Federal grants are typically flexible instruments that the Federal Government uses to provide funding to support a public purpose. The grantee is responsible for conducting the project activities, reporting on progress and preparing the results for publication. The granting agency monitors the use of funds it disburses, but it normally has minimal involvement in the substance of the work.
CU Boulder also receives grants from sponsors who have been funded by federal agencies. Often these grants contain terms where no negotiation is required. There are instances where sponsors add their own terms that necessitate negotiation by OCG Grant or Contract Officers.
An award similar to a grant, but in which the sponsor's staff may be actively involved in proposal preparation and anticipate having substantial involvement in research activities once the award has been made.
A federal contract, like a grant or cooperative agreement, is a mechanism used by the Federal Government to provide funding for research, development or service projects. Unlike a grant or cooperative agreement, the Federal Government uses contracts as a procurement mechanism.
The principal purpose of the federal contract instrument is to purchase property or services for the direct benefit or use of the United States Government. Federal contracts are governed by a strict set of terms and conditions, including clauses from the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and often include supplemental clauses specific to the awarding agency.
These contracts usually require frequent reporting and a high level of responsibility to the sponsor. A failure to perform and achieve the promised results or product on-time and on-budget could result in potential legal action and financial consequences.
There are occasions when an award is received and appears to be a grant; however, due to federal terms and conditions and/or negotiation requirements, a grant may be administered as a contract.
Notice of an Award
A Notice of Award (NOA) or Notice of Grant Award (NGA or NOGA) is an award notification from a sponsor. Typically, it contains information about the amount of funds obligated, the time period for performance, the scope of work and information about the terms and conditions associated with the award.
An NOA is normally sent to the Office of Contracts and Grants as the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) to receive and accept award notices on behalf of CU Boulder. If a Principal Investigator receives an NOA directly, she or he should immediately forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org for prompt receipt into OCG's award management system.