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Awards or sponsored agreements are the formal mechanisms through which sponsors engage with Northwestern University to provide research funding.  In many cases, sponsors incorporate a standard set of terms and conditions in their agreements (e.g., Federal Demonstration Partnership sponsors).

Award Notices

An award notice is a document issued by the sponsor that typically contains information about the amount of funds obligated, the time period for performance, and the terms and conditions associated with the award. An award notice, called variously a Notice of Award (NOA) or Notice of Grant Award (NGA or NOGA), is ordinarily sent to Sponsored Research (SR) as the authorized university office to receive and accept award notices on behalf of the university. If a Principal Investigator receives an NOA directly, it is to be forwarded to the SR awards mailbox at

Bilateral Awards and Award Agreements

Awards also come to Northwestern that require central office review and endorsement. Others require negotiation prior to endorsement. SR’s Proposal and Award Acceptance team is responsible for this activity.

University Endorsement for Correspondence

Correspondence to external funding agencies concerning the administration of sponsored projects requires University endorsement prior to transmittal. Correspondence pertaining to post-award administration is reviewed by the Sponsored Research Officers. Once reviewed, correspondence is endorsed on behalf of the University and forwarded to the appropriate funding agency; a copy is also forwarded to the principal investigator (PI). Upon receipt of a response from the funding agency, Sponsored Research will notify the PI and the PI’s department. Should the nature of the request involve rebudgeting or an extension of time, such action will be performed only after receipt of agency approval.