Chapter 2-600: Award Acceptance and Administration

All extramural awards to the University of California for research, training, or public service are made in the University's corporate name, "The Regents of the University of California." The responsibility for reviewing the terms and conditions of awards before they are accepted on behalf of The Regents rests on those who have been delegated authority to approve, accept, and execute such awards, as described in Sections 2-200 and 2-610. University officials who are authorized to sign awards which obligate the University should insure that these awards are properly reviewed. A checklist for review of contracts and grants is outlined in Chapter 13-333. The responsibility for implementing the terms of an award involve various University offices as noted below in Section 2-620.

2-610 Authority to Accept Awards

Standing Order 100.4(dd) authorizes the President to accept or execute awards, with stated exceptions. The President has re-delegated this authority to the Provost and Executive Vice President - Academic Affairs, Vice President - Agriculture and Natural Resources, Associate Vice President - Federal Governmental Relations, Chancellors, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Director who have, in turn, re-delegated their authority, with varying levels and limitations, to the appropriate Vice Chancellors, Deans, Directors, and Contract and Grant Officers. For a discussion of the legal authorities related to the solicitation of proposals, see Chapter 13 of this Manual. When an award is accepted by The Regents, it means that the University has agreed to comply with all the terms of that award. Thus, it is important for campuses and Laboratory to have procedures in place to ensure that awards are legally accepted only by authorized University officials. Legal acceptance can take many forms, including: counter-signature on a bilateral agreement; spending the funds when a unilateral award is made; and signing a proposal that is counter-signed by the sponsor (e.g. an RFQ).

2-611 Acknowledgment of Grants from Private Sponsors

In addition to being accepted under the authority described above in Section 2-610, grants from private sponsors may also be acknowledged by other University officials or the Principal Investigator. Such acknowledgments are handled in accordance with campus procedures and in a manner appropriate to the requirements of the sponsor and the nature of the grant.

2-620 Responsibilty for Administering an Award

The duties and responsibilities of University faculty and staff involved in the administration of an award are outlined in Chapter 10, Sections 10-300 through 10-350. Responsibilities for specific areas of award administration are described in the chapters for those subje

2-630 Terms and Conditions of Awards

Awards for sponsored projects or programs are made to the Corporation, i.e., The Regents of the University of California, and commitments made under agreements are commitments of the Corporation. The terms and conditions of awards must be in accordance with University policy. Applicable policies are discussed in this Manual under specific chapter titles. Any exceptions to such policies must have the required reviews and approvals discussed in those chapters. Additional guidelines and procedures are issued as needed via RPAC (Contract and Grant) Memos.

2-631 Governing Law

Agreements which contain a "Governing Law" clause should state that the agreement is governed by the laws of the State of California. Agreements which name governing laws of other states should be reviewed by General Counsel's Office as described in Section 2-640, below.

2-632 Awards to Individuals

As stated above in Section 2-630, sponsoring agencies make awards to the corporation, not to the individual. However, occasionally, a sponsor offers an award directly to a Principal Investigator or Project Director. Consistent with considerations of University of California policies regarding conflict of interest (See Section 2-582 above), a Principal Investigator or Project Director may make an agreement concerning that portion of his or her time and effort which is not already committed to the University, which does not interfere with performance of University duties, which are in accordance with APM -025 – Conflict of Commitment and Outside Activities for Faculty Members, and which does not involve unauthorized use of University space, facilities, or resources on a significant scale. ("Faculty Code of Conduct", Academic Personal Manual - APM 015.) Personal awards which involve University staff time already committed to the University are not permitted.

When an honorific award to a specific faculty member is made to The Regents, it cannot be accepted unless it is in compliance with University policies as described in this Manual.

2-633 Reporting Requirements

Any sponsor required financial and technical reports should be reasonable, i.e., within the generally accepted standards for such requirements. Any excessive reporting requirements, such as those which the campus' financial systems cannot readily accommodate, deadlines which cannot reasonably be met, or overly-frequent reports, should be modified to the extent possible. The Office of the President Research Policy, Analysis and Coordination Office (RPAC) is available to assist in achieving such modifications when campus efforts are rejected by the sponsor.

2-634 Insurance, Patents, and Data Rights

Any requirements in an RFP or RFA concerning such areas as insurance, patents, and data rights must be in accordance with University policies. Chapter 21 and Chapter 11 of this Manual cover these areas.

2-635 Research Based on Reasonable Efforts

Since research results cannot be guaranteed, University research is conducted on a “reasonable efforts” basis. The University receives no fee or profit on its research. While agreements may require a final report and may outline standards for that report, provisions which guarantee research results, impose penalties for failure to make progress by firm deadlines, or condition payment on the sponsor's satisfaction with the results are generally not acceptable. Such provisions create an unfunded liability for the University as the sponsor may refuse to pay the costs incurred for the work performed. However, Principal Investigators or Program Directors are obligated to conduct sponsored projects of the highest possible quality. APM-015, The Faculty Code of Conduct.)

