Award Review & Acceptance

Receiving an award initiates a review and negotiation process that varies depending the nature of the award.

Please review Tufts process for Notice of Award/Award Negotiation, including responsible offices for various types of agreements, and differences between a sponsored award and a gift. Requirements for the Advance Account are described under Award Account. Please review the information international awards if you are receiving an award from a foreign sponsor or planning sponsored activities abroad, including a subaward to a foreign organization.

Notice of Award & Award Negotiation Process

When a sponsor has approved an award for a sponsored project, a notice of award or an award letter is sent to the Central Pre-Award. The notice of award is a legally binding document that notifies Tufts University and the Principal Investigator (PI) that an award has been made, contains or references terms and conditions of the award, and documents the obligation of funds and the period of performance.

If an award notice is received directly by the PI, it must be forwarded to Pre-Award as soon as possible. Pre-Award has a responsibility to negotiate and accept sponsored awards on behalf of the University. In the course of negotiation, Pre-Award works with the Office for Technology Transfer and Industry Collaboration (OTTIC), the Office of the General Counsel, and other Tufts offices as appropriate. If an agreement may have tax implications for the University, Pre-Award forwards a copy to the University Tax Services for the consideration of such implications after the agreement has been fully executed.

Pre-Award routes the fully executed award agreement / signed notice of award together with the proposal package and any pertinent information to Central Post-Award. Post-Award opens an award account and communicates the account number to the PI and his/her Local Research Administrator (LRA) via the Internal Notice of Award (INOA). All allowable award expenses should be charged to the award account.

Please review responsible offices for various types of agreements other than grants, contracts, and other sponsored project.


Due to non-negotiable proposal submission deadlines proposal submissions take precedence over all types of award management, including award acceptance.

An agreement with standard terms can be reviewed quickly by the Pre-Award, but sometimes sponsors insist on provisions that are unusual, and/or fall outside of either Tufts policies or Pre-Award’ latitude and would require consultations with other offices across the University. Because acceptance of a funding agreement binds the institution to those terms, it is important to resolve all issues prior to signing. The negotiation of a contract (or a non-standard subcontract) is more time consuming because it includes processing time not only at Tufts, but also at the sponsor institution with which we are contracting. Once Tufts suggests changes, the agreement is returned to the sponsor for comment, leaving us with little influence over how quickly the other party will respond. 

An agreement with no special issues can be reviewed quickly by the Pre-Award, but sometimes sponsors insist on provisions that are unusual, and/or fall outside of either Tufts policies or Pre-Award’s scope. In those cases, Pre-Award engages offices that have specialized expertise. For example, Pre-Award and the Technology Transfer Office (TTIC) collaborate in negotiating provisions pertaining to intellectual property; Risk Management Office is consulted for Insurance matters, and the Office of the General Counsel is used as a resource for any legal concerns, including the use of Tufts name. In addition, voluntary reductions in overhead require additional approvals at the School/Center.


Signatory Authority Policy
Conflict of Interest
Tufts International Travel Policy

Forms & Guidelines

Advance Account Request Form
Responsible Offices for Various Types of Agreements

Key Offices & Functions


Central Pre-Award

Central Pre-Award

Central Pre-Award provides mandatory review, approval and submission for sponsored funding.

Central Post-Award

Central Post-Award

Post-Award provides financial oversight of all sponsored award activities from set up to closeout, and is part of of the Finance Division, office of the Controller.

Local Research Administration

Local Research Administration

Local Research Administration (LRA) provides support within the schools and centers at Tufts.