Backstopping

Backstop Procedure

A Principal Investigator (PI), department or college uses an advance account or backstop to start or continue work on a project when the sponsor has not issued a new award or modification/extension to an existing award. When it is necessary to establish a sponsored project account prior to receiving an award notice from a sponsor, the PI, department or college may request an advance account or backstop an existing account. The Advance Account (Preaward) & Backstop Request Form require the authorization of the department and/or the dean

Requesting a new advance account

The PI, department or college initiates the Advance account request by filling out the Advance Account (Preaward) & Backstopping Request form and forwarding it to Sponsored Projects & Contracting Services. Note that the backstop form and the request for PreAward costs are now the same form. Wet signatures are not required for the form, electronic signature or email approval is accepted. 

The UA Proposal Routing process in UAccess Research must be completed  and all regulatory requirements (e.g.IRB, IACUC, financial conflict of interest, etc.) must be satisfied prior to requesting an Advance account. Once the Advance Account (Preaward) & Backstopping Form is received, sponsored projects will review the request to make sure that it is complete and includes the necessary information. Once the advance account is established, Sponsored Projects & Contracting Services will notify the Principal Investigator, department and/or college of the new account number.

Upon acceptance of the official notice of award, the sponsored account will be removed from advance account status.

Backstopping an existing account 

The PI, department or college initiates a backstop request by filling out the Advance Account (Preaward) & Backstopping Form and forwarding it to Sponsored Project & Contracting Services. Note that the backstop form and the request for Preaward costs are now the same form. Wet signatures are not required for the form, electronic signature or email approval is accepted. 

The UA Proposal Routing process in UAccess Research must be completed and all regulatory requirements (e.g. IRB, IACUC, financial conflict of interest, etc.) must be satisfied prior to submitting a backstop for additional funding. The proposal on file must cover the time and amount of the backstop. 

An existing project account may be extended for time via backstop while awaiting receipt of a no-cost extension. Documentation of the request for no-cost extension is required.

Backstop accounts are limited to 90 days past the official end date of the award. If a PI, department or college wants to backstop beyond 90 days, Sponsored Projects & Contracting Services must receive: 

  • Award verification from the sponsor, such as email correspondence or a draft award.
  • Approval from the Department Head (electronic signature or email approval is accepted)

An exception to the 90 day limit is cash basis accounts which may be backstopped up to one year at a time accordingly:

  • Cash basis projects (Ex. new sponsors, foreign sponsors, high risk sponsors)  
    • Backstop requires Department Head approval (cannot be delegated)
  • Industry clinical trials
    • Backstop does not require Department Head approval

Once the award renewal or continuation award is fully executed or a check is received, the backstop becomes invalid.

When an account is backstopped, the PI, department and/or college assumes responsibility for all funds expended if the award is not made. 

Only Sponsored Project & Contracting Services accounts can be backstopped (3XXXXXX and 4XXXXXX). 

Please note that the Account Close-Out Process will continue while backstopped to insure that the University can claim all valid expenses in the event the grant/contract is not extended as expected and the budget will be reduced to match the final claim of costs. When the account extension is fully executed, the budget will be loaded back into the account and the backstop will be removed.