When a sponsor wants a final product which conforms with sponsor specifications, it may indicate that the sponsor is more interested in purchasing a good or service than in supporting research of interest to and directed by the University. Such a project indeed might be appropriate public service; however, "job shop" product outputs if accompanied by unacceptable terms which create an unfunded liability are normally not appropriate to the University's mission and should not be accepted. For more information about projects classified as sponsored agreements, see Section 8-321 of this Manual.

2-636 Termination

Any termination clause should assure that, in the event an agreement is terminated by the sponsor for any reason, the sponsor will pay the University for all costs incurred to date of termination and for all uncancellable obligations. (Also see Chapter 7-222 of this Manual.)

2-637 Citizenship Restrictions, Export Controls and Other Awards Terms and Conditions

As with proposal guidelines, award terms and conditions must also be reviewed for requirements which would create citizenship or export control restrictions discussed in 2-513 and 2-514 above as well as any other proposal review issues described above in 2-500 which are now found in award terms and conditions.

2-640 Review of Routine Agreements and the Role of the General Counsel's Office

The University official who is delegated authority to sign agreements is responsible for making the determination as to whether legal advice is needed from the General Counsel's Office, and, if it is, to obtain this advice prior to execution. Chapter 13-330 through 13-334 discusses the responsibility of the General Counsel in providing advice on contract and grant documents. See Chapter 13-333 for the Checklist for Review of Contracts and Grants developed by General Counsel's Office.

2-650 Disclosure of Financial Interest in Private Sponsors of Research - Form 700-U and Other Conflict of Interest Policies

As discussed in Section 2-582, Form 700-U, Principal Investigator's Statement of Economic Interests, is required before acceptance of an award. If Form 700-U is not filed with the proposal submission, it must be filed before final acceptance of an award to which it applies, when funding is renewed, and within 90 days after the expiration of the Other applicable University policies related to conflict of interest are summarized in:

  • Business and Finance Bulletin G-39, Conflict of Interest Policy and Compendium of Specialized University Policies, Guidelines, and Regulations Related to Conflict of Interest;
  • Academic Personnel Manual APM-028, Disclosure of Financial Interest in Private Sponsors of Research and policies regarding Academic Conflict of Interest or Commitment Related to Sponsored Research;
  • Disclosure of Financial Interests & Management of Conflicts of Interest, Public Health Service Research Awards (Effective August 23, 2012); and
  • University Policy on Disclosure of Financial Interests and Management of Conflicts of Interest Related to Sponsored Projects for NSF funded research and other University-funded research programs (Effective October 1, 1995).

Federal regulations, policies and information related to conflicts of interest in federally-funded research may be found at:

  • Public Health Service (including NIH) regulations 42 CFR, part 50, subpart F, with helpful FAQs
  • Food and Drug Administration regulations at 21 CFR 54
  • National Science Foundation Grantee Conflict of Interest Policies

2-660 Corporate Contract and Grant Reporting System (CGX)

All awards must be reported to the Contract and Grant Reporting System (CGX) as described above in Section 2-581 and in Chapter 10-420.

2-670 Prior Approval Requirements

When a sponsor or the University requires prior approval of actions related to the administration of an award, the campus or Laboratory must have administrative procedures in place which meet prior approval requirements. The terms and conditions of the award should provide specific guidance on the sponsor's requirements for prior approvals. Examples of actions often requiring prior approval at the campus level or by the sponsor, depending on sponsor requirements, are pre-award costs, no-cost extensions, and rebudgeting above a line-item amount restricted by the sponsor.

A change in the scope of work, objectives of the research, or level of effort of the Principal Investigator generally must be approved in writing by the sponsor. Replacing the Principal Investigator generally requires sponsor approval in addition to any required University approvals.

2-680 Amendments, Modifications, and Continuations

The terms and conditions of an award can be changed via amendments, modifications, change orders, supplements, or continuations of the agreement. An amendment or modification is a change in the terms and conditions mutually agreed upon by both parties. A change order is usually a unilateral change in the agreement subject to the clause in the agreement which covers such changes. Acceptance of a change order clause in an agreement is, thus, discouraged because such a clause exposes the conduct of the sponsored project to the unilateral direction of the sponsor.

A delegation of authority resulting from a proposed project which required Regental approval authorizes specific campus or Laboratory officials and staff to sign the original award and includes the authority to execute subsequent amendments, modifications, or continuations to the award as long as the amendment, modification, or continuation does not remove the award from the limitations prescribed in the applicable delegation of authority. For example, if an amendment to such an award adds a new condition requiring Regental approval, then another Regental approval and a new delegation of authority would be necessary. (See Chapter 13.)

Principal Investigators or Project Directors do not have authority to make or execute changes or modifications in the terms of contracts or grants unless they have been specifically by name or title delegated this authority by an authorized University or campus official. They should not attempt to negotiate such changes without the prior knowledge and approval of the Contract and Grant Officer.