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Acceptance of Sponsored Program Awards and Fiscal Compliance on Sponsored Program Accounts (Budget Numbers)


Office of Sponsored Programs/Grant and Contract Accounting


Effective December 26, 2014

SUPERSEDES: GIM 2 (May 2, 2002)

This GIM is updated to conform to the Federal "Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards" (Uniform Guidance) effective December 26, 2014. This GIM applies to new awards and new funding for existing awards received on or after Dec 26, 2014.

For awards in existence prior to December 26, 2014 that have not received supplemental funding or are not otherwise subject to the Federal Uniform Guidance per sponsoring agency award terms and conditions, please refer to the Archived GIM 2.


This GIM sets out the policy for acceptance of sponsored program funding and the fiscal management of sponsored awards at the University of Washington, consistent with the Federal Uniform Guidance.


Sponsored programs are awarded to the University and not to individuals. Acceptance of external funding by the University signifies the University's willingness to assume responsibility for the administration of the funds in accordance with the terms specified by the sponsor, the applicable costing policy requirements, and other applicable federal, state and local law and regulations. This responsibility is shared within the institution by the Principal Investigator, the Chair and/or Director, the Dean, Office of Sponsored Programs, and the Grant and Contract Accounting Office. All parties involved carry out processes to see that the terms of the award are observed, and that expenditures during a given period are not in excess of funds awarded.

Persons/Offices Affected

Principal Investigators, Research Personnel, Research Administration Personnel, Academic Unit Chair, Dean's Office, eGC1 Reviewers, Office of Sponsored Programs, Grant and Contract Accounting, Management Accounting and Analysis, Assistant Vice Provost for Research, Office of Planning and Budgeting.

University Policy

All sponsored program awards are accepted on behalf of the University by the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) and placed in sponsored program budget numbers by the Grant and Contract Accounting (GCA) office for administration by the PI. Per UW Executive Order 34, OSP is the only office with delegated authority to accept sponsored program awards on behalf of the University. All other apparent or assumed authority to accept sponsored program funding is null and void.

Once accepted and made available in a sponsored program budget number, the Dean/Director, Chair and Principal Investigator (PI) assumes the responsibility to oversee that appropriate internal controls are implemented to manage the award at the project level. See the Procedures and Guidance section for guidance on internal controls and signature delegation.

The University maintains internal controls over sponsored programs that provide reasonable assurance, at the entity level, that the sponsored program is managed in compliance with applicable statutes, regulations, sponsor policies, and the award term and conditions. Internal controls include centralized systems to support the administration of sponsored program funding at the entity level, such as centralized receipt and acceptance of sponsored program funding, appropriate budget number set-up, subrecipient monitoring, review and documentation of significant changes that require sponsor approval or notification, as well as invoicing, draw-down processes, cash receipt, fiscal reporting, and closeout. These systems are overseen by OSP and GCA.

The University reviews sponsored program activity and may recommend improvements, either through OSP, GCA or Internal Audit. All instances of noncompliance are promptly acted upon and may involve reporting the instance to the sponsor, require corrective action, termination of an award, inability for a PI to submit future proposals, or return of funds.

GCA may require that the PI transfer expenditures or deficit from sponsored program budget numbers in order to ensure that sponsor specific fiscal requirements are met and that the expenditures are consistent with the terms and conditions of the sponsored agreement, federal, state or local law and regulations as well as University fiscal policies.

The University has not budgeted separate funds for covering sponsored program deficits or disallowances. Deficits and disallowances are administered in accordance with the University Deficit Resolution Policy.

Procedures and Guidance

Methods of acceptance of an award

Budget number establishment

University fiscal policies that apply to sponsored programs

Internal controls

Signature delegation

Restrictions on spending


Carryover of unobligated balances between budget periods and unexpended balances at end of project


Principal Investigator
Chair, Director, or Dean
Grant and Contract Accounting Office (GCA)
Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP)
Internal Audit


Internal Controls:
A process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the achievement of the following objectives for sponsored awards:
  1. Transactions are properly recorded and accounted for, in order to:
    1. Permit the preparation of reliable financial statements and Federal reports;
    2. Maintain accountability over assets; and
    3. Demonstrate compliance with Federal statutes, regulations, and the terms and conditions of the award;
  2. Transactions are executed in compliance with:
    1. Federal statutes, regulations, and the terms and conditions of the award that could have a direct and material effect on a sponsored program; and
    2. Any other Federal statutes and regulations that are identified in the Audit Compliance Supplement; and
  3. Funds, property, and other assets are safeguarded against loss from unauthorized use or disposition.
Sponsored program:
An exchange transaction between the University and the sponsor that is not a purchase or sale of goods or services or "work for hire" arrangement but instead is a mutual exchange involving the University and a sponsor.
Unliquidated obligation:
For financial reports prepared on a cash basis, obligations incurred by the non-Federal entity that have not been paid (liquidated). For reports prepared on an accrual expenditure basis, these are obligations incurred by the non-Federal entity for which an expenditure has not been recorded.
Unobligated balance:
The amount of funds under a Federal award that the non-Federal entity has not obligated. The amount is computed by subtracting the cumulative amount of the non-Federal entity's unliquidated obligations and expenditures of funds under the Federal award from the cumulative amount of the funds that the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity authorized the non-Federal entity to obligate.

Related Resources

Tools to assist PI with reconciliation Grant Tracker and MyFinancial Desktop
Internal Control Best Practices Financial Accounting Internal Control guidance
OSP Guidance on Management of Award OSP Manage Award information
GCA Budget Number Process Guidance GCA Process Overview
Sponsored Program Acceptance - Delegation of Authority Executive Order 34


Acceptance of Sponsored Program awards OSP 206-543-4043
Budget number administration GCA 206-616-9995

Content Creator

Responsible University OfficesPolicy Owner
Office of Sponsored Programs and Grant and Contract Accounting Assistant Vice Provost for Research, as delegated by the Vice Provost for Research

Review Schedule

This policy is reviewed by the Office of Sponsored Programs as necessary to reflect changes in Federal regulation or University policies.