University of California, Riverside


PreAward Administration

PreAward Administration


The Office of Research and Economic Development (RED), through its Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) unit, provides pre-award administration services to faculty, unit staff, and other central administrative offices. These services include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Reviewing and approving/endorsing requests to spend funds in advance of receiving a sponsored award;
  • Reviewing and signing institutional certifications, representations and assurances;
  • Facilitating sponsor requests for additional information about proposed programs, including requests for "just-in-time" information;
  •  Interpreting sponsor and university policies, and government regulations;
  • Liaising with sponsors;
  • Providing research administration training courses and consulting services; and
  • Promoting and facilitating institutional compliance with government regulations.
PreAward Spending
  • Background and Contingencies
  • PreAward Spending - Risks, Liabilities, and Limitations
  • Requesting PreAwards
  • Requesting Modifications to Previously Approved PreAwards
Background and Contingencies

Under limited circumstances, Principal Investigators (PIs) may request authorization to spend funds in support of a sponsored project in advance of receiving a notice of an award from a sponsor (PreAward). Authorization for a PreAward is contingent upon the following:

  • A critical need to meet project objectives must exist to expend funds in advance of a new, renewal or continuation award;
  • Approval of human subjects, animal, biosafety or other research protocols by the appropriate regulatory committee, as applicable;
  • Successful completion of the human subject tutorial by the PI and all key personnel participating on the project, if human subjects are involved;
  • Approval of required financial disclosures, as applicable;
  • Approval of Exception to Principal Investigator Eligibility, as applicable;
  • Certification by the PI that the level of effort, scope, and objectives of the project, as proposed or negotiated, will not change;
  • Certification by the chair/director of the unit responsible for administering the anticipated award ("Departmental Approver"), that any monetary loss to the campus resulting from the sponsor's failure to make the award, or from costs incurred but disallowed by the sponsor, shall be the responsibility of that unit or school; If, however, the Department Approver is unable to authorize the use of an alternate FAU in the event losses are incurred as a consequence of the PreAward, then certification must be obtained by the appropriate dean or vice chancellor who's office will provide the use of an alternate FAU ("Organizational Approver"); and
  • Confirmation of the sponsor's firm commitment from an authorized representative of the sponsor by SPA; however, PreAward may proceed without the sponsor's firm commitment in the event that the Department Approver, or the Organizational Approver (as appropriate), authorize the PreAward request despite the increased financial risk in doing so in the absence of the sponsor's firm commitment.
PreAward Spending - Risks, Liabilities, and Limitations

The risks, liabilities and limitations associated with PreAwards must be carefully considered prior to requesting authorization.

Risks: Whenever the University approves a PreAward, it is risking monetary loss. Other funding must be available to cover the risk of a delayed start date, costs disallowed by the sponsor, or failure of the sponsor to make the anticipated award.

Liabilities: Special care must be exercised in assessing the impact of PreAwards on the legal obligations of the University, especially in the areas of intellectual property rights and indemnification, as well as other special award terms.

Limitations: A sponsor's policies, the terms and conditions of the anticipated award, and campus policies and practices determine whether or not a PreAward will be authorized. Restrictions differ depending on the type of sponsor and the type of award anticipated (i.e., grant, cooperative agreement, or contract).

Requesting PreAwards

PreAwards are requested via the On-Line PreAward Request System which is accessible by selecting the PAMIS link in R'Space Authorized Applications. For further details on utilizing that system or to submit a PreAward request, please review the Understanding PreAward and the Routing and Roles sections of the On-Line PreAward Request Application website.

Requesting Modifications to Previously Approved PreAwards

In exceptional circumstances, it may be necessary to increase the expenditure level and/or PreAward performance period previously authorized through the On-Line PreAward Request System. To seek such a modification AND provided the fully executed award associated with the initial PreAward request has not subsequently been received and processed through PAMIS, please select the "Modify PreAward Requests Previously Approved by the Office of Research and Economic Development" function via on the On-Line PreAward Request System.

Please refer to Campus Policy #550-80 (PRE-AWARD POLICY) for additional PreAward policy and procedural information.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Computing & Communications
Computing & Communications Bldg.

Tel: (951) 827-4741
Fax: (951) 827-4541