Award Setup


When a proposal or contract is finalized, the award amount and the sponsor’s terms and conditions for how funds should be spent and reported are fixed. CGA uses the award information to create a basic award structure in BFS.

The initial set-up process may take a total of two business days to complete following the Phoebe Award Summary issuance. RAs will receive a notification when the primary chartstring is activated and the award is available for spending as well as additional mapping and/or budget reallocation.

Budget Reallocations and Chartfield Mapping

If funding should not remain entirely in unallocated direct costs, or additional chartstring combinations are required for award management, RAs may submit a budget reallocation. Chartfield Mapping must be requested first if new chartstring combinations will be utilized in the reallocation.

The award structure in BFS ensures financial processes and invoices reflect the terms and conditions as well as the level of reporting the sponsor requires. Learn about Contracts and Grants Chartfields and how a budget creates the award structure in BFS.

Carefully review the award documentation to determine the authorized amount, funding period(s) and level of reporting the sponsor requires. Go to the BFS RA Grants WorkCenter

A complete budget reallocation may include:

  • Unallocated Budget row for the amount stated in the Phoebe Award Summary (entered as a negative)

  • Allocations to either DIR/IDC or BUDSUM cost categories, depending on level of reporting required

    • Allocations to co-PIs and/or other campus departments, subawardees

    • Allocations for specific tasks, cohorts, or other “bodies of work” with sponsor-required reporting

    • Rows for cost sharing commitments with Fund and cost share CF1

  • Row(s) for overhead/F&A

  • Budget balance must be zero (i.e., negative amount in the Unallocated Budget line + the positive amounts in all the other lines = 0).

Fund Advances

When there is a need to start the work of the award prior to receiving the formal approval from the agency, and the department will guarantee funding if the award funding does not come through, the department may submit a Fund Advance Request to the Sponsored Project Office (SPO). Only SPO may process a fund advance to allow spending before an award is made. For information on requesting a Fund Advance, please refer to the SPO website.

Typically a Fund Advance is limited to ~25% of expected first-year funding and a period of 90 calendar days prior to the expected award date.

Upon receiving a Phoebe Award Summary for a fund Advance (Authorized Spending) from SPO, CGA will set up the award within the following two business days. An advance fund number is set up and CGA notifies the department when advance spending can begin.

Once the agency approves and funds the actual award, preliminary budget entries will be reversed out and the approved budget entered into the ledger according to the new award budget setup procedures. The advance and the actual award will use the same fund number to minimize the number of cost transfers, purchase orders and HCM (HR records and payroll) changes needed.

If the award still is not approved when the established Fund Advance Period ends, the department must process an extension through SPO or the expenses incurred are charged to other fund sources provided by the department. CGA will work with the department on this step.


Budget requirements for outgoing subawards vary depending on the subrecipient (UC campus or other entity) and the subaward amount (less or more than $25,000).

  • Include a budget row(s) for subaward direct expenses in the submitted award budget

    • If the subawardee is another UC campus/facility, allocate subaward funds to intercampus Account #58014

    • If the subawardee is a non-UC entity or DOE Lab, allocate subaward funds UP TO $25k to Account #58013 , and funding OVER $25k to Account #58014

  • If a subawardee is providing cost sharing, budget this as 3rd party cost share.

  • The BFS award structure does not require unique chartfields or a separate “body of work” for subawards

    • You should create a CF1 to budget for/track a subaward only if the sponsor (or internal tracking) requires specific reporting on subaward activities.

Read more about budgeting for Subawards 

Cost Sharing

Effective July 1, 2014 budget details for committed cost sharing must be included in the award budget at initial set-up. This will enable all cost share expenditures to be tracked as they are incurred during the life of the award.

Read more about budgeting for Cost Sharing 

Program Income

When income is generated by award activities -- conference registration fees, publications sales --  that income is considered part of the award. Occasionally program income is anticipated in the award proposal and noted in the Phoebe Award Summary. In these cases, CGA will set up an award-specific CF1 value during award set-up to track program income expenditures and revenue.

Read more about accounting for Program Income


When the University enters into multi-sponsor agreements where participating members sponsor a research program, SPO sends a Phoebe Award Summary and CGA sets up a Master Award/Project and a Master Fund in BFS for the research membership program. The department administering the program is not required to submit a budget to CGA to initiate spending. Individual members "subscribe" on an annual basis.

Read more about multi-sponsor membership programs 

References for Indirect Costs (F&A), Benefit Rates

F&A  is automatically charged based on the IDC rate referenced in the award documents. Once the fund is activated, IDC costs are calculated daily (and visible in PI Portfolio and Cal Answers reports).