SPA Business Practices

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. To add or remove an email from your unit's distribution list, contact:

  • Information Services for School of Medicine (
  • Dean’s Offices for Schools of Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy, and part of Social Work
  • Colin Hunter in CITS for School of Law, part of School of Social Work, Central Administration users

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 Research 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 Research 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 only occur upon receipt of notification from the PI or department administrator that proposal is at the SPA level for approval and all files are final for submission. Please note, SPA will no longer provide pre-reviews of proposals. SPA will answer questions about a proposal via email. Once the proposal has been reviewed, SPA will email the department and PI with any corrections needed. 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 and approved in Kuali Research 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 and approved in Kuali Research 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)

All agreements, funded and unfunded, must be routed in Kuali Research. SPA will not review any agreement until it has been fully routed in Kuali Research and is at the SPA level for approval. The agreement will be triaged to a SPA Contracts Team member for review.

  • If SPA receives an agreement that has not been routed in Kuali Research, the team sends communication to the administrators, within one to two business days, and alerts the department that routing is required.
  • When the department creates the proposal in Kuali Research, the exact title identified within the agreement, if provided, must be the same title used in Kuali Research proposal development.

If the agreement has routed and is at the SPA level for approval, the SPA Contracts Team provides the department administrators acknowledgment that SPA received the agreement, and triages the agreement within one business day.

The SPA team enters in our Action Form (our automatic notification system) the receipt of the agreement and reviews for any necessary negotiations. The review, mark-up and initiation of all negotiations should occur within ten (10) 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, the department can look for the current status in Kuali Research under the "notes" section on the Institutional Proposal tab of the Institutional Proposal. In any communications, the department must provide the SPA team with adequate information to identify the agreement in question.

Any agreement that the department sends to SPA requiring less than ten (10) 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.