Award FAQs


How will I be notified if I receive an award?

  • If the award comes to Office of Sponsored Projects, you will be emailed a copy of the agreement after it has been processed in OSP.
  • You may also receive the award directly from the sponsor. If you receive the award from the sponsor, deliver the award to OSP so that it can be reviewed and signed by the authorized signatory for the university.

Can I accept an award from the sponsor?

No. University policy requires that Office of Sponsored Projects accept awards on behalf of the university.

I just received a check for my grant. What do I do?

Deliver the check to Sponsored Projects Accounting for deposit. Please reference the MSU Grant # or Fund # on the check.

I know I am going to get an award. Can I start spending?

If you have written documentation from the sponsor that an award is forthcoming, notify your OSP Administrator. There is a process to set up a PAR (Preliminary Account Request) in order to begin spending in advance of the receipt of the award. An account will be set up after completing the request and receiving the appropriate approvals.

What is a PAR? When do I need a PAR?

A PAR is a Preliminary Account Request.

The time to request a PAR is upon notification that an award is forthcoming but something has delayed the final award. All regulatory compliance must be documented prior to a preliminary fund number being assigned. The PAR serves as an understanding that the department can start spending on that project, but if for some reason MSU does not receive the award money, the department is responsible for the expenditures. The PAR should specify the period of time to be covered, source of funding, and amount to be put in the fund. A budget must be included for the PAR amount (may not be the full amount to be awarded).

A Preliminary Account Request form (available on the FORMS page) will enable OSP to set up a temporary fund.

How do I get an account number for my award?

When an award has been signed by both the sponsor and by Office of Sponsored Projects, it is ready to receive a fund number. It usually takes several days for a fund number to be generated after the award has been signed by both the sponsor and OSP. Sponsored Projects Accounting will notify you of the fund number by email.

My grant or contract has been awarded, but I want to change my budget. What should I do?

If your award terms and conditions allow for budget revisions, submit your revised budget request to Office of Sponsored Projects with a justification of the proposed changes. If the sponsor requires prior approval of changes to the budget, OSP will forward the request to the sponsor. Upon receipt of sponsor approval, OSP will submit the approved budget revisions which will update the budget in the University's Banner system.

Who prepares all the paperwork associated with personnel, purchases, travel, etc. on my award?

Your departmental/budget manager and/or administrative staff should assist you to prepare any paperwork associated with your project.

What is State Executive Order 12372?

Executive Order 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Projects," was issued with the desire to foster the intergovernmental partnership and strengthen federalism by relying on State and local processes for the coordination and review of proposed Federal financial assistance and direct Federal development. The Order allows each State to designate an entity to perform this function. Since this was not a funded Order, most states including Mississippi have closed their office.

Who owns equipment purchased from sponsored funds?

Title to equipment purchased from sponsored funds is dependent upon the sponsor. Mississippi State University retains the title to most federally sponsored research equipment, and we always try to negotiate title for all other sponsored equipment. However, some sponsors choose to retain title and therefore loan the equipment to Mississippi State University.

What do I do if I am informed that my grant or contract is subject to either the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) or Export Administration Regulations (EAR)?

  • At the proposal stage: The proposal will be emailed to MSU’s Office of Research Security (ORS) for review. They will then flag the proposal as ITAR or EAR to be revisited at award stage.
  • At the award stage: If your project is deemed ITAR or EAR, you must work with ORS in order to obtain a Technology Control Plan (TCP). Once that is in place, Office of Sponsored Projects can award your project. Your project will not be awarded without approval from the ORS.

What are Master Agreements?

A Master Agreement is typically originated by a sponsor who sees that Mississippi State will provide research support on many different projects. Instead of several mutually exclusive agreements, a company may wish to create a Master Agreement identifying the common terms and conditions under which they and Mississippi State will operate the research.

What are Teaming Agreements?

Teaming Agreements are created when more than two entities are collaborating on a project or group of projects. This may constitute a team of several universities combined with several private entities or public institutions.

What is the difference between a Fixed Price and a Cost Reimbursable Contract?

  • A Fixed Price Contract is where the amount of payment does not depend on the amount of resources or time expended. Invoicing is based on milestones or deliverables. Mississippi State University will receive full payment only after the investigator fulfills the contract requirements. MSU receives only the contracted amount, even if the actual expenditures exceed this amount.
  • Cost Reimbursable Contracts are agreements under which Mississippi State University receives payment only after expenditures are made, submitted to the sponsor, and found appropriate and allowable. These contracts require detailed budgets that indicate the intended use of the funds, as this detail helps define appropriate and allowable expenditures.