Award Acceptance

When a proposal has been funded and the award letter has been received, ORS acts as the signatory office for the campus colleges, schools, and centers. ORS is charged with officially accepting the award and completing the final acceptance process. In addition to processing the award, ORS is responsible for

  • Negotiating and accepting grants and contracts on behalf of the University.
  • Serving as the principal liaison between the University and its sponsors.
  • Approving programmatic and budgetary changes to sponsored projects (including the establishment of new WBS Element).

Visit the Awards page to see a list of recent award announcements.

Preaward Procedure 


  • Sends award letter to Duke University


  • If the PI receives the original copy of an award letter it should be immediately forwarded to ORS, with all accompanying documentation, including checks
  • The PI is not to sign an award acceptance letter unless directed to by ORS


  • Receives the award notification by mail or email from sponsor (typically) or PI (rarely)
  • Changes the status of the proposal in SPS Web to Award in Progress
  • Reviews the award letter, terms and conditions, and awarded budget to ascertain if there are any differences from the submitted proposal
  • If the awarded budget is different from the proposed budget, an Award Specialist (AS) may request a revised budget from DEPT
  • If the terms and conditions are not acceptable to Duke the Assistant Director will open negotiations with the sponsor.
  • If the award letter requires a signature, the Assistant Director or appropriate signatory will sign on behalf of Duke University
  • If necessary, ORS sends signed, full- or partially-executed award letter to Sponsor
  • If only partially executed, ORS awaits the return of the fully-executed award letter
  • Award Specialist sends the sponsor's award notice and the ORS Award Notice to PI and DEPT SPOC
  • SPOC forwards this to the appropriate Grant Manager
  • Once everything has been verified, updated, and/or received, Award Specialist changes the SPS Web status to Awarded and sends award information to TBS. Award Specialist attaches completed award in SPS Award.


  • Assigns a WBS Element to a new award, competing renewal, or if the terms and conditions require a new accounting code
  • Enters the awarded budget into SAP


  • Receives the WBS Element from TBS


  • Enters the complete WBS Element into the SPS Web Award Module


  • Completes the Award Management Checklist and reports back to ORS if something is missing from the award


  • Keeps documentation in award file
  • Keeps award file in office (retained for 7 years from the termination date of the project)
  • Keeps award documents and financial records (retained for 7 years from the termination date of the project)

SPECIAL NOTES The information listed above is a general overview of the award acceptance process.

Keep in mind that each sponsored project may have specific requirements before an award is considered fully-executed.