The University of Arizona

Backstopping

Backstop Procedure

A Principal Investigator (PI), department or college uses an advance account or backstop to start or continue work on a project when the sponsor has not issued a new award or modification/extension to an existing award. When it is necessary to establish a sponsored project account prior to receiving an award notice from a sponsor, the PI, department or college may request an advance account or backstop an existing account. The Advance Account (PreAward) & Backstop Request Form require the authorization of the department and/or the dean

Requesting a new advance account

The PI, department or college initiates the Advance account request by filling out the Advance Account (PreAward) & Backstopping Request form and forwarding it to Sponsored Project Services. Note that the backstop form and the request for PreAward costs are now the same form.  

The UA Proposal Routing process in UAccess Research must be completed (with proposal type = new) and all regulatory requirements (e.g.IRB, IACUC, financial conflict of interest, etc.) must be satisfied prior to requesting an Advance account. Once the Advance Account (PreAward) & Backstopping Form is received, sponsored projects will review the request to make sure that it is complete and includes the necessary information. Once the advance accountis established, Sponsored Projects Services will notify the Principal Investigator, department and/or college of the new account number.

Upon acceptance of the official notice of award, the sponsored account will be removed from advance account status.

Backstopping an existing account 

The PI, department or college initiates a backstop request by filling out the Advance Account (PreAward) & Backstopping Form and forwarding it to Sponsored Project Services. Note that the backstop form and the request for PreAward costs are now the same form.  

The UA Proposal Routing process in UAccess Research must be completed (with proposal type = renewal or continuation) and all regulatory requirements (e.g.IRB, IACUC, financial conflict of interest, etc.) must be satisfied prior to requesting a backstop for an existing account. An existing project account may be extended for time via backstop while awaiting receipt of a no-cost extension or for dollars while awaiting a renewal or continuation award. The renewal or continuation proposal on file must cover the full amount of the backstop. 

Backstop accounts are limited to 90 days past the official end date of the award. If a PI, department or college wants to backstop beyond 90 days, Sponsored Projects Services must receive: 

  • Award verification from the sponsor 
  • Approval from the Assistant Director of Sponsored Projects Services
  • Approval from the Department Head (cannot be delegated)

Once the award renewal or continuation award is fully executed or a check is received, the backstop becomes invalid.

When an account is backstopped, the PI, department and/or college assumes responsibility for all funds expended if the award is not made. 

Only Sponsored Project Services accounts can be backstopped (3XXXXXX and 4XXXXXX). If a PI, department and/or college wants to backstop an account outside the Sponsored Projects Services account range, the Director or Assistant Director of Sponsored Project Services must approve the backstop request.

Please note that the Account Close-Out Process will continue while backstopped to insure that the University can claim all valid expenses in the event the grant/contract is not extended as expected and the budget will be reduced to match the final claim of costs. When the account extension is fully executed, the budget will be loaded back into the account and the backstop will be removed.