Office of Research Administration
Office of Research and Technology Transfer
Dear CSM Research Community:
In an effort to streamline the process and alleviate the concerns surrounding
the ‘at-risk’ process to fund pending grants and contracts; ORA and the
VPRTT are proposing to amend the process.
The at-risk fund essentially operates as a line-of-credit extended to faculty
prior to the receipt of an award. In the past we have asked faculty to supply
an account number should the contract or grant eventually not materialize.
In reality such cases are rare, in large part due to the vetting of a-risk
requests by ORA staff. ORA evaluation of an at-risk request considers:
Is this a grant or a contract such that pre- award is allowed or is this a
contract where sponsor approval is necessary for pre-contract costs?
Sponsor type (federal or non-federal);
The actual start date;
Other analysis includes the amount of the at-risk request;
Detriment to the project if an at-risk request is not approved;
Are there negotiation issues for the contract? (Indemnity, law etc.).
Because incidences of at-risk grants or contracts not materializing have
historically been small and faculty consternation at supplying an account
number substantial, we have decided to remove the fund guarantee account
number from the at-risk form. The PI will continue to sign the form
requesting the at-risk account or continued spending and the request should
be endorsed by the Department Head, Center Director or Dean. Ultimately,
we are still bound by Chapter 7 of the CSM policies 1 regarding deficit
spending; however, should a contract or grant not materialize we will at that
point work with the interested parties to reach an agreement on closing the