February 24, 2011

Reminder: A Fund Advance Can Help Avoid Cost Transfers

A fund advance can allow a pending project’s costs to be charged to a fund number that will become the permanent fund number for the project when the official award is received, and cost transfers will not be necessary.

The Fund Advance Request Form and directions are available on the Sponsored Projects Office web site.

Fund advances can be obtained under any one of the following three conditions:
  • Type A. The request is for a federal award in which 90 calendar day pre-award costs are allowable. The principal investigator (PI) must provide SPO with documentation (from an appropriate sponsor representative) of (a) the sponsor’s intent to fund the project, (b) the project start date, and (c) the anticipated funding level. Under this option the pre-award period is limited to up to 90 calendar days.

  • Type B. The PI or department/unit is able to provide an unrestricted fund (i.e., 19900 or non-restricted gift fund) and appropriate chart string to clear any deficit that might result if the award is not issued at the end of the fund advance period. The PI and the authorized financial administrator of the fund/chart string must sign the Fund Advance Request Form certifying this commitment. Under this option, the pre-award period will be limited to up to 180 calendar days.

  • Type C. The chair/director/dean of the PI’s unit is willing to sign the form certifying that if the award is not issued by the end of the fund advance period, the deficit will be cleared in accordance with the procedures specified in the Campus Policy on Deficit Resolution under “Consequences of Not Resolving the Deficit.” Under this option, the pre-award period will be limited to up to 180 calendar days.
PIs should note that a fund advance always poses some risk to the University. For this reason, fund advances will not be processed for pending awards in which:
  • The effective start date of the project is tied to the date of final signature on the award agreement. In such cases spending cannot begin until the award or contract is fully executed.

  • The University informed the sponsor at the time of proposal submission that the University reserves the right to negotiate the terms and conditions of any award that might result.

  • There is reason to believe that award terms and conditions will conflict with University policy and a protracted negotiation period is likely.

  • Research compliance issues related to human subjects, animal care and use, stem cells, and/or financial conflict of interest have not yet been approved/managed.

  • The award is for a UCOP-funded project.
If you have any questions about the new form or process please contact your SPO research analyst.

February 10, 2011

Subaward and Subcontract Processing Changes at SPO

Over the last few years the number of outgoing subawards and subcontracts processed by the Sponsored Projects Office has grown steadily. Such partnerships are evidence of the ability of Berkeley’s principal investigators to forge productive sponsored project collaborations with a variety of different institutions and agencies within the nation and around the world.

In response to the increase in the number and complexity of subagreements at Berkeley, SPO has recently made the following changes:
  • H.N. Dao, an experienced contract and grant officer who filled an open Research Analyst 4 position in SPO this past December, will now be responsible for processing all State of California subawards and subcontracts. These transactions are being shifted to H.N. now, so there will be a transition period as H.N. learns what is needed for each agreement. However, if you have questions or need assistance with such transactions please contact H.N. Dao at hndao@berkeley.edu.

  • Jennifer Nadeau, Subaward Coordinator, will continue to manage all other subawards and subcontracts except those under industry agreements, which will continue to be processed through the Industry Alliance Office. Heidi Hoffman, who filled an open Research Analyst 2 position in SPO in November 2010 and Kate Lewis who was recently recruited for a new Research Analyst 3 position will assist with these transactions. Questions for the subaward team should be submitted to: subcontracts@berkeley.edu.
The following is updated guidance on how to request the establishment of a subaward or a subcontract from SPO:
  • To establish a subaward or a subcontract under any type of prime award (other than an industry agreement), the PI must send a Request for New Subaward Form to SPO. Nothing will happen until SPO receives this request.

  • The request now should be sent to the following NEW email address: sposubrequest@berkeley.edu.
We appreciate the campus’ patience as we make these organizational and process changes. Our goal is to create a much more efficient and responsive system for processing subawards and subcontracts.