Request an Advance Account

Advance account (or Pre-Award Spending) requests provide Principal Investigators (PIs) and departments an opportunity to initiate a project and begin accruing charges for that project prior to receipt of a confirmed award.

Helpful links:

An Advance Account may be established only if all of the following criteria are met:

    1. There is a compelling reason to expend funds prior to receipt of award.
      • Compelling reasons are usually project-based. Needing to pay staff is rarely a compelling reason.
    2. There is verbal or written confirmation to the Sponsored Programs Office (SPO) from the sponsor’s contract officer or grants management officer that an award is forthcoming.
    3. The requested advance dates fall within the sponsor’s anticipated award period.
    4. Sponsor guidelines do not prohibit commitment of funds before an award is fully executed.
    5. Expenditures will be in accordance with the expected budget categories and limits, sponsor’s guidelines and UC Davis policies and procedures.
    6. There are funds available within the department, organized research unit or college/school to cover the expenditures in the event an award fails to materialize.

Please note: Under the Uniform Guidance, pre-award costs under federal awards now require written approval.

    • Such costs are allowable only to the extent that they would have been allowable if incurred after the date of the federal award.


Advance Account Requests must be submitted from the original Internal Processing Form (IPF; aka the proposal) in Cayuse SP and include the following:

    • Evidence of a firm commitment from the sponsor uploaded as a Proposal Attachment
    • Completed Advance Account Request Form in Cayuse SP that provides:
      • Sponsor contact
      • Department account number to be charged in the event the sponsor does not fund the project
      • Amount of request
      • Project period for requested (advance) funds
      • Justification for request

Detailed instructions are available in the Cayuse SP Handbook for Department Contracts & Grants Staff, PIs and Approvers.

    • Click on ‘Requesting Advance Accounts’ in the Table of Contents

Please note: In order to request an Advance Account your IPF must have already been approved by the Sponsored Programs Office (SPO). If this is an After-the-Fact proposal/award, the IPF must first be submitted for routing in Cayuse SP before generating the request.

If approved:

    • SPO transmits the request to Contracts & Grants Accounting (CGA). CGA assigns the appropriate account and fund number and notifies the department.

If the award is not funded as anticipated, or if pre-award costs are disallowed by the sponsor:

    • The signatory(ies) under item 6 in the list above is(are) responsible for identifying appropriate unrestricted fund sources under their control to cover such cost overruns or disallowances.
    • Further, Deans are accountable for all funds administered by units under their control.