What are awards?

What is an award?

“Award” is a generic term applied to all external funding provided to the University for sponsored activity.  Awards can be made by public or private sponsors, and they are typically conveyed via one of the following legal instruments:

·         Grant

o   Usually unilateral (meaning it does not require both parties to sign)

o   Undertaken on a “best efforts” basis (that is, no guaranteed results)

o   No deliverables other than technical and financial reports

o   Often allow certain post award revisions (e.g., rebudgeting, one time no cost extension) without sponsor approval

·         Contract

o   Usually bilateral (that is, both parties must sign)

o   Often requires specific results and/or deliverables beyond merely technical progress reports (i.e., delivery of an item, achievement of certain milestones, etc)

o   Restricts us to approved budget and timeline – no changes without sponsor’s written approval

·         Cooperative Agreement

o   Used when sponsor anticipates substantial involvement of its own personnel in the work

o   Usually bilateral (ie, both parties must sign)

o   Can require specific results, deliverables or milestones

o   Similar to grants, some post-award actions can be approved “locally” (e.g., rebudgeting, one time no cost extension)

·         Gift

o   Support for an unrestricted purpose such as endowments, student support  or capital projects (but not related to a specific research or scholarly activity)

o   Typically given at the departmental or institutional level (that is, not to a specific faculty investigator)

o   Minimal requirements (no quid pro quo)

o   Little or no reporting owed to donor

o   Irrevocable once made – that is, not subject to satisfactory performance or progress

o   Unrestricted grant vs. gift (click here for more information)