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
- Grants Office
- 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
- 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
Grants Office/Post-Award Team Responsibilities
- Serves as liaison between Principal Investigators (PIs) and sponsors once awards have been issued
- Performs new award set up, including reviewing terms and conditions and entering essential data into InfoEd and PeopleSoft:
- Standard Grants (NIH R and K mechanisms)
- Multi-Fund Grants, including program projects and cooperative agreements
- Incoming subcontracts and foundation awards
- Training grants (T) and Fellowships (F)
- Industry/corporate-sponsored research agreements (non clinical trials)
- Sundry funds
- Initiates outgoing subcontracts through the Contracts team
- Activates renewal years and updates budgets
- Monitors funds and expenditures
- Establishes billing agreements, when appropriate
- Reviews and approves expense allocations, such as:
- Salary Allocations/Employee Data Changes (EDCs)
- eBuy equipment requisitions greater than $15,000
- Processes sponsor prior approval requests, such as:
- Effort changes exceeding 25% or more
- Carryforward, if required by sponsor
- Change in scope and key personnel
- No-Cost Extensions (NCE)
- Rebudgeting in excess of 25% of total approved budget, if required by sponsor
- Performs administrative aspects of closing out funds
- Assists with PI (research) transfer out of a Partners entity
Contracts Office/Contracts Team Responsibilities
- Reviews and negotiates the terms and conditions of all research agreements, (consistent with institutional positions and protecting the rights of the investigators and the institution) received from:
- Non-profit institutions
- Federal and state agencies
- Consults with and collaborates with other Partners offices such as RM’s Partners Clinical Research Office (PCRO), Research Ventures and Licensing (RVL), Materials Management and the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) on terms and conditions, as needed
- Collaborates with PIs, DAs and the Pre-award and Post-Award teams during negotiations
- Drafts and negotiates all outgoing subcontracts and research services agreements issued under research awards received from non-profit institutions, foundations and federal and state agencies
- Serves as the Authorized Official and signs incoming contracts/agreements and outgoing subcontracts
- Attaches all fully executed agreements into InfoEd and maintains deliverable comments tracking the progress of each agreement in InfoEd
- Prepares subsequent amendments and modifications of incoming agreements and outgoing subcontracts
- Obtains A-133 audit reports from each entity engaged as a subcontractor under a Partners Prime award
- Reviews each A-133 audit report for findings that would impose risk on Partners to engage as a subcontractor, works with PI to develop terms and conditions to mitigate risk of liability/exposure
* Agreements for basic research funded by industry or for-profit sponsors are negotiated by Partners Research Ventures and Licensing (RVL). Agreements for clinical research/trials funded by industry or for-profit sponsors are negotiated by Partners Clinical Research Office (PCRO).
Research Finance Office/Research Finance Teams Responsibilities
Billing and Revenue Team/Cash Management Group
- Manages billing and collections for:
- Federal and state contracts
- Federal subcontracts
- Fixed price contracts (excluding industry sponsored projects)
- IRB and MCA fees associated with industry-sponsored clinical trials*
- Sets up required elements in PeopleSoft to generate invoices
- Manages and monitors accounts receivable
- Performs daily posting and reconciliation of research cash, which includes checks and wire payments
- Closes out subcontract projects in InfoEd and PeopleSoft
Financial Reporting and Accounting Team/Letter of Credit Group
- Prepares Financial Status Reports (FSRs) for federal, fed-other and non-federal awards
- Reviews and processes Journal Entries
- Reviews and approves late cost transfers ensuring adequacy of audit trail data for each in accordance with policy
- Reviews and verifies incoming subcontract invoices
- Assists with processing international payments for subcontractors
- Issues outgoing electronic transfers
- Performs salary adjustments for terminated employees only
- Closes funds – financial aspects
- Uses Letter of Credit (LOC) process to bill for and receive funds from NIH and other federal sponsors
- Performs residual balance transfers
*Industry-sponsored clinical trials are billed by the Principal Investigator (PI) and/or the study coordinator.
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.
||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.
||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.
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: