Award Establishment

Award Setup

Notice of Grant Award (NOA)

A notice of grant award, NGA, NOA or NOGA, is an award notification from a sponsor. Typically, it contains information about the amount of funds obligated, the time period for performance, and the scope of work. In addition, the notice provides information about the terms and conditions associated with the award. An NOA is normally sent to Sponsored Research as the authorized university office to receive and accept award notices on behalf of the university. If a Principal Investigator receives an NOA directly, he or she should forward it to Sponsored Research for review, negotiation, acceptance, and award setup.

Establishing or Updating Sponsored Project Chart Strings

Once a fully executed agreement has been received by Sponsored Research, it is matched with the proposal, logged into the InfoEd proposal and award information management system, and assigned a chart string in the University's financial system. OSR appropriates the award funding in accordance with the approved budget.  For full budget awards with standard Research Terms and Conditions (RTC), Sponsored Research will open a standard set of NUFinancials budgetary accounts at the time of the initial appropriation process.  Information related to RTC and Agency Specific RTCs can be reviewed at:

Requests for additional accounts to be opened

If additional accounts need to be opened, departments should review sponsor guidelines and the specific NOA and, if allowable, submit a change request.  ASRSP provides information about Budgets and Account Expense Codes. Examples of budgetary requests after initial award might be the addition of subcontractors, animals, human subjects, or consultants. Prudent review for allowability of charges and adherence to the Cost Accounting Standards should be followed.  See: Charging Sponsored Projects


An investigator may request a pre-spending account prior to receipt of an award notice under certain conditions.  Read the information about prespending accounts in order to review that option.

Sponsor Requests Prior to Award, including “Just In Time”

Sponsors may request additional/revised information and/or University Endorsement of Correspondence/Certifications prior to issuance of an award document.  Requests by the sponsor may include information related to compliance or revisions to the proposal submitted, such as budgets and technical components.


If subcontractors are involved, applicable information and approvals for IRB, IACUC, COI, SBSP must be obtained from authorized personnel from the subcontractor institution as well as Northwestern University approvals from the corresponding office, if necessary, for regulatory compliance.

Reviewing, Negotiating and Endorsing Agreements

Authority to review, negotiate, and endorse sponsored project agreements has been delegated to Sponsored Research.  If information is received directly from the sponsor at the unit, school, or Principal Investigator level, communicate with the assigned Grant Officer in order to expedite the negotiation/ endorsement process. The status of negotiations can be reviewed in InfoEd under the specific proposal number (i.e. #SP00XXXXX).