Generally, a fully executed award agreement is needed to set up a SpeedType and to begin spending on projects. An at-risk award account may be used under certain conditions to begin spending on a project before OCG has reviewed, accepted, signed and forwarded an agreement through infoEd to the Campus Controller's Office (CCO) to set up a SpeedType in PeopleSoft.


Principal Investigators (PIs) may request a SpeedType prior to an award being fully issued by requesting an at-risk account. To set up an at-risk account:

  • PIs complete the At-Risk Project Request Form, with a signature from a Chair, Dean or Director, and send it to their department’s OCG Grant or Contract Officer to review.
  • OCG Grant and Contract Officers will review the request and available and applicable award terms (see additional information below for differences related to funding mechanism). If needed, the Officer will request sponsor approval.
  • CU Boulder limits pre-award costs to a period of 90 days. Departments may choose to request a shorter pre-award period.

The at-risk award process will vary depending on whether the award will be issued as a federal grant or under another funding mechanism. Some examples include:

  • Federal grant: 2 CFR 200 (Uniform Guidance) provides for the allowability of pre-award costs (2 CFR §200.458). Generally, federal agencies allow for pre-award costs 90 calendar days prior to the start of an award, unless disallowed or restricted by the funding agency.

Pre-award costs are defined as costs incurred prior to the effective date of the award in anticipation of the award where such costs are necessary for efficient and timely performance of the scope of work. Such costs are allowable only to the extent that they would have been allowable if incurred during the period of performance. (2 CFR §200.458)

  • Contracts, federal grant flow-down or non-federal grants: For pre-award costs, the award will require approval from the sponsor to ensure costs prior to the performance start date will be allowed.


With pre-award spending, the PI is risking monetary loss. It is the responsibility of the PI to ensure other funding is available to cover the possibility of pre-award spending being disallowed on a project due to an award not being issued, the sponsor disallowing pre-award costs, or an award being delayed or less than anticipated and inadequate to cover pre-award costs. It is the PI’s responsibility to reduce this risk.

Pre-award spending is done on an “at-risk” SpeedType. For this reason, a non-Fund 30 Department SpeedType is required to be provided on the At-Risk Project Request Form. In the event that pre-award spending costs cannot be charged to a project SpeedType, pre-award expenses will be transferred from the pre-award account to the Department SpeedType.