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The Office of Sponsored Programs is split into two groups: the Proposal Group and the Contract Group. The Proposal Group assists with proposal review and submission, and the Contract Group reviews, negotiates, and accepts the terms of awards. Both the Proposal Group and the Contract Group are split into two teams, with each team assigned to a list of colleges. The assignment of colleges to teams, as well as the team contact information is located here:

The best option is to send an e-mail to your assigned proposal or contract team. We recommend using the team email addresses assigned to your college rather than emailing a specific OSP staff member. This will allow us to provide coverage, if necessary, when staff are not readily available. That being said, OSP is also happy to take your phone calls and encourages you to call your team contact if that is your preferred method of communication. A list of OSP contacts by college is located here:

OSP is committed to facilitating the pre-award process for scholarly research. The following information will help you understand how OSP is structured and will provide some best practices when working with our office.

OSP Proposal Teams

There are two Proposal Teams in the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP). Your proposal will be assigned to one of the teams based on your academic unit, and a specific staff member will be designated as the lead contact for your proposal.

The typical response time is within two business days. If it is expected to take longer, a proposal team member will contact the department/college with a status update.

  • Follow the Proposal Development & Submission webpages.
  • Work with Department/College administrators and OSP early in the process.
  • Follow the MSU Proposal Deadline Policy.
  • Read the solicitation closely and address any special requirements.
  • Become familiar with agency-specific rules, e.g. National Institutes of Health (NIH) salary cap and National Science Foundation (NSF) 2-month effort limitation.
  • Double check formulas in your budget for accuracy.
  • Prepare the necessary forms.
  • Ensure all Investigators have certified their Annual Financial Conflict of Interest Disclosure prior to submission.
  • Confirm the Proposal Development document has been approved up to OSP's level of approval.
  • If the proposal includes subcontracts, ensure you have received the signed Subrecipient Commitment Form for each subcontractor.

Common situations that may require additional time for budget review and/or proposal submission:

  • Late submissions (non-compliant with the MSU Proposal Deadline Policy).
  • Complex budgets.
  • OSP received multiple budgets for the same deadline.
  • Budgets with subcontractors.
  • Budgets with international travel.
  • Formula errors in Excel spreadsheets.
  • Multiple proposal deadlines falling during the same timeframe.
  • No accompanying Proposal Development document, or the Proposal Development document is not fully routed.
  • Award without discussion solicitations.
  • Solicitations containing contractual language.
  • Solicitations requiring numerous cerifications and representations.

OSP Contract Teams

Each college is assigned to one of two contract teams in the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP). The Contract Team manager assigns awards to a staff member based on the complexity of the award, and the availability of staff, usually within one business day of receipt of the award.

To process awards, the team must gather necessary compliance documents from other units on campus and negotiate terms with the sponsors. The time spent to process each individual award varies according to award type. OSP reviewed a sample of agreements that took longer than one month and found that delays were attributed largely to regulatory compliance issues, obtaining revised budget and/or Proposal Development documents, and sponsor delays. After assessing the total processing time of a sample of award, it was found that awards were with OSP approximately 30% of the time and with other entities (e.g. departments/colleges, compliance offices, sponsor, etc.) 70% of the time.

  • Follow the procedures previously outlined to avoid delays in OSP proposal processing.
  • Forward award documents to OSP (or Business-CONNECT when industry only) immediately upon receipt.
  • If the amount awarded differs from the amount requested in the proposal, you may need to prepare a revised budget to match the award amount. Keep in mind, a revised Proposal Development document may need to be routed and approved if the difference in the awarded budget is significant.
  • Ascertain that all required approvals are in place, such as Proposal Development document, Internal Review Board (IRB), Institutional Animal Care and Use Committe (IACUC), Conflict of Interest (COI), Export Control, University Research Organization (URO) letter, and/or the confirmation that a rated order award is acceptable.
  • Please do not try and negotiate contractual terms with a sponsor. This often causes confusion and can create delays.
  • Communicate with OSP in a timely manner.

Contractual language and related issues that may extend negotiations and delay signature include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Publication/Dissemination Restrictions
  • Intellectual Property Ownership Rights
  • Export Controls and Related Restrictions
  • Participation Restrictions
  • Non-Compete Clauses
  • Governing Law
  • Payment Terms
  • Approval of Deliverables



The best option is to send your question via e-mail to one of CGA's four group e-mails:

Further information about each group is located here:

CGA has found that group e-mails actually improves the response time because questions can be answered by any one of the group members, and also avoids a delay if an individual is out on vacation or sick leave.

You will receive an auto-reply to your initial inquiry so you know we have received it. All CGA groups strive to respond to inquiries within two (2) business days. Be sure to include all relevant information, such as the account number, document number, attachments, etc. If it's urgent, please indicate "urgent" in the subject line to help us better address your needs.

Please know that we are here to assist you, and there are a lot more of you than us! The following was put together to help you understand our structure and to publish our service goals. Another helpful tool is the CGA organizational chart as it includes phone numbers for those times when you really do need to speak with a person:

CGA Groups

CGA Awards Group

The Awards Group has a target of five business days to initiate a new account in KFS from the time a new award is received from OSP. Remember, your new account number can be used as soon as the New Account document is final in KFS.

The CGA target processing time for amendments to existing awards is ten (10) business days.

CGA Audit and Compliance Group

The Audit and Compliance Group reviews certain higher risk transactions in KFS.  These transactions include, for example, General Error Corrections (GEC), Distribution of Income and Expense (DI), Disbursement Vouchers (DV), retroactive personnel documents, and Purchase Orders with line items exceeding $5,000.  The following items are keys to receiving expedited CGA approval:

  • Include a detailed explanation of how the expense benefits the project. 
  • Include all necessary documentation, including worksheets, receipts, and PI certifications.
  • Make sure all scans are clear and all pages are right-side up.

The target turn-around time for transactions is three (3) business days.

CGA Reports Group

The Reports Group sends invoices and financial reports to the funding agencies.  Most funding agencies require a final financial be completed within 90 days of the project end date.  Departmental involvement, answering documentation questions and approval of final financial reports is critical for CGA to meet our goals and agency expectations.

Our goal is to submit 100% of the reports on time, and to close accounts in the KFS within six (6) months.

CGA Cash Management Group

The Cash Management Group draws cash from federal letters of credit (LOC), prepares financial reports for LOC accounts, processes payments on invoices, accepts payments on RG accounts, and follows up on unpaid invoices for all CGA accounts.  Departmental assistance in answering documentation questions and approval of final financial reports is critical for CGA to meet our goals and agency expectations.

Our goal is to draw cash at least two (2) times per month per agency, complete final financial reports within 90 days, and to close accounts in KFS within six (6) months.

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