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 expect an invitation to an Award Administration meeting shortly thereafter, which will involve the CON grants and contracts coordinator and a representative from the Business Office. At this meeting, the process below will be discussed, as will the overall management of the award. Further details on the latter can be viewed here.

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 yourself, legal counsel, other compliance offices, risk management, Controller, etc. OPAM should serve as the single point of contact for negotiations to avoid confusion on the sponsor’s end. As the PrincipaI Investigator (PI), you will receive a copy of the award for review and approval simultaneously with OPAM’s review and negotiation. 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. As part of this process, OPAM will create a new entry in Kuali for the award and will send an email informing you of documents required and procedures that need to be completed.

These might include the following:

  • An adjustment to the budget

  • 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)
    • This 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.
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This form is completed in Kuali (instructions provided by OPAM).

  • Principal Investigator Award Agreement (PIAA). PIAAs are no longer required for every single award. PIs will be asked to complete a PIAA only when the award includes non-standard terms and conditions or unusual contractual requirements. When circumstances require a PIAA, OPAM will now send it via email as an Adobe Sign form. For all standard awards, the initial expenditure of funds will confirm a PI’s concurrence. PIs and Award Business Managers will always receive a Kuali notification that includes the terms and conditions, and faculty should not expend award funds if they have any concerns with the terms. The OPAM Award Administrator can help address any questions or concerns about award conditions. Note: Award terms and conditions will always be accessible to PIs in the Kuali Research system.

Notification of Account Establishment

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. The Kuali Research award module will notify the PI, Award Business Manager, and the Controller’s Office when an award has been made available to the grant accounting unit for account set up in PeopleSoft. This notification will provide you with a direct link to the award record, the award terms and conditions, and the feedback survey.

Subcontracts and Consultants

If there are subcontractors or consultants on the award, they will need to complete a W9 form. The Office of Research will work with you to send this form. For subcontracts, once the account is fully set up through the Controller's Office, OPAM will prepare the subcontract to be issued to the subcontracting institution. The PI will be sent a copy of the subcontract that has been prepared for review and approval. You will also need to fill out a Subcontractor Approval Sheet and Sole-source Justification.