Award Establishment

Sponsored Program Award Setup

Research & Sponsored Programs and Research Contract Services negotiate sponsored agreements with sponsors on behalf of the university. After negotiations and the initial set-up process, the complete award file is electronically routed to Research Financial Services. Next, Research Financial Services will electronically notify the principal investigator and department administrators (as identified during the Endorsement process) of the assigned account/index number in Banner or Oracle so the PI can begin spending on the award. Learn more about the award setup process.

Advance Fund Source/Index (formerly referred to as hold accounts)

The university provides a mechanism by which a principal investigator (PI) may establish an Advance Fund Source/Index for the convenience of accounting for costs that will be charged to a sponsored program. This mechanism accommodates the need of a PI to charge costs ahead of receipt of the fully executed award after all relevant compliance areas have been reviewed and addressed.

The PI’s administering unit/school may request an advance fund source/index and pre-award spending by completing the required information in the university’s IPAS Request Portal.

The Advance Fund Source/Index eligibility is first reviewed by Research Financial Services after all required information is submitted and approved via the university’s IPAS Request Portal.

If the Advance Fund Source/Index request is approved, Research Financial Services will establish an advance fund source/index on the university's General Ledgers. These advance fund sources/indices are designated in the General Ledger without a budget and the word “Advance” in the fund source/index title. Additionally, for awards established in Oracle, the Hold indicator would indicate “Y” in the Chart of Accounts.

For units that were a part of Rutgers prior to July 1st, 2013 (legacy Rutgers), please refer to the HOLD Fund Sources in the Researcher’s Dashboard to monitor fund sources by which a fully executed award document has not yet been received by Research Financial Services.

The PI, department chair, or dean is responsible for any pre-award costs that are subsequently not allowed by the sponsor, as well as any amounts incurred on the advance fund source/index not funded by the sponsor. There is an alternative department budget number used in an event like this, which is provided in the IPAS Request Portal.

Upon receipt of the fully executed award, the advance fund source/index is converted to actual sponsored program fund source/index. The approved budget is entered with all remaining data elements of the award recorded in the general ledgers.

Pre-Award Spending

Certain awards are eligible for pre-award spending, per contractual terms or sponsor policy. Pre-award spending allows costs to be incurred before the start date of an award up to a period designated by the sponsor. Such costs must be allowable and necessary for the effective conduct of the project. Rutgers is required to approve pre-award spending. Requests for pre-award spending can be completed via the IPAS Request Portal.

Multiple Project Fund Sources/Indices for Project Accounts

Principal Investigators may elect to have additional fund sources/indices established for a single sponsored award when the award is interdisciplinary or due to financial reporting requirements of the award. Segregation of costs on the university’s general ledger is beneficial. The university provides a mechanism for the convenience of accounting for costs in separate fund sources/indices by which these are referred to as “project fund sources/indices” that would be consolidated and reported as one award to the sponsor by Research Financial Services.

If a unit would like to request a project fund source/index be established upon receipt of the award, complete the Project Fund Source/Index Request & Modification Form (Editable PDF) and submit to your assigned Grant Specialist at the time of award.

Classification of External Support as a Gift

External support may be awarded under a wide variety of funding mechanisms, including grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, clinical trial agreements, service agreements, and other similar mechanisms such as gifts. The correct classification of external support assures the university’s ability to comply with the requirements specific by the sponsor or donor, satisfies the university’s reporting requirements and assures compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and university policies.

Visit the Pre-Award section for detailed information regarding contract agreement types, and gift versus sponsored projects, including guidance about supporting offices. The guidelines listed below identify characteristics of a gift which the Rutgers University Foundation reviews and processes. Gifts received at the Rutgers University Foundation are sent directly to the office of Research Financial Services and University Accounting, as applicable, to be established.

All legacy UMDNJ restricted gifts will be sent to Research Financial Services to be established and managed until further notice.

A gift is the voluntary contribution of external support by a donor to the university, without any requirement for receipt of any economic or other tangible benefit in return beyond what any general member of the public would receive. The contributor of a gift is referred to as the “donor” and the donor’s intent must be philanthropic or charitable. The primary beneficiary of a gift is the general public and not the donor.

Gifts may be either unrestricted or restricted. A restricted gift does not imply that the donor benefits from the gift nor is there an implied quid pro quo. Valid restrictions pertain to the permitted use of gift funds, rather than providing a result to the donor. Gifts shall normally meet the following criteria:

  • The external support does not meet the criteria for a sponsored project.
  • The primary beneficiary of the outcome accruing from the funding will be the general public and not benefit the donor specifically.
  • The external support is irrevocable, provided that the gift is used in accordance with any valid use restrictions accepted by the university.
  • No goods, services or deliverables are offered to the donor or exchanged in consideration of receipt of the external support, excepting only de minimis benefits as described in IRS regulations.
  • The donor provides support to the university without expectation of direct economic benefit or other tangible benefit. Indirect benefits such as tax advantages or business or personal goodwill derived from close association with the university and the miscellaneous benefits derived from donor status shall not be deemed to be inconsistent with classification of support as a gift.
  • Detailed financial reporting or accounting for use of external support is not generally required. Although, it shall be acceptable for the donor to request information from the university about the utilization and/or impact of the external support, including expenditures and fund balances.