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Award Types and Timelines

Receive Notice of Award - Send all original copies of the award and attachments to OSP for review and processing.
Award Review - OSP reviews terms and conditions for compliance with MSU policies and negotiates necessary changes with the sponsor.
Prepare Compliance Documents - While OSP negotiates your award terms, they will keep you informed and ask for any required IRB, IACUC, ECORRW, or other documentation.
Account Setup - After the award is signed, OSP will request that CGA set up an account.


Award Types
Review and Negotiation Typical Timelines
Federal Sponsor Non-Federal Sponsor
Gift: Transfers funds to the recipient without any valuable consideration or compensation to the donor. In other words, there are no restrictions about how the funds are spent, and no requirements for anything in return (including no final reports to the sponsor). N/A: MSU must always report federal funds, so these would never be considered gifts A few days: gifts are usually processed within a few days of receiving the check as long as the transmittal is complete.
Grant Agreement: Transfers something of value without substantial involvement by the granting agency. A few days to a few weeks: federal grants and cooperative agreements are generally awarded using standard terms/conditions and format, and vary little from award to award. Normally such agreements do not require negotiation with the funding agency. Weeks to months: non-federal agreements and contracts come from a variety of funding sources and rarely contain similar language. Due to this, all non-Federal contracts and agreements must be reviewed carefully from beginning to end, and most require significant negotiation.
Cooperative Agreement: Transfers something of value with substantial involvement by the granting agency.
Contract: Establishes a mutually binding legal relationship obligating the seller to furnish supplies or services and the buyer to pay for them. Weeks to months: Federal contracts (and subcontracts with federal primary funding) include Federal Acquisition Regulations (FARs) and take a lot of time to review and negotiate as the terms and conditions generally change depending on the type of work and funding agency. **NOTE: often the terms and conditions for Federal contracts are included in the RFP and must be agreed at the time of submitting the proposal!
Fee-for-Service: Pays a set fee or published rate, routinely charged to all potential customers, for a deliverable using known practical applications of standard procedures using special or unique MSU research capabilities, especially testing. This agreement is usually a type of contract.
Funding Increment, Modification, Amendment, Supplement, or Renewal: Updates an existing award. Days to months: Depending on the update, these often incorporate the same terms and conditions from the original award, which decreases the time required for review and negotiation. Sometimes new transmittals and/or new accounts must be created to separate the records for the update from the records for the original award.

 NOTE: Grants and cooperative agreements are not “procurement contracts”, but they do require actions by the recipient, most often final reports, or they would be considered gifts.  Also, these timelines are guidelines for what you can expect, but awards can vary considerably.


Official award notifications are sent to the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), which notifies the project leader, department and coordinate acceptance by the Board of Trustees (BOT). Gifts and grants represent a vast resource for the future of Michigan State University and formal acceptance of all gifts and grants is by Board action. A report of the received gifts and grants is presented by the Office of the Vice President of Research and Graduate Studies to the Board for acceptance at each regular meeting of the Board.

Category: Award Negotiation & Acceptance    Subcategories: none

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