The Office of Post-Award Management (OPAM) supports and advances the university’s research mission by supporting extramural funding, providing leadership and expertise in research administration, and ensuring compliance with relevant regulations. OPAM is responsible for reviewing, interpreting and negotiating award terms, and as the Authorized Official, executes awards in acceptance on behalf of the university. OPAM is responsible for stewarding sponsored funding in accordance with regulatory requirements for projects funded by federal, state, and local government agencies, foundations, foreign entities, and other public and private sources. OPAM also prepares, negotiates, and issues all sub-awards for collaborative research. The office supports these activities by encouraging continuous professional development of our staff and providing technical expertise and guidance to the academic and research community.
OPAM specific responsibilities during the post-award management process include:
- Advising the PI and project personnel during the period of the award regarding their obligations under the terms and conditions of the award.
- Reviewing and negotiating agreements to ensure that the terms and conditions of the award documentation comply with federal law, state law, university policies, and the needs of the researchers for the implementation of the project.
- Preparing and negotiating subcontracts to collaborating institutions, as well as performing a risk assessment of the subcontractor to meet federal requirements.
- Serving as the office of record for all awards made to the University of Massachusetts Amherst
- Advising faculty and staff regarding the sponsor’s and university’s prior approval requirements for changing aspects of the project (i.e. changes in PI, changes in the scope of work, reduction in PI time devoted to the project or absence from the project, budget revisions requiring sponsor approval, no-cost extensions, etc.)
- Liaise with funding agencies to notify and request changes to projects requiring prior approval and to coordinate and negotiate with sponsor to develop and accept award modifications.
- Distributing the award documents and award synopsis to the principal investigator and business manager.
- Prepare award package to transmit to the Controller’s Office for account set up and financial management of the award. Controller’s Office monitors expenditures, invoices, manages rebudgeting that does not require sponsor approval, financial reports, etc.
- Serve as a liaison to the Controller’s Office in the interpretation and implementation of the award terms and conditions.
- Interpreting sponsor policies, university policies and federal and state regulations related to the terms and conditions of the award, the conduct of the project and the delivery/reporting of project results.
- Serving as liaison between the Principal investigator, project staff, and the sponsor through award set up and during the life of the award for any applicable post award issues.
- Offer ongoing workshops and information sessions on key issues and topics regarding sponsored research administration.
- Assist the Controller’s Office on unpaid university invoices by sponsor, due to non-submission of technical/progress reports and other required deliverables by PI; and disputed on contractual terms.
- Monitoring and coordinating the various responsible offices in the submission of project reports required by the terms of the award and the administrative closeout of the project when the award expires. Assisting in the completion of all closeout procedures as appropriate.
OPAM award administrators are assigned on a funding agency basis. A list with contact information is available on our staff directory.
Our award administrators' primary focus is on:
- Compliance with university policy
- Award negotiation and acceptance
- Award modification as needed during its life cycle
- Award management
- Related departments
OPAM works closely with other departments within Research and Engagement and the Controller’s Office. Each department has a specific role to play in sponsored-research administration. Familiarize yourself with their functions and policies: