Pre-Award Spending and Advance Accounts

Occasionally circumstances arise where you may determine it’s necessary to begin work on your project before the official start date of an award. Contact your post-award administrator, and we will help you determine next steps.

Keep in mind that there are two mechanisms for allowing costs to be incurred prior to the award start date.

90-Day Pre-Award Spending under Uniform Guidance

Sponsors participating in the Federal-Wide Research Terms and Conditions supplementing Uniform Guidance allow recipients of grants and cooperative agreements issued under Uniform Guidance to incur project costs up to 90 days before the official start date of the award without prior approval. This is different from creating an advance or early account. (For more information on advance or early accounts, please read the section below.)

If, after your account number has been issued, you have allowable and allocable costs incurred within this 90-day period that you feel should be charged to your new award, your post-award administrator will work with you on ensuring that all costs are charged to the proper accounts.

Advance Account Requests

In cases where an award has not yet been issued by the sponsor, it may be appropriate to request the creation of an advance account in order to allow work on the project to begin, and to mitigate the need for late-cost transfers. Other circumstances in which an advance account may be justified include: instances where an award has been issued, but the negotiation or activation process is taking longer than usual; restricted carry-forward awards that receive a new account each year; and incoming award transfers for PIs joining Pitt from other institutions. 

To request an advance account, you must submit written assurance from your sponsor that an award is imminent, and your home department must provide a discretionary account to cover any costs incurred in the event the award does not come through as expected. Advance account requests are submitted to the Office of Sponsored Programs in the PERIS system. If you have are expecting a new award or account and you think that an advance account request is justified, please contact your post-award administrator. 

Sponsored Projects COVID-19 Updates

Several federal sponsors have created websites and issued guidance with FAQs, policy updates, and other information relating to proposals and awards impacted by COVID-19: