Table of Contents>Advance Account

PURPOSE
· To establish a university account number prior to the official receipt of the Notice of Grant Award and AIS of a sponsored award. This allows the Principal Investigators (PI) to initiate spending in order to proceed with their research.


POLICY STATEMENT
· Advance account is to be submitted with original progress report submission (typically two months prior to the start of the next budget period) to ORSS. This is common for NIH center grants (P30), training grants (T32), contracts, subcontracts and non-federal projects that require annual financial status reports. For all others, an AA request should only be submitted when the probability of funding is extremely high.


REASON FOR PROCEDURE
· To allow the PI to initiate/continue research on their project before the university receives an actual award.
· To set best practices as to when and how to apply for an Advance Account (AA) due to the funding risk involved.
· To establish a fund number so that money can be spent on an anticipated award.
· To charge appropriate fund thus eliminating the need for reallocations.


WHO SHOULD KNOW THIS PROCEDURE

· Deans
· Center and Institute Directors
· Department Chairs
· School of Medicine Administration
· School of Medicine Faculty/Investigators
· Business Administrators
· Office of Research Support Services
· Penn Research Services


GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS

· AA request forms are submitted ONLY when the probability of funding is extremely high. If the award does not materialize, the department will be responsible for all costs incurred on the advance account.

· AA should be used when a delay is expected in receiving the paperwork for new awards that have a high probability of funding. This includes grants that are being transferred from another institution and subcontracts/consortium agreements from collaborating universities.
· New awards: submit AA form once PI receives some notification that an award will be made. Verify agency's pre-award spending policy. In some cases, pre-award spending may begin as early as 90 days prior to grant start date (http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2001/part_iia_4.htm#_Toc504811849). Non-federal grants vary by funding agency.

· Non-competing continuations: when the account number changes for each award period, submit an AA form when submitting the annual progress report to ORSS (Office of Research Support Services). This is common for NIH Center Grants (P30), Training grants (T32), contracts, subcontracts, and non-federal projects that require annual financial status reports.

· If award has sub-projects request advance funding for each of the sub-projects on the same AA form. The department receiving the prime award should submit the request. Total funds authorized for advance should not exceed 3 months of funding unless there is appropriate justification (initial set up cost ie equipment). If award is not received within three months, and there is reason to believe that the award will be received, another request must be submitted, including appropriate justification.

· School of Medicine approves the advance. When approved it is then forwarded to Research Services so that an Account Information Sheet (AIS) can be generated. The AIS will be forwarded to the appropriate departments/centers/institutes for budgeting with a copy of the signed AA form. The approval of an AA request could be delayed due to several factors, including required signatures missing from request form, the responsible account not listed, funding not available in department account or no justification for advance account.


PROCEDURES
· Obtain AA form from RS website
· Complete AA form
· Verify that all department signatures (PI, Chair) are present
· Attach documentation supporting the likelihood of the award
· Submit to ORSS for approval (via Hand Carry Mail)
· Allow 1 week for processing
· Follow up with RS if AIS is not received within that timeframe


CONTACTS
· Departmental Business Administrators
· Department Chair
· Office of Research Support Services
· Research Services


FORMS AND ATTACHMENTS
· Website for Advance Account Form:
http://www.upenn.edu/researchservices/rs/forms.html
· Continuation Account Request Form


MISCELLANEOUS
· Advance Accounts may be established for Clinical Trials. Situations will be considered on a case by case basis.
· Continuation Account Request Form: the mechanism by which a department can keep a grant (non-competing keeping the same fund number) from freezing when the continuation is expected, but has not yet been received. These requests do not require SOM approval.

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