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Grants Office Pre-Award Team

Responsibilities of Pre-Award Team

The Pre-Award team within Research Management (RM) provides support and assistance to Principal Investigators (PIs) and Department Administrators (DAs) as they prepare proposals for submission to external sponsors. The Pre-Award team works closely with colleagues on RM’s Post-Award, Contracts and Research Finance teams to support these research projects throughout various stages in the lifecycle of a grant. The primary responsibilities of these teams are summarized below:

  • Grants Office
    Pre-Award Teams
  • Grants Office
    Post-Award Teams
  • Contracts
  • Research Finance

Grants Office/Pre-Award Team Responsibilities

  • Serves as the liaison between PIs and sponsors for pre-award activities, including:
    - Proposal review and submission
    - Just-in-Time (JIT) information requests
  • To ensure compliance with sponsor, federal and Partners policies, reviews:
    - Application guidelines/submission requirements
    - Grant proposals
    - Contract applications
    - Fellowships
  • Reviews Conflict of Interest (COI) and cost share forms
  • Serves as institutional authority approving proposals and related documentation sent to sponsors on behalf of Partners research hospitals
  • Submits proposals for grants, subagreements and contracts through federal and foundation electronic systems
  • Maintains membership in sponsor-supported electronic grant submission systems and enrolls PIs and DAs in appropriate systems as needed
  • Verifies progress reports for compliance documentation, submits electronic reports and provides institutional approval for hardcopy reports
  • Works with PIs who are joining Partners to transfer their current awards to Partners

Contact Information

Grant Administrators (GAs) on the Pre-Award team are assigned to specific departments at BWH and MGH.

Gifts, Grants and Contracts

Partners Research Management and the Development Offices at BWH, MGH and Partners have created the following guidance to explain the subtle distinctions between a gift, a grant and a contract. Please Note: Gifts are stewarded by the Development Offices at each hospital. Additionally, these offices will assist with the preparation of proposals to privation foundations. Click here for the BWH Development Office's web site and here for the MGH Development Office's web site.

Gift A gift is defined as an item of value given to the hospital by a donor who expects nothing of significant value in return, other than recognition and disposition of the gift in accordance with the donor's wishes. In general, the following characteristics describe a gift:
  • No contractual requirements are imposed and there are no "deliverables" to the donor. However, the gift may be accompanied by an agreement that restricts the use of the funds to a particular purpose.
  • A gift is irrevocable. While the gift may be intended for use within a certain time frame, there is no specified period of performance or start and end dates.
  • There is no formal fiscal accountability to the donor. There may, however, be annual or periodic updates sent by the hospital’s Development Office that may be thought of as requirements of good stewardship, and, as such, may be required by the terms of a gift. They are not characterized as contractual obligations or deliverables.
Grant A grant is defined as an award mechanism to transfer money, goods, property, services or other items of value in order to accomplish a public purpose. In general, the following characteristics describe a grant:
  • No substantial involvement is anticipated between the awarding sponsor and the hospital PI during the performance of the work.
  • The award comes with terms and conditions that must be met or may require negotiation.
  • There are budgetary restrictions.
  • Financial and technical or progress reports may be required under the terms of the award.
  • Expenditures must be documented.
  • Deliverables may be required, including the sharing of research results.
  • There is a start and end date.
  • Partners Authorized Institutional Official must transmit and/or sign the award document.
Contract is defined as a binding agreement between parties for the purpose of securing goods or services. In general, the following characteristics describe a contract:
  • There is extensive involvement from the sponsor into the tasks to be performed.
  • The award mechanism is a cost reimbursement, fixed price or task order contract.
  • The principal purpose is to acquire services for the sponsor’s direct benefit or use.
  • The sponsor considers the award to be a purchase (procurement) rather than a collaboration.
  • The sponsor requires formal financial or technical reports.
  • Invoicing or billing is required.
  • The contract may include terms and conditions that must be negotiated to ensure consistency with Partners' policies. Terms that may need discussion typically include:
    • Ownership of intellectual property (IP), including inventions created under the contract
    • Right of first refusal or right of first negotiation for the licensing of the IP
    • Ownership or access to the research results
    • Publication review of the research
    • Deliverables, such as technical reports, on which payment is based
  • There is a start and end date.
  • Partners Authorized Institutional Official must sign the awarding document.

Proposal Preparation

Purpose of a Proposal

Proposals may be written in response to federal or non-federal sponsoring agencies’ solicitation, or may be unsolicited.  The proposal provides a scope of work to be undertaken, the significance of the research activity, qualifications of the researchers to carry out the required tasks, resources available to support the program, and the budget requested to carry out the research.

To assist PIs and DAs with the common proposal elements for applications, Research Management Pre-Award has created a booklet called Department Administrator's Guidelines which contains links to forms, checklists, guidance for grants, JIT and Progress Report preparation.

The Guidelines can be found in the Forms, Tools and Resources section.

Additional resources available include proposal submission checklists for many proposals including Partners as the primary (lead) institution and Partners as the subrecipient.

Standard Application Information/Institutional Facts

There are a number of standard facts and legal data about Partners and our research entities that sponsors generally require to be included in the proposals. For these details, please refer to: