February 09, 2018

Shining a Light on the Dark and Mysterious World of Grants and Contracts

SPA's very own Ted Kolodka led our latest colloquium on Friday, January 26, 2018 in Bracken Library.

Kolodka is SPA's Contract Compliance Analyst and his lecture focused on explaining award process, or the path grants and contracts take to get from us to you!

Stan Geidel introduces the "Ted" talk.

The Award Process

The first step is that the proposal gets funded. This simply means that the Sponsor offers Ball State the award, which is handled by the SPA pre-award operations. Ball State then has to accept the award through a signed award document. 

Award Documents:
  • Legally binding agreement 
  • Signed by both the sponsor and Ball State.
  • Usually generated by the sponsor
  • Usually a grant rather than a contract 

What do these documents do?
  • Provides funding for the project 
  • Defines the scope of work and the budget 
  • Defines ownership of the results

The second step is finalizing the award document. This is handled by the SPA compliance staff. This section of the process contains the following steps:
  1. Receive award document form sponsor 
  2. Review award document 
  3. Negotiate with sponsor 
  4. Sign award document, opening the grant
Ted Kolodka speaks about his experience in SPA compliance.
Receiving the award document from the sponsor can take longer than planned and is out of SPA's control. In the case that you have a time sensitive project, you can apply for an early account.

An early account allows for a grant to be opened (FOAP issued) and work to start before the award document is finalized. You can apply for an early account through SPA compliance

Compliance is very important in this process as they avoid audit findings and liability, ensure BSU’s eligibility for future funding, and provide favorable legal review by general counsel to allow signature of agreement. 

The final step is the FOAP (Fund Organization Account Program), which means your award is open and is now being handled by the SPA post-award operations. 

Take Aways

  • Grants & contracts are complex legal documents that take time, effort and accurate information to ensure proper document is generated.
  • Multiple BSU departments can be involved in ensuring the proper document is generated (pre-award, post award, General Counsel, PI, ORI, Business Affairs).
  • The main goal is to make sure that BSU faculty have the appropriate agreement that describes the project, ensures compliance and thus eligibility for future contracts.

If you have any questions feel free to reach out to Ted Kolodka at tmkoloda@bsu.edu or SPA as a whole at spadmin@bsu.edu.

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