The authority to negotiate and accept an award on behalf of the University has been delegated from the University to the Vice President Research and Sponsored Programs who has redelegated this authority to Sponsored Programs. If you receive an award, please route it to for approval to the Sponsored Programs Office.
Once a proposal is selected for funding, Sponsored Programs will review the resulting award document to assure that there are no terms that would either violate CAU policies or hamper the researcher's ability to carry out the project. Potentially problematic terms include those that may affect equal access to education, or open publication, or may impose unreasonable or burdensome administrative requirements, such as unusually frequent or voluminous reporting requirements. If the award contains problematic terms, Sponsored Projects will try to negotiate with the sponsor to remove them, working with the principal investigator, the administrating department, and Extramural Funds Accounting.
Once the award terms are acceptable, Sponsored Projects confirms that all compliance issues are cleared (such as animal use or conflict of interest) and if so, will accept the award on behalf of CAU.
Award negotiations, as defined in this section, means the scope of activities between proposal submission and the acceptance of an award by the University. During this period, the award mechanism (grant, cooperative agreement, or contract) and the sponsor will largely determine the length and complexity of the negotiation process. The end result of award negotiations is a mutually agreeable set of terms under which the University will conduct the proposed project.
Any time a sponsor requests or requires a change in the originally proposed budget or scope of work, the Principal Investigator should always notify and coordinate a response through SPO before submitting a revised budget or scope of work to the sponsor.
Grants and cooperative agreements usually contain references to a sponsor's established grants management policies or in the case of government grants, government-wide regulations, laws, or directives.
Agreements with private sponsors cover many activities including basic, applied, or developmental research, collaborative research, and various types of testing.
As a public, non-profit educational institution, the University is bound by certain policies and regulations regarding what it can and cannot accept in an agreement. These policies are designed to foster the University's basic mission of teaching, research, and public service and to ensure the academic freedom of our faculty.
Because for-profit private sponsors are motivated by different forces than the University, they sometimes do not understand the ideals and principles behind our policies. Consequently, negotiations can take additional time while SPO works with the sponsor to arrive at a mutually acceptable agreement.
Whenever possible, the University tries to negotiate an agreement using the appropriate standard University contract language for the activity proposed. These standard agreements address key concepts required by University policy. When a private sponsor prepares an agreement or insists on controlling the preparation of an agreement, these concepts may or may not be addressed and can lead to protracted negotiations.
Contract negotiations with private sponsors can be difficult and complex because the agreements must address a large number of issues such as budget, scope of work, intellectual property rights, publication rights, indemnification, termination and confidentiality.
Principal Investigators should discuss all aspects of the proposed project with SPO prior to the start of negotiations. In particular, SPO needs to know whether graduate students will be involved in the project, and whether existing University or sponsored-owned intellectual property will be used in conducting the project and if research materials that are not of UCSB origin are needed to perform the work.
Contract negotiations with a government agency primarily focus on budget and scope of work issues. The terms and conditions of the award are usually fixed by law or regulation. However, it is important to make sure that the terms and conditions imposed by the agency are appropriate for the work proposed and applicable to the University.
Contract negotiations with a federal government agency primarily focus on budget and scope of work issues. The terms and conditions of the award are usually fixed by law or regulation. However, differences in the interpretation of law and regulation can result in the negotiation of certain clauses, especially in the areas of export controls, restrictions based on citizenship status, contractual requirements to provide protected private information in the absence of any regulations, options to classify the project as secret, publication approval and other publication restrictions or editorial controls. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the terms and conditions imposed by the agency are appropriate for the work proposed and applicable to the University.
Compliance Committee Approvals
Most sponsors do not require proof of compliance approvals until the award stage. Any award which requires approval from one or more of the compliance committees must have approval prior to the release of funding. Principal Investigators (PI) should submit their protocol applications to the appropriate committee as soon as an award appears to be forthcoming.
If the awarded budget is less than the proposed budget then the PI or departmental administrator must create a budget allocation (link to example). This is required before SPO can process the award send it to Extramural Funds Accounting. In some cases where the funding has been cut significantly the scope of work will also need to be reduced.