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Advance Funding

In certain situations, there may be a need to make a grant-related expenditure before a fully executed contract has been received. To initiate the process, the PI must submit a Request for Advance Banner Fund to their  Post-Award Specialist

There are two types of Advance Funding:

  1. Advance Fund

Used to establish a fund with a start date that occurs before the award process has been finalized and to avoid delaying the research. This request is allowed when:

  • An award notification has been received, but the grant agreement has not been received,
  • An agreement has not been executed by all parties, or
  • A modification is pending for a new budget year or a no-cost extension.
  1. Pre-Award Spending Fund

Used to incur pre-award costs up to 90 calendar days prior to the award start date. This applies only to federal sponsors that allow pre-award spending. All award terms and conditions apply to pre-award expenditures.

Use of Advance Funding

The PI must request advance funding through SPFAC before incurring expenses. Advance funding will not be used to authorize retroactive expenditures/commitments or transfer of expenditures when an Advance/Pre-Award Fund was not established; such expenditures become the responsibility of the College or Center. PIs shall charge expenses to other sponsored projects for expenses they know should be charged to an Advance/Pre-Award Fund that was not established.

Costs incurred must be in accordance with the terms and conditions of the award and must be included in the approved budget. Only in rare circumstances will summer salary for senior personnel (PIs & co-PIs) be approved for advance funding.
All required compliance approvals must be obtained prior to incurring expenses (IACUC, IRB, IBC, Radiation Safety).

Time Period

Initially, an Advance/Pre-Award Fund will be established for 90 calendar days. Extensions beyond 90 calendar delays must be reapproved.


A budget must be provided for the requested advance funding. Typically, advance funding is below $15,000. Requests over $15,000 require approval from the Director of SPFAC, the Vice President for Research, and the Vice President for Business and Finance.


The SPFAC Director, in consultation with the Post Award Specialist, will review and approve requests for advance funding. Issues or concerns will be brought to the attention of the approving College Dean or Center Director.
Advance funding will be allowed under the following conditions:

  • There is a reasonable expressed need by the PI to incur expenditures prior to the proposed start date or prior to receipt of the executed contract,
  • The need to start (or continue) the project justifies whatever risk the University might take in approving the advance fund,
  • Verification has been obtained that the sponsor allows payment of pre-award costs if the request is for a Pre-Award Spending Fund, and
  • The project proposal was approved by the University and is on file with the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.