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Proposal and Award Roles and Responsibilities Matrix

The submission of proposals, execution and administration of awards, and the conduct of research at UT involve many people and support groups. It is truly a team effort. While there are important variations from School to School, Department to Department, the matrix below outlines the process and identifies who has primary responsibility for these activities.


PI Dept Dean OSP SPA
Search for opportunities X
Provide guidance on funding opportunities X X

PI Dept Dean OSP SPA
Write technical narrative X
Identify subcontractors and request budget and statement of work X
Develop budget and budget justification X X
Identify need for cost sharing funds X
Provides approval of cost sharing requests X X X
Evaluate requests for F&A waivers or reductions X X X
Coordinate space arrangements X X
Provide expert guidance on proposal preparation X
Complete TERA-PAMS and route proposal for approval X X

PI Dept Dean OSP SPA
Complete compliance forms: Institutional Review Board, Animal Care and Use, Institutional Bio Safety Department X X
Complete conflict of interest disclosure form X
Review conflict of interest disclosure form and facilitate institutional oversight X X

PI Dept Dean OSP SPA
Confirm that proposal meets sponsor requirements (text, margins, font, etc) X X
Review proposal before sending proposal to Sponsored Programs X X
Verify that mandatory cost sharing is captured X X X X
Review proposed cost sharing for appropriateness X X X
Programmatic review of proposal and certify/approve proposal in TERA-PAMS X X X
Provide institutional review and final approval of proposal X

PI Dept Dean OSP SPA
Send proposal to sponsors after institutional approval X

PI Dept Dean OSP SPA
Request advance account X
Consider appropriateness of advance account request and approves request X X
Establish advance account X
Monitor advance account X X

PI Dept Dean OSP SPA
Accept sponsor notification of grant or contract award X
Review terms and conditions X X
Negotiate terms and conditions with sponsor X
Approve award terms and conditions X

PI Dept Dean OSP SPA
Confirm that regulatory compliance requirements have been met X
Modify proposed budget X X X
Prepare award documents X
Ensure that cost sharing is documented (if applicable) X X
Establish account number in IRIS X
Notify PI of account number X

PI Dept Dean OSP SPA
Prepare personnel transactions X
Initiate purchases on project X X
Initiate prior approvals for changes to project (description, PI, etc) X X
Review and approve changes to project (or forward to sponsor) X
Initiate re-budgeting requests X X
Approve re-budgeting requests (or forward to sponsor) X
Initiate no cost time extensions X X
Approve no cost extensions (or forward to sponsor) X
Use financial reports to monitor and oversee expenditures X X X
Reconcile accounts on a monthly basis X X
Coordinate resolution of issues on oversight reports X
Audit expenditures X
Approve or forward to sponsor prior approvals for changes to project X
Ensure regulatory compliance offices are notified of changes to project X
Review and approve incoming MTAs and Non-disclosure Agreements X
Complete invention disclosure form X
Ensure integrity of notebooks and data X

PI Dept Dean OSP SPA
Identify program income X X X
Invoice/Collect program income X
Receive and deposit program income X
Identify use and reportability of program income X
Monitor program income levels X X X

PI Dept Dean OSP SPA
Prepare and submit the invoice or financial report X

PI Dept Dean OSP SPA
Receive and deposit payments from sponsors X
Produce and record a letter of credit draw request (federal awards) X
Monitor and pursue the collections of overdue payments from sponsors X

PI Dept Dean OSP SPA
Oversee programmatic aspects of subcontract/subaward X
Prepare, negotiate, and sign subcontracts/subawards X
Review and approve subcontract/subaward invoices X X
Subrecipient monitoring X X X

PI Dept Dean OSP SPA
Prepare and submit technical reports to sponsor X
Maintain the official copy of the technical report X

PI Dept Dean OSP SPA
Initiate hiring and appointment process X
Maintain the effort certification database and reporting system X
Complete necessary adjustments to award charges and/or payroll distribution X
Obtain necessary supervisory reviews and approvals X
Ensure accuracy of completed effort certification reports X X
Resolve problems or follow up on certifications not submitted X X

PI Dept Dean OSP SPA
Identify early close-out situations X X X
Ensure all appropriate expenditures have been posted to accounts X X
Prepare final financial invoice/report X
Approve final financial invoice/report X X x
Resolve issues related to unreconciled accounts X
Ensure that all financial reports have been submitted to sponsor X
Ensure that all technical reports have been submitted to sponsor X X
Ensure that all final invention reports have been submitted to sponsor X
Ensure that all patent reports have been submitted to sponsor X
Inactivate award account(s) in financial accounting system X
Maintain official project documents for sponsored projects X

Role Definitions


The lead principal investigator is the primary individual in charge of a research grant, cooperative agreement, training or public service project, contract, or other sponsored project. The lead principal investigator reports to a unit head (or other designated official).

Deans are academic leaders who have programmatic, managerial and fiscal responsibilities for a college or school. The dean’s office, the administrative center for a school or college, may include one or more Associate Deans, who report to the Dean, as well as administrative staff.

The department head is an academic leader with programmatic, managerial and fiscal responsibilities for a designated area, such as a department, division, school or center. The department head reports to a dean.

Administrative staff at the departmental and dean’s office levels provide administrative support for one or more sponsored projects. With respect to financial management of sponsored accounts, department administrators complete and process financial, human resource and other electronic and paper transaction documents.

The OSP is the only institutional unit at UTK able to submit proposals to external entities for financial support in the form of a contract, grant, or agreement, and legally able to commit the University in the event an award is made. The head of OSP is a Director who reports to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research.

SPA is a division of Finance and Administration. They handle the post-award accounting functions of externally funded project. They are responsible for all financial compliance, invoicing, collections, and serve as primary point of contact for external audits. The head of SPA is a Director who reports to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration.

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