Pre-Award Revisions

Once the proposal is submitted, the sponsor will evaluate your proposal and determine whether it is interested in funding your work.  If the sponsor is considering funding your project, you will enter into “negotiations” regarding the scope and price of the potential agreement.  This will usually involve several rounds of discussions with the funding agency.  This is called the Pre-Award Revisions stage.

Pre-Award Revisions:

  • Have VERY short turn-around times (sometimes less than five days)
  • Are considered to be “Negotiations
  • Pre-Award Revisions come in many different forms, including
    • Business and Technical Questions
    • Best and Final Offer (BAFO)
    • Final Proposal Revision (FPR)

Who is responsible for Pre-Award Revision submission to the sponsor?


The department is responsible for submitting the Pre-Award Revision to the sponsor after Office of Research (OR) approval.

  • If it is sent electronically, OR should be copied on the email.  Please copy
  • If sent via paper, OR should be provided a final copy.


All Pre-Award Revisions must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Research prior to the submission to the sponsor.

Business and Technical Questions:

  • Received from sponsor after the Initial Proposal
  • Usually a series of specific questions relating to both the Business Proposal and the Technical Proposal
  • Similar to “Just-in-Time” process for Grants
  • Could be several rounds

Final Proposal Revision (FPR) or Best and Final Offer (BAFO):

  • Replicates the Initial Proposal stage, but incorporates all of the changes made during the Business and Technical Questions stage
  • Will be used as a basis for the final awarded contract
  • It is critical that your costs be accurate, complete, and current (according to FAR clause 15.406-2):
    • Additional funds will not be available to cover any miscalculations
    • Miscalculations could result in a reduction of the award amount

Other Pre-Award Revisions Issues:*

  • Representations and Certifications
    • Required with all Federal Contract Submissions
    • Completed by the Office of Research
    • Sometimes requires PI/department input
  • Certification of Current Cost or Pricing Data (FAR 15.406-2)
    • Required for Federal Contract Submissions with a total value exceeding $750,000 (all years, including Third Party Agreements)
    • We prefer not to submit until required by the Contracting Officer
    • If we have Third Parties, they are required to complete this if/when we complete the form.  (Note: If the University is required to sign, the Third Parties must sign this certification before the University can sign its certification.)
  • Small Business Subcontracting Plan
    • Required for Federal Contract Submissions with a total value exceeding $700,000 (all years, including Third Party Agreements)
    • Completed by Purchasing Services after OR approves final budget (per Purchasing Services' request), but prefer not to submit until required by the Contracting Officer
  • Lobbying Disclosure Form
    • Sometimes required
    • Completed by the Office of Research
  • Protection of Human Subjects Assurance Identification/IRB Certification/Declaration of Exemption
    (Common Rule) Form
    • Sometimes required (especially for the National Institutes of Health)
    • OMB Form No. 0990-0263
    • Completed by the Department, but OR signs
  • Proposal Summary and Data Record Form
    • Sometimes required for the National Institutes of Health
    • NIH-2043
    • Completed by the Department, signed by PI, then by OR
  • Organizational Conflict of Interest (“OCI”)
    • Requested on some Federal Contract Submissions, See FAQ for details

*It is the responsibility of the department to identify all necessary requirements and notify the Federal Contract Services team.

Steps to Take Before Submitting to the Office of Research (OR):

  • Carefully read the request received from the sponsor
  • Notify Federal Contract Services Team via with copy of request and due date, if OR did not notify you
  • Prepare the response (may require conferral with other offices)

What does the Office of Research do when it receives my response?

  • We review:
    • The request and your response
    • Recommend conferral with CSSD when Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), Information Security (IT Security), or Privacy Act language is seen in solicitation (compliance may require use of the University’s Network Operations Center (NOC) and significant additional costs to the department - as much as six figures or more), if applicable and not already done at Initial Proposal stage. 
  • We draft an Endorsement Letter (also called an Exceptions Letter) (NOTE: if Pre-Award Revision is for Midstream Proposal, Endorsement Letter may not be applicable and email approval from OR may be given instead.)
  • We complete all other necessary documents (such as Representations and Certifications), if applicable
  • We obtain institutional endorsement