coordinated through the Team Leader assigned to the unit/department.  All exceptions should be approved in advance by the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research or the Vice Chancellor for Research.

Will the Contract & Grant Officer assigned to my unit review my proposals?

In most cases, the Contract & Grant Officer (CGO) assigned to your unit will review your proposals. However, from time-to-time, the Team Leaders may change the CGO assigned to a proposal. This will typically occur when: i) the CGO assigned to your unit is out of the office; ii) to balance the proposal workload and to ensure that proposals are submitted prior to sponsor deadlines; iii) to ensure that complex proposals are reviewed by a CGO with the requisite knowledge and experience; or iv) when the reassignment of a proposal will help facilitate CGO training.

How will I know if my proposal has been assigned to someone other than my Contract & Grant Officer?

All proposals received by SPA are logged in to our database and then routed to the appropriate Contract & Grant Officer (CGO) based on unit assignments. At this time, SPA sends an e-mail to the PI, department administrator, CGO, and both Team Leaders to notify them that the proposal has been received and to whom it has been assigned. If the Team Leader changes the assignment at any time during the SPA proposal review and approval process, an e-mail notice will be promptly sent to the PI, department administrator, the new CGO and both Team Leaders.

How long does it take Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) to review a proposal?

SPA will complete its review of a standard proposal within three full business days of proposal receipt.  For non-standard proposals, SPA will complete its review within seven full business days of proposal receipt.


Award Negotiation, Acceptance and Set-Up

What is a PreAward?

A Preaward is an institutional approval to incur expenditures related to a specific contract or grant in advance of receiving an award and where such a delay would adversely affect the project.  In most cases, a Preaward is approved when an official award has not been received due to administrative delays.  In such cases, the sponsor provides Sponsored Programs Administration with a firm commitment to fund the project, including the anticipated project start date and anticipated amount to be awarded.

When should a PreAward be requested?

A PreAward should be requested if an urgent need to expend funds in advance of receiving an award exists and where the delay in funding would be detrimental to the project.  For new projects, a PreAward might be used to procure equipment essential to conducting a project or to conduct field research to coincide with a particular season or natural event.  For renewal, continuation and supplement awards, a PreAward might be used to ensure to ensure the continuity of the project by providing authorization to incur project personnel costs, thus avoiding an interruption in the conduct of the project.

For Federal grants under the Federal Demonstration Partnership terms and conditions, a PreAward should be requested in those circumstances when the award funding the next budget period is administratively delayed.  Since campus policy prohibits overdrafts, PIs and departments/units should not incur and allocate project costs for the next budget period to the fund number for the prior year’s budget without first securing a PreAward.


How are Preaward requests processed?

PreAwards are requested and processed via the On-Line PreAward Request System.  For further details on utilizing that system, please visit the On-Line PreAward Request Application website. 

How long does it take Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) to review and approve a PreAward request?

PreAward requests have a high priority within SPA and we strive to complete our review and approval as quickly as possible.  Under optimal circumstances, our review and approval is generally completed within two to three business days of receiving a request.  Unfortunately, circumstances are not always optimal.  Following are the three most common reasons why the review and approval of a PreAward request may take additional time:
•    The sponsor is not able or willing to provide a firm commitment.
•    The PI, Co-PI(s) and/or project staff have not completed and filed financial interest disclosure forms as required by state law and federal regulations or the review and approval of positive financial disclosures has not been completed.
•    Research protocols involving the use of humans, animals, rDNA, biohazards or human stem cells have not been approved.



Will the Contract & Grant Officer assigned to my unit handle my awards?

In most cases, the Contract & Grant Officer (CGO) assigned to your unit will review, negotiate and set-up your awards. However, from time-to-time, the Team Leaders may change the CGO assigned to an award. This will typically occur when: i) the CGO assigned to your unit is out of the office; ii) to balance the award workload; iii) to ensure that complex awards are reviewed by a CGO with the requisite knowledge and experience; or iv) when the reassignment of an award will help facilitate CGO training.


Post-award Administration

What are subawards?

Subawards, also know as subcontracts, subagreements and subgrants are legally binding agreements issued by Sponsored Programs Administration that transfer a substantive portion of the scope of work under a UCR prime award (grant, cooperative agreement, contract) to another institution or entity (subrecipient/subcontractor).

How are subawards processed?

When a project will involve work performed by a subrecipient,Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) begins the process ofissuing a subaward after the prime award is accepted and set upin the UCR Financial System.  Generally, the process flowincludes the following:
•    SPA issues a subaward verificationnotice to the PI and department/unit to verify the PI'sauthorization to issue a subaward
•    SPA performs a risk assessment ofthe subrecipient
•    A subaward is drafted and sent tothe subrecipient
•    SPA negotiates the terms of thesubaward, as appropriate and then executes the subaward.
•    SPA disseminates the executedsubaward to the PI, unit administrator and other centraladministration offices via PAMIS

It is important to note that many factors are considered indrafting and negotiating a subaward.  The terms andconditions of the prime award, the prime award sponsor type,the amount of funding being provided to the subrecipient, thetype of subrecipient organization are just a few of thesefactors.  These factors ultimately determine the type ofsubaward instrument (e.g., FDP Subagreement v. Non-FDPSubagreement v. Subcontract), the terms and conditions of thesubaward and usually are central discussion points duringsubaward negotiations.

How long does it take Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) to issue a subaward?

SPA recognizes the importance of subawards in the creation and continuance of research collaborations with other institutions.  Consequently, we place a high priority on the timely negotiation and execution of subawards.  However, given the vast number of factors that need to be considered in the drafting, negotiation, execution and monitoring of subawards, it is not possible to guarantee that subawards will be executed within a specific time frame.  Also, it is important to note that the negotiation of a subaward necessarily involves two parties.  While SPA strives to negotiate terms in a timely manner, it is not uncommon for us to be working with a subrecipient organization that is experiencing staffing shortages or other administrative challenges that may adversely impact the timeliness of the negotiation.

Do some subawards take longer to issue than others?

Subawards to Federal Demonstration Partnership member institutions are low-risk.  When issuing a subaward to an FDP member, Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) uses the FDP Subagreement, a subaward with terms that have already been agreed upon by all FDP institutions.  Thus, this type of subaward is usually completed in a short period of time.

Subawards to Non-FDP institutions that are subject to Office of Management and Budget Circulars A-110 or A-102 (i.e., institutions of higher education, non-profits and state or local governments) are generally low-risk.  Most of these entities accept the Non-FDP Subagreement; however, negotiations of certain terms, such as indemnification, insurance and governing law are common and may take additional time.

Subawards to for-profit entities under federal prime awards may be low to moderate risk.  In addition, they are complex as UCR is required to flow down commercial contract terms in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulations.  Including the proper commercial terms generally requires additional time during the drafting of a subaward, but usually does not result in extended negotiations.

Subawards to foreign entities are generally moderate to high risk and require highly specialized terms and conditions to address a number of issues that are not present when working with a domestic subrecipient.  It is sometimes necessary to involve the prime sponsor to address and resolve these issues or rely on a third party to act as an agent of UCR to assist with assessing the subrecipient’s ability to perform under the subaward.