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The Award consists of: (1) the award letter, which includes any special provisions applicable to this cooperative agreement; and (2) the budget, which indicates the amounts, by categories of expense, on which the Program Secretariat has based its support (or otherwise communicates any specific approvals or disapprovals of proposed expenditures).The awards are made in the form of Cooperative Agreements. The Cooperative Agreements will have an extensive section of negotiated conditions relating to the period of performance, statement of work, awardee responsibilities, NCMS responsibilities, joint NCMS-awardee responsibilities, funding and funding schedule, reporting requirements, set of management and performance indicators, key personnel, and other conditions. NCMS has responsibility for providing general oversight and monitoring to help assure effective performance and administration. Although individual contracts are negotiated, and thus will vary depending on the requirements of the project and performers, the awards will comply with the following basic agreement policies:

Roles and Responsibilities

The agreement will elaborate the roles and responsibilities between the funder and the awardee and among awardee partners, including who has final managerial and decision authority within the project if disputes arise, how decisions are made, how and when funds are distributed and under what conditions, and how disagreements are handled.

Data policy

Data generated are expected, except in exceptional circumstances, to be available for open dissemination and use after a limited time of exclusive performer access for validation and initial analysis.

Intellectual property (IP) and property rights

In general, tangible and intellectual property generated will remain the property of the awardee. However, no funds will be awarded until the funder is convinced that the project partners have negotiated and agreed on divisions of roles and funding, and on IP ownership questions. Timely notification of discoveries and inventions will be required.

Allowable uses of award funds

The award should be restricted to a maximum of 20% overhead for any institution, and budget items of fee or profit will not be allowed. Equipment purchased in excess of $5000 (US) will be exclusively for the use of the project during the duration of the award. Ownership of such purchased property will generally be retained by the awardee, unless stipulated otherwise. Expenditures must meet a “fair and reasonable” standard, and the Program Secretariat retains the right to audit awardees to determine acceptable use of funds.

Settlement of disputes

The award must stipulate how disputes and disagreements between performers will be settled. Between awardee and funder, appeals will be allowed on decisions made relevant to evaluations, but the funder may limit the number of such appeals and retains ultimate decision authority.

Changes to personnel

The PI or Co-PIs on the project must not be changed without the express agreement of the funder. Funder must also be notified in a timely fashion of any changes to senior personnel or partner roles.

Reporting requirements and evaluations of performance

Discussed separately below, but detailed as elements of the cooperative agreements.