Getting To Know All About You (err, Your Awards) – Part Three

Previously, we discussed several different types of sponsored projects and a few of the mechanisms at play when performing work under their auspices.  Next, we started a more in-depth examination of the award types with a look at the distinguishing characteristics of grants.  Last Tuesday, we looked at cooperative agreements.  Today, we’ll focus on contracts.

Award Type: Contracts

Basic Purpose:  To acquire property or services for the direct benefit or use of the sponsor, either by purchase or lease.

Sponsor Involvement:  Heavily involved throughout the process, including direct supervision, and could also require milestone reporting.

How Solicited:  Generally via requests for proposals (RFP).

Benefits:  Sponsor uses the results in for their own purposes, or anticipates an economic benefit resulting from the research.  Recipient uses the funds to conduct research, train scientists and generally expand knowledge.

Project Direction:  Developed by the sponsor.

Selection Process:  Award based on selection process that will provide the best value to the sponsor.

Award Instrument:  Detailed award, which includes specifications of work, appropriate clauses and regulations, and required deliverables.  Also usually includes specific administrative requirements.

Period of Performance:  Defined by the sponsor, and includes set time frame and milestones.

Cost Principles:  Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR); Higher Education 31.3; Non Profit 31.1

Administrative Requirements:  Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR)

Rebudgeting Capabilities:  Allowed on occasion within applicable restrictions, but requires prior approval of sponsor.

Technical Reporting Requirements:  Will vary by agreement.  Usually quite detailed and will include regular reporting.

Renewals:  No renewable.  If sponsor elects to continue to fund the research, it will likely be done under a new award with new milestones.

Final Deliverable(s):  Recipient is required to produce a deliverable, which could be a specific item or a detailed report.  Financial, equipment and IP reports are also generally required.

Fulfillment of Award:  All deliverables must meet the specifications as outlined in the agreement.