Best practices: Easy Award Set-up

CALS Research Division and RSP (Research and Sponsored Programs) are here to help PIs get their awards in place as quickly as possible so that they may begin their research/projects. In order to speed up the process, please be aware of the review process and what your responsibilities are. When you have been notified that a proposal will be funded, the first step is to contact Ginger Freitag (, 0-1648) at the CALS Research Division. Be prepared to address the following topics:

1. Compliance
2. Subaccounts
3. Spending edits
4. Effort commitments


Compliance is often the biggest hang-up in account set-up. If you are using human or animal subjects, toxic or infectious agents that effect humans or animal, or recombinant DNA, a protocol must be in place before an account will be set-up.

Please be aware of the following. Many protocol review boards meet once a month or have lengthy turn-around. Don’t be surprised if protocol review takes longer than you expect. Also, if your proposal is covered by a protocol that is already accepted, you must amend the protocol to include the new project. If it seems likely that your award will be funded, either because of a high score, conversation with the granting agency, or other indication, it is recommended that you submit an amendment to your protocol. This can help avoid delays.

Please check that the required clearances in your WISPER record General tab are correctly identified before the application goes to the sponsor/agency. Uploading your scope of work into the Attachments tab of your WISPER record will help the CALS Research Division and others verify the required clearances you identified for the project.

For questions specific to aspects of compliance (i.e., protocol submission, reviews, approvals), please contact Cheryl Deering in CALS Research Division at or 2-2536.

A subaccount is the internal mechanism used when a portion of the budget should be assigned to another department on the UW-Madison campus. A subaccount differs from a subaward/subcontract which is the mechanism used when a portion of the budget will be redirected to a recipient outside (external to) the UW-Madison campus.

If your project requires a subaccount, we need to know at the time of set-up.

Spending edits
If the funding from your project will be accessed from more than one department (due to collaborative research or multiple appointments) the best time to establish the spending edits is during set-up. Please be prepared to answer questions about spending edits.

Effort commitments
You should be considering your effort commitment at time of set-up. If it is not already specified in the proposal, you will be required to establish a commitment for yourself and any key personnel. If there has been a budget reduction or other change, you may want to consider if the originally proposed commitment is still appropriate.