Award Notification & Negotiation

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) reviews each award document to determine its acceptability under federal and state laws, sponsor guidelines and terms and conditions, and state and University policies and procedures.

Awards can be bilateral (both parties must sign) or unilateral (no UNCA signature is required). Both types of awards undergo the award review process.


Bilateral agreements include terms and conditions specific to the funded project. ORSP works with University General Counsel, the principal investigator and sponsor to negotiate terms and conditions that are acceptable to both parties.

Terms that may be subject to negotiation include but are not limited to:

  • Statement of Work
  • Budget
  • The reporting requirements, both technical and financial
  • Start and end dates
  • Confidentiality
  • Export control
  • Audit requirements
  • Invoicing requirement
  • Indemnity and liability
  • F&A (indirect) costs
  • Ownership of technical developments
  • Limitations on publication
  • Requests for secrecy
  • Intellectual property issues
  • Payment schedules
  • Subject injury
  • Termination
  • Governing law

Unilateral agreements generally contain standard terms and conditions that do not require negotiation; however, unilateral agreements may require negotiation if the sponsor includes special terms, conditions, restrictions, or specific project requirements.


The Chancellor has delegated signatory authority for accepting sponsored program awards to specifically designated individuals within Academic Affairs. UNC Asheville is the recipient of all sponsored program awards. Once all parties (e.g., ORSP, principal investigator, General Counsel and sponsor) agree to the terms and conditions of the agreement, ORSP will seek the endorsement from one of the administrators having signatory authority. No other individuals may endorse these awards without prior approval from the Chancellor.


The award document is an official agreement that governs the conduct of the project. Upon endorsement of the agreed terms and conditions, ORSP will provide a copy of the award notification to the principal investigator and Office of the Special Funds Accountant for account generation. The Office of Grants and Research Development will initiate a meeting to familiarize the principal investigator with post-award management activities (e.g., compliance requirements, invoicing, departmental management, sub-recipient agreements, etc.). This typically occurs within the first couple of weeks of the award but it largely driven by the principal investigator’s schedule and interest.