Research Administration Frequently Asked Questions & Resource Page

Research Administration Frequently Asked Questions


I need to know what an acronym means?

Pre-Award FAQs

Who do I contact if I want to submit a proposal?

Who can serve as a principal investigator (PI)?

What is UNC Charlotte’s deadline for proposal submissions to University Offices?

What is the University’s minimum effort policy for sponsored projects?

How do i access Niner Research and find Niner Research Training Material?

Facilities and Administrative (F&A, also commonly known as overhead or indirect costs) are the general support expenses relating to research and sponsored programs that are incurred for common objectives of the University and therefore cannot be readily identified with a particular sponsored award. Our F&A rates are set by the federal government through a negotiation process based upon a formal F&A cost proposal. Supporting documentation is required and a waiver request must be submitted if rate is a deviation from UNC Charlotte’s federally negotiated rates.

All proposals must be submitted by 5 p.m on the due date. If a deadline falls on a weekend it must be submitted by 5 p.m the preceding Friday. The majority of federal sponsors extend deadlines that fall on the weekend to the next business day. However this is not the case for all sponsors and submission requirements should be reviewed.

Contracts and Negotiations

No Cost Extension

No, upon receipt of the written approval by the authorized official, we will need an amendment to the original agreement fully executed before changes can be made.

No, it must be approved by an authorized official of the university, or industry partner

The turnaround time varies and is a case by case scenario. In most situations it can range between 21-30 days for a fully executed subaward to be completed. 


Contract is any document that legally binds the University to another party, including any agreement in which either party promises to take specific actions or to refrain from taking certain actions. A Contract could be called an affiliation agreement, memorandum of understanding (“MOU”), terms and conditions, letter of agreement, purchase order, or any number of other labels. A Contract might or might not involve the payment of money.  Online terms and conditions that must be accepted prior to using a product or service are also considered Contracts under University Policy: 603.1

If the award is to the University or will be managed via the University, a designated University official will have to sign the award in order for it to be accepted and processed. This will normally be members of the Office of Research Services Contract and Award Negotiation team.

No person is authorized to execute such documents on behalf of the University unless authority to do so has been delegated in writing by the Chancellor or another University official authorized to make such delegations. Administrative positions at the University whose incumbents are currently assigned such authority are listed here.

The University does not recognize Contracts signed by University employees or agents as binding on the University unless the employee who signed the Contract has duly delegated signature authority. Employees who sign a Contract purporting to bind the University without authority properly delegated as described in University Policy: 603.1 may be personally liable under the Contract and may be subject to University disciplinary action.

It depends. Contracts at the University generally can take from one day to several weeks to execute, depending on the complexity of the contract and the volume of contracts already in process.

Yes, ORS has several standard agreement templates that vary based upon the type that it utilizes in award negotiations. The terms and conditions therein are consistent with UNCC policy and North Carolina law.

There are two means of ascertaining the status of your award’s negotiation. The first is the Status History tab in Niner Research. The pertinent status to look out for are “Notification of Award,” “Award Received/Pending Acceptance,” “Under Award Negotiation,” and “Funded.” Notification of award is the official confirmation provided to contracting to inform that the award notice or agreement has been released for processing. Once the contracting team member assigned to review the agreement acknowledges receipt, the status history is updated to “Award/Received/Pending Acceptance.” If the award requires negotiation, the contracting team member will change the status to “Under Award Negotiation.” Once the agreement has been released to Grants and Contracts Administration for fiscal management, the status history is changed to “Funded.” The second means of receiving an update is via emailed correspondence to

Pending no specific advice from the prime sponsor to do so, generally PI’s do not need to submit formal requests for additional years of funding. For any outgoing subcontracts, the expectation is that the PTE updates the original award agreement to reflect additional years of funding from prime sponsors.

Please email A member of the award and contracting team will respond to your inquiry. All correspondence regarding award notifications should be routed to for processing

Post-Award Management FAQs

A proper reconciliation of accounts includes a regularly scheduled review of grant activity. If any issues are noticed or adjustments are needed, please notify your Award Management Specialist immediately so the appropriate actions, including a detailed analysis, can be taken in a timely manner.

A shadow book is a separate record of transactions on grant accounts used for comparison with information in Banner and other UNCC systems for the purpose of detecting errors or inconsistencies.

Contact your Award Management Specialist to determine the appropriate  next steps. The best way to address the issue will depend on the type of transaction or activity that needs to be corrected. 

In many cases an Assumption of Risk (AOR) either just for time (if no additional funds are needed during the AOR period) or for time and additional funds are your best options for addressing this. Your Award Management Specialist can assist with determining next steps. 

The types of change requests that can be made on a grant vary by sponsor. Work with your Award Management Specialist to ensure the terms of the award regarding change requests are followed.

Common Types of Change Requests:

·         Assumption of Risk (AOR)

·         Carry Forward of Unobligated Balance

·         PI or Co-PI Change

·         Budget Revision

·         No Cost Extension (NCE)

·         Relinquishment/Transfer of Award

Yes, training opportunities on various topics are offered on a continuous basis, in the form of group and individual sessions. Please send an email to or contact your Award Management Specialist for information on training offerings.