Hardship Authorization Requests

What is a hardship?

A hardship is a project grant number (PGN) set up in advance to allow funds to be expended prior to having an award in hand. Sometimes a sponsored project/grant needs be established prior to the actual receipt of a final award document. The hardship process permits work to begin and costs to be properly allocated in situations where:

  1. There is a delay in the award process.
  2. There is reasonable certainty that the award will be forthcoming, as determined by the requesting unit.
  3. Necessary expenditures will be allowable under the anticipated award terms and start/end dates.

Who requests the hardship?

The unit requesting the hardship is financially responsible if for any reason the resulting award does not cover the costs incurred during the hardship period.  For this reason, units are advised to do their due diligence and assess their risk exposure prior to requesting a hardship.

Units should also be aware that the sponsor will not be invoiced during the hardship period. If you believe the sponsor expects an invoice, please alert your ORSP project representative before processing the hardship request.

A Hardship Authorization Request must be submitted to ORSP via the eResearch Proposal Management system.

The procedure:

  1. In eRPM, go to the project Proposal Approval Form (PAF).
  2. Click on the Hardship tab.
  3. Complete the questions.

The information required:

  1. Brief description of the need. Project teams do not need to provide evidence that sponsor funding is forthcoming.
  2. Period of hardship (start and end dates) to be established at the direction of the requesting unit.
  3. A budget by direct and indirect costs, including the applicable indirect cost rate and basis (i.e., Total Direct Costs or Modified Total Direct Costs), consistent with the submitted proposal and any known sponsor requirements.

Signatures required:

  1. U-M Principal Investigator (or designate)
  2. Department/Unit (to acknowledge there is a risk that an acceptable formal award might not be forthcoming to cover the expenses incurred).

ORSP approval:
Based upon the information provided in the hardship request and contained in the associated PAF, ORSP may approve the hardship request provided that all relevant compliance factors have been satisfactorily addressed. Specifically:

In addition, ORSP will advise the requesting unit of any potential restrictions on openness that would require a Supplementary Proposal Approval Form (PAF-R) under SPG 303.01, if known at the time of the request, and will only proceed with the hardship authorization with the appropriate approval in place.

Any changes in the applicability or status of the above compliance factors must be reported immediately to the responsible ORSP Project Representative.  ORSP reserves the right to revoke a hardship if a previously unidentified compliance factor is reported to be newly applicable.  Federal sanctions may also apply.

Note that the unit requesting the hardship is financially responsible if for some reason an acceptable agreement/award that authorizes funding during the hardship period is not received.
Contact the appropriate ORSP Project Representative if you have any questions regarding your hardship request.

Last reviewed: February 24, 2015