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).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bilateral Awards and Award Agreements
Awards 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.
Sponsored Research Awards vs. Gifts
The following chart outlines the main differences between sponsored research agreements and gifts:
Sponsored Research Awards
When a private industry partner wants to give funds to a Northwestern faculty member for unspecified purposes, the gift must meet the above terms. Funding that does not meet the criteria for a gift funding would be considered a sponsored award and subject to institutional requirements for sponsored awards.