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Office of Sponsored Awards Management


Our administrators have been compiling a list of some of your most Frequently Asked Questions.  Please check back frequently for updates. If your question is not answered below, please reach out to your SAM representative for guidance.

·         Who is responsible for uploading and completing the proposal components in a sponsor’s system?

o   The PI is responsible for completing and uploading all proposal documents into the sponsor’s system.


·         I will be receiving a subaward from another institution, do I need to route a proposal in USCeRA?

o   Yes, you will need to create a proposal for your portion of the work that will be funded by a subaward from another institution. You should also provide contact information to your SAM Administrator for the sponsored awards office at the applicant's institution so that we may assist in providing any required subrecipient commitment documentation. 


·         The solicitation I’m replying to says I need to submit a letter of intent to pre-apply for a grant.  Do I need to route this through USCeRA?

o   If your letter of intent requires an amount of funds requested and/or requires signature of an authorized signatory, your letter of intent needs to be routed through USCeRA.  If you are invited to submit a full application, you can use the same proposal number to re-route for approvals by using the ‘post sponsor revision’ function in USCeRA.


·         What is a scope of work?

o   A Scope of Work (SoW) illustrates a clear plan of what you or your subaward institution will be doing on the project in lay terms.


·         What documentation is required if I have a subrecipient on a proposal?

o   Their scope of work

o   Their detailed budget and justification

o   Written confirmation from the institution to establish a subaward, signed by an authorized official

o   A copy of their F & A agreement

o   USC’s Subrecipient Commitment form, completed and signed by an authorized official

o   The subrecipient must be certified in USCeRA with a justification as to why they are necessary for the project


·        Our current F&A rate agreement has expired. What rates do I use?

o   Our most recent rate agreement continues to be utilized until a new agreement is negotiated and published.


·         My incoming subaward paperwork will not arrive until after my account has ended, what should I do?

o   If approved by your department chair and dean, you can request to have the account placed on ‘risk’ status for up to three months.  Instructions for requesting a risk account can be found at: 


·         I am planning to hire a graduate student to work on my project, do I need to include tuition for them in the budget?

o   For budgeting and assigning effort on grants for graduate students, 20 hours per week is considered 100% effort.  The full amount of tuition associated with each graduate research assistant should be requested from the external sponsor.  See ACAF 4.00 for additional information


·         What documentation is required if I have 3rd party cost share?

 In addition to completing the cost share commitment form in USCeRA, please provide a signed letter from the outside party indicating their formal commitment to provide cost share should the project be funded.  For additional information about cost sharing/matching funds please see: 

·         My sponsor has emailed me a research agreement. Who do I do next?  

o   Please email the agreement to your SAM administrator and reference your proposal number in the email.  Only designated signatories in SAM are authorized to sign research agreements on behalf of the University. See BTRU 1.04 for additional information.


·         Where can I find my award documentation in USCeRA?

o   Click on the ‘Awards’ tab at the top of the USCeRA screen.  Search for your award using your last name.  Click on the account number to open the award information screen.  On the right hand side click the ‘View Award Documentation’ tab and your documents can all be opened or downloaded.


·         Why do I need to prepare a proposal in USCeRA for my RPPR?

o   This ensures that the required annual disclosures are completed prior to receiving the next year of funding from NIIH.  In addition, it provides an opportunity for SAM to review the RPPR content and budget information for the next year of funding.


·         Where can I find instructions for completing the RPPR in the NIH eCommons system?



·         What should I do if I need a no cost extension for my project?

o   Locate your award in USCeRA and select the ‘Request Post Award Action’ button on the right hand side of the screen.  Please ensure you upload your justification for the extension as a pdf file.  


·         How do I request carryforward?

o   Email your SAM administrator and provide the award number, the requested end date of the project, the estimated amount of carryforward and an explanation of how the funds will be used to complete the project.  The SAM administrator will work with your GFM accountant to verify the amount of funds remaining and will email the official request to the sponsor or prime institution. 


·         I have a subaward on a project, what should I do if the subrecipient doesn’t fulfill their duties?

o   Contact your SAM administrator as soon as possible.  They will work with you to take proper corrective actions, if necessary.


·         How often should a subrecipient send invoices?

o   Per the terms and conditions in the subaward agreement, the subrecipient should be providing invoices on a monthly basis.  Please reach out to your subrecipient if they are not submitting invoices.


·        Our current F&A rate agreement has expired. What rates do I use?

o   Our most recent rate agreement continues to be utilized until a new agreement is negotiated and published.


Office of Sponsored Awards Management

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