SPA Business Practices

Effective November 2013, SPA Business Practices address communication, proposals, agreements, and awards.

Correspondence from SPA to Departments

All correspondence from SPA Team to the Department and/or PI occurs via email to the Department Administrators/PI. When phone calls result in action items for either SPA or the Department or create a need for documentation, the SPA Team member follows up with an email regarding the discussion.

For second requests, SPA sends the email to the Administrators, with a cc to the Senior Department Administrator, if applicable.

For third requests, SPA sends the email to the Administrators, with a cc to the Senior Department Administrator, if applicable, and Department Chair, Division Chief, or Center Director.

Escalation of the requests will be handled in a manner and timeframe appropriate to the urgency of the item.

SPA uses departmental email distribution lists for certain correspondence with the departments. All changes to distribution lists should be handled by the dean's office for that school.

Correspondence from Departments to SPA

Escalation of the requests will be handled in a manner and timeframe appropriate to the urgency of the item.

Correspondence to SPA will occur in the following order:

  • First request to the SPA Team email or to a specific team member (if triaging of action has already occurred)
  • Second request, the SPA Team Manager is copied
  • Third request, the Assistant Director is copied

Team Email Boxes

Upon receiving questions in the SPA Team email box, the below steps will be followed:

  1. Questions received will be reviewed that same day. SPA will respond to the Department within twenty-four (24) hours, excluding weekends and holidays. If the question is complex and requires additional research, the Team should respond to alert the Department of the complexity and that a response is being drafted.
  2. If a response to a question is needed the same day, the Department should indicate "URGENT" in the subject line. If there is a specific time the answer or response is needed, that should also be highlighted. Abusing this procedure will require a discussion among the Senior Department Administrator, Center Director, Chair, and the Assistant Director, SPA.
  3. If SPA sends a communication to the department that requires a response, it is expected that the administrators respond within two (2) business days, or sooner, unless marked "URGENT." SPA will not abuse the designation of an email as "URGENT."


All proposals will be submitted to SPA office at least five (5) business days prior to the sponsor deadline for review and validation. Proposals that reach SPA in FINAL form at least five (5) business days prior to the sponsor deadline will be submitted by SPA at least three (3) business days prior to sponsor deadline to allow sufficient time for sponsor review/validation and (if necessary) submission of a changed/corrected proposal. "Final form" of a proposal means that the proposal has been completely routed to SPA in Kuali Coeus with a complete, final budget and other sponsor-required details and that all narrative documents have been uploaded in final format AND marked as "FINAL" in the Kuali Coeus Attachments section.

SPA will triage proposals via the Action Form to an individual SPA team member for review and submission. An automated email will notify the Department, PI, and SPA Individual upon assignment of the proposal. Review of the proposal in SPA will occur upon receipt of notification that proposal has been submitted into routing in Kuali Coeus, or upon a request to complete a pre-review. Please note, a pre-review will only occur if it does not interfere with the current workload of SPA. Once the initial review is completed, SPA will review the proposal when it has been marked as final and ready for submission to the sponsor. To the extent possible, proposals will be processed by SPA in the order in which they are received in FINAL form.

If a proposal is completely routed through the Kuali Coeus system and the FINAL version is received in SPA at least 5 full business days prior to the sponsor deadline, SPA guarantees that any issues will be resolved and that an error-free proposal will be submitted to the sponsor prior to the sponsor deadline. If a proposal is completely routed through the Kuali Coeus system and a FINAL version is received in SPA less than five (5) full business days prior to the sponsor deadline, every reasonable effort will be taken by SPA staff to resolve issues and submit the proposal prior to the sponsor deadline. However, SPA cannot guarantee that an error-free proposal will make it to the sponsor prior to the deadline.

SPA staff commits to diligent review of proposals to capture avoidable errors when a proposal arrives in time to allow for review.

SPA Agreements (Note: This does not cover CCT Agreements)

Upon receipt of an agreement, the team reviews Kuali Coeus proposal development for the routing of that agreement. If the agreement has not been routed in Kuali Coeus, the team sends communication to the administrators, within one (1) business day, and alerts the department that routing is required. If routing is not required, SPA sends a copy of the agreement to the department administrators for their reference.

When the department creates the proposal in Kuali Coeus, the exact title identified within the agreement, if known, must be the same title used in Kuali Coeus proposal development.

If the agreement has routed, the team provides the department administrators acknowledgment that SPA received the agreement and triages the agreement within one (1) business day. For those types of agreements that do not require routing in Kuali Coeus (CDA, DUA, etc.), triaging will occur via direct email instead of an email via the Action Form.

The SPA team enters in our Action Form (our automatic notification system) the receipt of the agreement and reviews for any necessary negotiations. For standard agreements, such as DHMH MOUs, once the agreement has been triaged and depending upon SPA workload, the review, mark-up and initiation of the negotiations should occur within five (5) business days.

SPA automatically notifies the department, via department distribution lists, of any action for proposals, negotiation, and awards. Department administrators must review all emails prior to requesting a status update. If the department has not been notified via email or the distribution lists, status update requests are encouraged. The department must provide the SPA team with adequate information to identify the item in question.

Any agreement that the department sends to SPA requiring less than five (5) business days for delivery of the partially executed document to the sponsor must include a full and clear justification by the department regarding the limited turnaround time. Please note that the expected due date of the sponsor is not sufficient justification, unless the documents were received from the sponsor on the same day and the sponsor indicated that funds will be withdrawn if the documents are not returned to the sponsor as requested.

Award Processing

Award processing begins when SPA receives the fully executed agreement and remains the same as prescribed by SPA and SPAC office procedures. (Please see Award Setup for additional information.) Processing of any award is contingent upon sponsor proposal deadlines and workload. Submission of the award documents to SPAC should occur within two (2) business days.