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Reminder

Compliance protocols MUST be approved and linked in SeRA to a SPO project record prior to award acceptance. 

See ORA's Award Acceptance Resources for additional information.

Award Acceptance

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PI and Department Responsibilities Before a New Award Can Be Accepted

Receiving a new award is like buying a new car. You can’t wait to jump behind the wheel and take it for a spin. But before the dealer will hand over the keys, there’s a few things you’ll need to do…

Make sure the award is as expected:

PIs are often notified and/or copied when sponsor award documents are sent to Stanford. 

Once sponsor award documents are received by OSR, RMG or ICO and a SeRA Award Transaction has been initiated, anyone with access to the given project record in SeRA e.g. the PI, other participating Stanford Investigators, department research administrators etc, can view the attached sponsor award documents.  To view newly received award documents in SeRA:

  1. Log into SeRA.
  2. Search for the relevant SPO record.
  3. From the SPO's Project Summary page, under Recent Transactions, click on the open award transaction link.
    SeRA Project Summary_Recent Transactions_Award Transaction
  4. From the Award Transaction left-hand navigation menu click on Attachments
    SeRA Award Transaction Attachments
  5. Review the sponsor award documents for:
  • Dates
  • Dollars
  • Scope of Work and deliverables

If anything doesn’t look as you were expecting, let your Institutional Official know.

Which Central Office Accepts My Award?
All awards except those which are processed by RMG or ICO School of Medicine Federal grants, federal cooperative agreements, fellowships, and industry sponsored clinical trials Industry sponsored contracts except clinical trials
OFFICE OF SPONSORED RESEARCH - Pre Award SCHOOL OF MEDICINE - RESEARCH MANAGEMENT GROUP (RMG) INDUSTRIAL CONTRACTS OFFICE (ICO)

View the Status of a Stanford Award Negotiation and Acceptance

  1. Log into SeRA.
  2. Search for the relevant SPO record.
  3. From the SPO's Project Summary page, under Recent Transactions, click on the open award transaction link.
    SeRA Project Summary_Recent Transactions_Award Transaction
  4. From the Award Transaction left-hand navigation menu click on Transaction Log
SeRA Award Transaction_Transaction Log

PI Training

Stanford requires individuals new to the position of Principal Investigator (PI) to understand the regulatory environment in which sponsored research is conducted. This has to be completed prior to an award being accepted and the AAN released.  Individuals can learn more and enroll in the training HERE.

Individuals can view if someone has completed PI training in SeRA by either...

  1. Logging into SeRA , search for the relevant SPO record, click on the open award transaction, and click on the Project Questions page.  The PI's training status is displayed on this page.
  2. Logging into SeRA , initiate a Proposal Development Routing Form (PDRF), list the person whose PI training status you want to check as the PI, navigate to the Project Questions page of the PDRF.  The listed PI's training status is displayed on this page.

COI Disclosures for all applicable personnel

Please ensure all required Conflict of Interest disclosures have been made in OPACS. 

  • Log into SeRA , search for the relevant SPO record, click on the open award transaction, and click on the Project Questions page.  The COI status is displayed on this page.

Compliance Protocols (IRB, IACUC, SCRO, Cancer Center, APB)

Please ensure that all required compliance protocols are linked to the SPO and funding source/sponsor. Even if a protocol is already approved, the PTA cannot be set up until it is specifically linked to the relevant project. Additionally, any subrecipients or collaborating sites with human or animal subjects will need to be included in Stanford’s protocol as Collaborating Institutions before outgoing subawards can be issued.

Compliance Protocol information can be viewed in SeRA by for a new award by logging into SeRA , searching for the relevant SPO record, click on the open award transaction, and click on the Project Questions page.  Compliance and protocol information is displayed on this page.

Cost-Sharing

For proposals that included cost sharing, as part of award acceptance Stanford commits to fulfill any cost sharing that was offered in the proposal.  Review any cost sharing commitments made at proposal and ensure the appropriate non-sponsored funding and/or in kind resources are in place and ready to be leveraged.

Revised Budget if Needed

If the sponsor will be making an award for an amount and/or time period different that what was proposed a revised budget is usually needed.  Review the sponsor award documents and discuss with your OSR Institutional Official.

Any changes to Key Personnel since proposal?

Review the sponsor award documents and let your OSR Institutional Official know.

Has the PI reviewed the sponsor award documents to ensure it meets their expectations of scope and funding based on the proposal?

If anything doesn’t look as you were expecting, let your OSR Institutional Official know.

