2:057 Grants Award and Declination Policy
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2:057 Grants Award and Declination Policy

Austin Peay State
Grants Award and Declination Policy

Issued:  March 8, 2017

Responsible Official:  Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Responsible Office:  Office of Research and Sponsored Programs


Policy Statement

Accepting and declining external funding tends to have many implicit and explicit impacts on the University. University employees involved in external funding must adhere to this policy to support the mission of the University.


The mission of Austin Peay is supported by the acquisition of external funding. This policy serves to ensure communication between all possible University stakeholders regarding the acceptance or declination of external funding. Since external funding tends to support activities that require University resources, such as employee-time and facilities, the spirit of the policy is to maximize resources while minimizing unintended consequences that may be incurred due to accepting or declining external funding.


-Declined Proposals
-Awarded Proposals
-Award Acceptance and Routing
-University Obligation
-Declination of an Award
-Awards to Individuals



Upon notification of a grant/contract award or declination by the sponsor, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) should be notified immediately. If it is in writing, the original notification should be delivered to ORSP for filing. ORSP will notify all parties about the award and alert interested parties to the impending receipt of the contract. 

Declined Proposals

If the proposal was declined by the sponsor, the notice will be placed in the grant file and the grant considered closed until reactivated by further applications. It is the grant-applicant’s responsibility to ensure that reviewer’s comments (if available) are on file in ORSP in the event of a future submission.

Awarded Proposals

In general, grants and contracts are awarded to Austin Peay State University, not to the grant-applicant(s).  APSU is the legal entity accountable for compliance with all terms and conditions of the grant or contract. 

In consultation with the grant-applicant(s), ORSP may negotiate for changes in programs and/or in funding level. If negotiations result in programmatic or funding changes that increase the level of APSU’s commitment beyond what was authorized by the original proposal, ORSP will secure approvals for changes from all relevant administrators. This must be completed prior to accepting the award. This will be done in consultation with all parties. 

Award Acceptance
and Routing

Subsequent to the award notification, a contract should be received from the external sponsor. The contract must be routed through the University in the same manner as the original proposal.  This contract must have the “Contract Approval for Vendor Agreements Form” completed and routed through the appropriate administrative channel. The Contract Approval for Vendor Agreements Form must be signed by the academic dean or supervisor, and the Director of ORSP. It will then be submitted to the Procurement and Contract Services for review. Additionally, some agreements specifically require a signature by the President or designee. No agreement exists until a fully executed contract has been received, accepted, and numbered by Office of Procurement and Contract Services. 

No award agreement exists until the required documents are routed and appropriately signed and returned to the sponsor. If during this review, it is determined that contract modifications are needed, ORSP, in consultation with Procurement and Contract Services, will negotiate with the sponsor for the modifications. 

When a sponsor issues an award letter that does not require written acceptance, ORSP will route that letter for approval. When the approval has been received, ORSP may commit the University to the award by authorizing expenditure of the grant funds. Unless specifically declined by APSU, an award letter creates an agreement.  

ORSP will return the contract to the sponsor for execution. 

Grant-applicants are not permitted to expend grant funds until the formal agreement has been routed, signed, and notification has been given to the grant-applicant(s) that he/she/they may begin grant activities. Initial expenditure of funds constitutes formal acceptance of such awards. Sponsors occasionally permit pre-award grant expenditures; in such a case, notification from the sponsoring agency must be received and on file in ORSP prior to incurring pre-award expenses. 

University Obligation

The University has no obligation to accept or to provide cost-sharing or matching funds for any award for which a fully approved proposal is not on file in ORSP; this applies to all awards, regardless of who may be designated as the primary awardee.  

Declination of
an Award

Declination of an award must be done in writing over the signature of the Associate Provost for Research.  

All declinations must be routed through ORSP.  

ORSP will notify all administrators signing the original proposal of the intent to decline an award prior to taking action on a declination.

Awards to Individuals

Grants are considered individual awards only when APSU is not named in the agreement and the payee for all funds is the grant-applicant(s) in his/her role as a private citizen. 

Individual awards will be reported to ORSP when one or more of the following conditions exist: 

  1. Project work will take place during the employee’s normal working hours or will require the employee to be absent from his/her normal work assignment (including leaves of absence and reassigned time).
  2. Project work will be performed on University property.
  3. University resources (e.g. equipment, clerical support, etc.) will be used in the performance of the project.
  4. The contract or agreement was awarded based upon the individual’s status as an employee of the University. 

Awards meeting the above criteria will be included in all reports issued by ORSP pertaining to external support for University research and related activities. 

Individual awards will be reviewed by ORSP to determine the extent of the commitment of University resources necessary to complete the project. If a commitment of University resources is needed, the awardee must obtain University approval for their use prior to acceptance of the award. ORSP will assist the awardee with needed approvals.  Inability to secure these approvals may necessitate the individual awarder’s declination of an award.

Revision Dates

APSU Policy 2:057 (previously 7:003) – Rev.: March 8, 2017
APSU Policy 2:057 – Rev.: May 8, 2014
APSU Policy 2:057 – Issued: August 5, 2011

Subject Areas:

Academic Finance General Human



President: signature on file