Spending Prior to Receipt of an Award: Risks, Liabilities, and Limitations
The risks, liabilities, and limitations associated with pre-award spending must be carefully considered prior to requesting authorization to spend funds in advance of receiving the award.
- Risks: Whenever the University authorizes a RAS, the University is risking monetary loss. The PI must identify other funding that must be available to cover the risk of a delayed start date, costs disallowed by the sponsor or failure of the sponsor to make an award as anticipated.
- Liabilities: Special care must be exercised in assessing the impact of a RAS on the legal obligations of the University prior to requesting or approving a RAS. The University must consider the impact of not having a fully executed grant or contract agreement on its legal obligations regarding intellectual property rights, subject injury, indemnification, etc.
- Limitations: A sponsor's policies, the terms and conditions of the anticipated award, and campus policies and practices determine whether or not a RAS and the associated pre-award activities are allowable. Restrictions differ depending on the funding agency and the type of award anticipated (i.e., grant, cooperative agreement, or contract).
REQUESTING A RAS:
When requesting a RAS please complete the Request for Approval to Expend Funds (RAS) form.
Once the form is completed and signed, it may be submitted to Sponsored Projects (SPO) to secure a firm commitment from the sponsor's authorized representative. SPO will analyze the request to verify all administrative requirements have been met. If such requirements have been met, SPO will secure a firm commitment from the sponsor's authorized representative.
If the sponsor provides a firm commitment, SPO will then approve the RAS and forward it to Extramural Funds Accounting for account/fund number assignment.