Announcing Externally Sponsored Awards: Guidance for Communicators

Cornell’s Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) reviews and finalizes all sponsored awards on behalf of Cornell. These are also called research awards, in the form of grants or contracts with external sponsors such as federal agencies, foundations, or companies.

Public announcements should occur only AFTER the grant or award agreement has been finalized by OSP and is in effect. Exceptions may be made if the sponsor provides written permission to announce the award before OSP finalizes the award and the Office of the Vice President for Research & Innovation approves the exception.

How long it takes to finalize an award varies due to particularities of the award itself and the volume of awards that OSP is processing. Although OSP cannot predict when an award will be finalized, OSP may be able to provide information to help communicators plan and prepare so the public announcement can be ready for publication as soon as the award is finalized. Email for assistance.

Award announcements must comply with the terms of the grant or award agreement. Email or contact the Grant and Contract Officer (GCO) to learn about any communications restrictions. The Lead PI will be able to provide the name of the GCO. 

How to Check Whether an Award Has Been Finalized 

Every Cornell staff member with a NetID can determine whether an award has been finalized using the Research Administration Support System (RASS). 

Note: RASS includes awards to faculty who are based on Cornell’s Ithaca, Geneva, and Cornell Tech campuses, as well as faculty at remote campuses such as the Duck Research Laboratory on Long Island and the Shoals Marine Laboratory in New Hampshire. It does not include Weill Cornell Medicine campuses in New York City or Qatar. 

  1. Go to
  2. Log in with your NetID. 
  3. From the Grants & Contracts menu, select Explore Ithaca Awards. (This includes Ithaca, Geneva, and Cornell Tech campuses.)
  4.  In the PI/Co-PI field, type the name of a researcher affiliated with the award. Click the name of the PI you're searching for. (The PI/Co-PI is often the easiest way to search for an award, but you can also use project title, OSP #, or any other field.) 
  5. Click the green Search button. 
  6. A list of awards will appear at the bottom of the page. Find the award you are interested in.
  7. If Award appears in the Stage column AND Award Finalized appears in the Status column, the award has been finalized. 
    • If you see anything in the Status column other than Award Finalized, the award has not been finalized.
    • If Award Amendment appears in the Stage column, or if the award you’re looking for does not appear at all, contact for information about whether the award is ready to be publicly announced. 
  8. Once the award is finalized, email to ask whether the grant or award agreement restricts communications about the award.
    Note: In some cases, the grant or award agreement may stipulate that the sponsor must be given an opportunity to review the announcement prior to publication. 

Announcement Review and Approval 

The Lead PI should always review the announcement prior to publication. To comply with the terms of the award, the sponsor may also need to review the announcement. If you are unsure who needs to review the announcement, email or contact the Grant and Contract Officer (GCO). The Lead PI will be able to provide the name of the GCO or you can find the GCO's name on the Explore Ithaca Awards page. 

Announcements by Sub-Awardees 

It is not unusual for a Cornell-led project to include funding for one or more researchers at other institutions (sub-awardees). Sub-awardees are expected to wait until Cornell has had an opportunity to announce the award before they announce the award themselves. 

Cornell PIs may ask communicators for assistance in coordinating communications when Cornell-led projects involve sub-awardees.

If a Cornell researcher is a sub-awardee on a project led by another organization, contact the lead organization regarding public announcements about the award. You should expect the lead organization to coordinate communications regarding the award.