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Post-Award Process: Home

Post-Award Process

Acceptance of an award is a binding contract that creates a legal duty on the part of NU to use the funds in accordance with the conditions of the grant and the original proposal. The post-award stage includes critical steps to follow to ensure all grant protocols, procedures, and compliance measures are met. All contracts and awards are negotiated and approved through the OGSP working closely with the PI/PD, internal departments, and legal counsel. PI/PDs are encouraged to consult with and work closely with the OGSP to ensure project compliance and management. To learn more about the roles and responsibilities of the PI and OGSP and how they work together, please refer to the Roles & Responsibilities page.

Post-Award Phase


Post-Award Steps

After a proposal is funded, it is the responsibility of the PI/Co-PI/PD to ensure the Notice of Award is received by the OGSP within two (2) days of receipt to ensure a timely response from the university. While the PI/PD will be the main contact between the funder and the project, if the project allows for a secondary contact, please ensure the OGSP administrator is listed.

The OGSP will consult with the PI/PD to review the award details and identify any special conditions that may need to be addressed. The OGSP will manage all award negotiations, including the initial award, contracts, sub-contracts, sub-awards, consulting and service agreements. 

Upon receipt of a notice of award, the OGSP will coordinate with the PI/PD to host/participate in a grant orientation meeting. Depending on the complexity of the award agreement, a representative from the business office, a department chair, dean, research staff, and/or other relevant representatives will be invited to attend the meeting. This orientation will provide information and guidance pertinent to a successful grant implementation.

While PI/PDs are responsible for grant implementation, evaluation, and reporting, project leads are encouraged to work closely with the OGSP to ensure program compliance. It is important to follow some basic guidelines while managing a grant project.

  • Always obtain prior approval from the funder before changing the project or budget in any substantive way. Consult with the OGSP with any questions and/or proposed changes.
  • Carry out all project activities according to the award agreement and the original proposal, unless approved by the funding agency.
  • Maintain all data, project outputs and outcomes necessary for evaluation of the success of your project.
  • Ensure all regulations and policies of the funder and the university are followed.
  • Maintain accurate and thorough records, kept on file, organized by year (if multi-year).
  • Prepare and write all interim and final reports to funder specification, submitted on time, and confirmed. 

The project/grant closeout process requires proper planning and attention to detail. Beginning at least ninety (90) days prior to the end of the grant term, the PI/PD should alert the Fiscal Services Department and OGSP of the impending closeout referencing the specific grant, object code, and award/contract number. This action officially notifies internal departments and begins the process, whereby the PI/PD, OGSP, and internal teams will collaborate to ensure all requirements and deliverables are met according to the terms and conditions of the award.

The OGSP uses the Grant Award Closeout Checklist to monitor completion tasks leading up to the grant deadline. PI/PDs are encouraged to consult with the OGSP with issues or questions, and ensure all financials, reports, and documentation are in place to support project closeout.

The purpose of file management is to ensure compliance with funding agencies, limit exposure to legal liability, and maintain institutional record of university sponsored activities and projects. In accordance with state and federal policy regarding file retention, NU maintains programmatic files for five years and will comply with each funder’s file retention term requirement as necessary. Grant documents should be kept on file in a university repository. The PI/PD should ensure all files are provided to the OGSP and/or uploaded to the system. Master files are generally established according to the following file structure and should include the following documents.

General File Structure

  • Application Submission 
  • Award/Contracts
  • Finance/Budget
  • Programmatic Reports

Required Grant Documents

  • Original final grant proposal/application, with all corresponding components
  • Award letter/non-Award letter
  • Contracts or Memoranda of Understanding (notice of award, agreement, amendments, modifications, extensions, cancellations, terminations, anything related to the award)
  • Programmatic reports – interim and final (including any research/evaluation data/reports)
  • Financial reports and supporting documentation (account set-up, PO’s, invoices, reimbursement requests, anything related to the budget)