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Sponsored Project Contractual Agreement

A sponsored project contractual agreement is for the purpose of obtaining goods and services for use by the project. It should create a procurement relationship rather than a sub-recipient relationship. Unless specifically prohibited or limited by the sponsor, a Sponsored Project Contractual Agreement will be used when paying a contractor for goods and services from a grant where the following exist: 

  1. Provides the goods and services within normal business operations;
  2. Provides similar goods or services to many different purchasers;
  3. Normally operates in a competitive environment;
  4. Provides goods or services that are ancillary to the operation of the project; and
  5. Is not directly responsible to the sponsor for the research or for determining research results;
  6. Has no employment relationship with UH, either academic or administrative in nature.

Use the website linked here to determine if an individual or entity should be a contractor or sub-recipient.

For contractors paid on federal funds, the Uniform Guidance identify specific standards in addition to the University’s requirements.  They are the following:

§200.212   Suspension and debarment – contractors are subject to the non-procurement debarment and suspension regulations

§200.305   Payment- the University must make timely payment to contractors, and payments amounts can be withheld by the University from contractors to assure satisfactory completion of work.

§200.318 General procurement standards - Maintain oversight to ensure that contractors perform in accordance with the terms, conditions, and specifications of their contracts or purchase orders

§200.319   Competition - Must be conducted in a manner providing full and open competition consistent with the standards of this section.

University Policy: MAPP 04.01.01A

Each sponsored project contractual agreement must adhere to specific requirements for content, format and processing as prescribed by the university policy found in MAPP 04.01.01A.  

  1. The Standardized Sponsored Project Contractual Agreement template approved by General Counsel is available for investigators to use when preparing simple contract agreements for both federal and non-federal sponsored projects. 
  2. The duration of any contractual transaction cannot extend beyond a cumulative period of five consecutive years, including renewal terms. The official with delegated authority must approve exceptions to this time period in writing.
  3. Contracts are legally binding on the university only upon execution of the contract by the university official with delegated contractual signatory authority, as specified in Addendum A of MAPP 04.04.01A. Standard Contracts which are less than $25,000 are to be signed by the appropriate departmental business personnel with delegated signing authority.
  4. If a non-standard contract will be used for a transaction, then the contract will be routed to Office of Grants and Contracts for review by the Contracts Officers before being signed and routed via PeopleSoft (PS) requisition.
  5. Contracts for consulting services of more than $25,000 requires the prior approval of the sponsoring agency. In general, payments to contractors should be negotiated ahead of time and approved by the sponsoring agency at the proposal stages.  In this regards, MAPP 04.04.01A-Contracting General, does not apply to consulting contracts funded by Sponsored Project or grants. 

Process for OCG Sponsored Project Contracts

The department submits one copy of the fully executed Sponsored Project Contractual Agreement signed by the Principal Investigator (PI), the Department Business Administrator (DBA) and the contractor via People Soft RC730 requisition to OCG. The contractor should also receive a copy.  Each contract agreement must include the standard contract document as well as the following additional forms:

  1. Contract Cover Sheet – Internal administrative routing sheet
  2. Nonresident Alien Information Addendum –To be completed by Nonresidents only
  3. Child support Certification – For payment on state grants and contracts
  4. Recommendation for Award Form  – Form used to summarize the basis of best value in selecting a particular contractor

The PI must sign the contract certifying to the list of requirements.

The department must create a PS requisition using one of the following account codes that rolls up to budget Account B5023 – Contracting of Services:

  1. 52108- other professional services - professional services rendered on a fee basis by a person or firm recognized as possessing a high degree of learning and responsibility in any area not categorized under other subcodes [account code].
  2. 53857- Services under a written contract not classified under any other account.

In order to comply with the UH Procurement policy and federal guidelines regarding Procurement Standards for sponsored projects, the Pre-Award Recommendation for Award form should be completed during budget preparation at the proposal stage.

The Office of Contracts and Grants (OCG) receives the requisition via PeopleSoft (PS) workflow and carefully reviews each agreement for accuracy, appropriateness, availability of funds, and for compliance with sponsor requirements.  The agreement is also reviewed to make sure that none of the standard contract terms have been altered or deleted.  

OCG creates a Purchase order (PO) in People Soft in order to encumber the funds on the grant. Payments are initiated by an originating unit on the PO voucher sent to Accounts Payable.

When there is a change to the agreement, an amendment is submitted and reviewed in the same manner as the original agreement.  The amendment should be accompanied by the original agreement.

Late submission of a contractual agreement should be accompanied by a completed late justification form. The agreement is considered late if the effective date or start date is before the date on which the agreement was signed by all parties.

Honoraria are unallowable on federal research grants when the primary intent is to confer distinction on, or to symbolize respect, esteem, or admiration for, the recipient of the honorarium. A payment for services rendered, such as a speaker's fee under a conference grant, is allowable. NIH grants policy specifically prohibits this cost.

Speaker Fees are an allowable payment for services rendered, such as a speaker’s fee under a conference grant, the presentation of research results, the reading of papers, or the participation in workshops and seminars when the cost is budgeted on the award or prior approval is received from the sponsor. When the Speaker Agreement is used, a requisition routed via OCG on the RC730 business unit and use of the account codes referenced above (52108 or 53857).