Early PTAs

If a PI receives notification from a sponsor that an award is forthcoming or an award has been received by Stanford but has not yet been formally accepted, and your PI wants to begin working and spending on the project, you can often request an early PTA (ePTA).

Early PTAs are a highly value-add research administration tool that allows capturing of all project expenses from the very beginning on a project PTA.  However, there are risks to carefully consider and counsel your PIs accordingly.

  • An early PTA is guaranteed by funds from a PI's/faculty's non-sponsored account.
    • If your PI does not have sufficient non-sponsored funding to guarantee an ePTA, discuss with your dept financial manger to see if the dept might be willing to provide a dept PTA to guarantee the ePTA.
  • If an award ultimately is not received or cannot be accepted by Stanford, the PI's department will become responsible for transferring any costs incurred on the ePTA to the PI's non-sponsored guarantee PTA.
  • If an award ultimately is issued with an award start date later than anticipated, any sponsor allowed pre-award spending (90 days prior to the award start date for most federal awards) may not fully cover the ePTA spending period.  If this occurs, the PI's department will become responsible for transferring any costs incurred on the ePTA prior to the sponsor allowed pre-award spending date limit to the PI's non-sponsored guarantee PTA.
  • ePTAs cannot be setup for Clinical Trials.
  • ePTAs generally cannot be setup for Industry Sponsored Agreements unless the agreement explicitly allows for expenses to be incurred prior to the final signing of the agreement.
  • Subawards cannot be issued from ePTAs.

Mitigation/Negotiation Expectations

OSR will review an award agreement against the submitted proposal and budget, negotiate any terms that do not align with Stanford policy, coordinate as needed with other offices on campus, update SeRA to include the correct budget and award details, and check that any relevant compliance protocols are approved and appropriately linked to the SPO. This process takes time and is often dependent on sponsor timelines and those of other Stanford offices. Sometimes there are additional complexities such as the transfer of sensitive data or materials. If additional information is needed, OSR will reach out to the department and/or PI as appropriate. Please be prepared to answer questions and provide any necessary details (budget or otherwise) that may be needed to complete the award setup.

Award Status and Acceptance FAQs:

  1. The investigator I support just received a new award. The sponsor sent the agreement to me, so I uploaded it to SeRA. How do I find out the status?
    • Answer: If you receive an award email, please be sure to forward it (with all attachments) to osr_intake@stanford.edu. OSR’s intake team will then set up the appropriate transaction and assign it to a CGO for review. Uploading agreements directly into SeRA does not trigger a task for OSR, so it is important to make sure that the OSR intake team is aware of the new agreement. Once there is an active award transaction, you can check the status via the Transaction Log.
  2. The award negotiation seems to be taking a long time, and the Transaction Log says “Requested changes sent to Sponsor” with yesterday’s date. I’m not sure what that means. Should I submit a Central Office Request Form to find out what’s going on?
    • Answer: If the Transaction Log indicates that action has occurred recently, it means the CGO is actively engaged with the sponsor and will let you know if anything is needed. That specific status means that your CGO has contacted the sponsor to request changes to the agreement’s terms and conditions. If you are unable to determine the status from the Transaction Log or if it doesn’t appear to have changed at any point, please email the assigned CGO or CGA directly. Please do not submit a Central Office Request Form to check the status of an in-process award or any other SeRA transaction.
  3. The Issues section of the Transaction Log indicates that the award is Pending Protocol Approval(s). What does that mean?
    • Answer: If a sponsored project involves compliance protocols such as IRB or APLAC, an approved protocol must be linked to the SPO and funding source (sponsor) before an agreement can be signed or sent for PTA setup. Even if there is already an approved protocol on file in eProtocol, if it is not linked to the SPO a revision must be submitted to add the SPO and funding source. This is one of the major causes of delays in signing new sponsored research agreements and new PTA setup.
  4. I don’t understand why it takes such a long time for an award to be finalized in SeRA. My PI really wants this done. Don’t CGOs just sign agreements? What could possibly be taking so long?
    • Answer: Your CGO is reviewing the award agreement against the submitted proposal and budget, negotiating any terms that do not align with Stanford policy, coordinating as needed with other offices on campus, updating SeRA to include the correct budget and award details, and as noted above, checking that any relevant compliance protocols are approved and appropriately linked to the SPO. This process can take a while and is often dependent on sponsor timelines and those of other Stanford offices. Sometimes there are additional complexities such as the transfer of sensitive data or materials. Remember, in most cases you can submit an early PTA request so that spending can begin while the award terms are being finalized. OSR tries to keep the Transaction Log as updated as possible so that the current status is readily available to everyone.