The University of Massachusetts Amherst

The Award Set-Up Process

Notification of an Award

The way in which you find out that your proposal has been awarded funding varies, depending on the funding institution. The Office of Post-Award Management (OPAM) at UMass Amherst may receive notification of the award directly and then forward it to you, but if this is sent to you, either by email or post, it is your responsibility to contact OPAM at Please also send a copy to Ian Cooke/the Office of Research and Nancy Lattinville in the Business Office.

Negotiating the Award

OPAM works on your behalf to review, negotiate, and accept the award for the University. It negotiates the award terms directly with the sponsor’s administrative authority, coordinating as needed input from relevant parties. OPAM is the single point of contact for negotiations to avoid confusion on the sponsor’s end. The terms it negotiates include reporting obligations, personnel related, publication/publicity, Intellectual Property/deliverables, export control, personnel restriction issues, confidentiality clauses, ownership of research results, termination, governing law, indemnification, and payment terms. OPAM will work with you as needed to address any questions or concerns and to flag any additional materials or information needed to complete the award process. A timeline for this process can be found here. Once all the terms and conditions have been finalized, and you have formally concurred, an OPAM signatory will sign the award. Be aware that it is only after an award has been signed by both the University and the Sponsor that it is legally binding and can be fully processed.

Setting Up the Award in the UMass System

As part of the above process, OPAM will create a new entry in Kuali Research for the award and will contact the Principal Investigator regarding what is required to complete the award set-up in the UMass system. These may include the following:

  • An adjustment to the budget

  • Controller's Office Form to confirm RTF distribution

  • Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This form is required when there is one or more Co-PIs on a project and describes the roles of the various investigators and their intellectual credit

  • Principal Investigator Award Agreement (PIAA). This is routed through Kuali Research. The PI's signature on this form confirms their agreement with the award terms and conditions

  • Conflict of Interest

  • Drug Free Workplace Policy Agreement (DFW). This is required once from every Principal Investigator and co-Investigator prior to acceptance of federal funding.

  • Participation Agreement (PAG) his is required once from every Principal Investigator and co-Investigator prior to receiving any University-administered funds. The PAG acknowledges familiarity with certain University policies on Intellectual Property, Disclosures, Assignments of Rights, etc.

  • Human Subjects Approval through the Institutional Review Board (IRB) if the research involves human subjects
    • This needs to be in place before your contract is finalized. Details on the IRB can be found here. In order to apply for IRB approval, you must have completed the online Collaborative Institutional Training Inititiative (CITI) Program. Note that all personnel involved in the grant who will be interacting with human subjects must also complete this training. Further information can be found here.
  • PHS Financial Conflict of Interest Disclosure (FCOI). This is required for any funding through the US Public Health Service, such as an NIH grant, and needs to be submitted to the Office of Research Compliance at Further information can be found here.
The Office of Research is available to assist in the completion of any and all of the above.

Notification of Account Establishment

Once all the necessary docmentation has been completed, the award will be forwarded to the Controller's Office. A system generated email will notify the Principal Investigator and the Award Business Manager that this has happened, and will include links to the award record in Kuali Research, the award terms and conditions, and a feedback survey. The designated Research Accountant in the Controller's Office will complete the award set up in the University's accounting system, PeopleSoft. This will generate a speedtype for the award that is the key reference for any spending. A Project Information Notification (PIN) report is then set to the Principal Investigator and the Award Business Manager that the award is set up and spending can begin.


If the grant includes a subaward, this is issued after the overall award is set up by the Research Accountant in PeopleSoft. OPAM will prepare the subaward agreement to be issued to the subcontracting institution, ensuring that it contains all required and applicable federal or other terms and conditions.The Principal Investigator will receive a draft copy of the subaward agreement along with a Subcontract Approval Sheet, which includes a Sole-source Justification. The PI must review and sign these and provide OPAM with all pertinent documents for the subaward. Once this is done, OPAM will distribute the subaward.