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Contracts Process Overview

Before a contract can be accepted by the University of New Mexico (UNM), the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) completes a comprehensive review of the contractual terms and conditions (T&Cs). All contracts for sponsored activity are reviewed, negotiated, and processed by OSP in accordance with UNM policy and to ensure that T&Cs are in compliance with applicable regulations, policies, and procedures.

When a contract is being awarded to UNM, receipt of contractual documents typically occurs as an email or as a hard-copy received via mail. If the PI/Department receives a contract, the contract should be emailed to OSP at osp@unm.edu or hand-delivered to OSP’s business office. When corresponding with OSP, all relevant documentation and any identifying information should be included.

When the PI/Department initiates a contract, OSP will receive the contract via Cayuse (OSP’s internal routing system). A Cayuse record must accompany each contract.

The contract will then be allocated to a member of OSP’s Contract Team to begin the Contract Review process.

OSP will complete a brief review of the contractual documents. Depending on the type of contract and the sponsor or other entity, OSP will request the use of UNM’s Office of University Counsel (OUC) pre-approved template. *If UNM’s template is accepted by the other entity without edits to any T&Cs, the contract will move forward to Step 4 – Contract Execution. If UNM’s template is edited or an external template is used, the contract will move to Step 3 - Contract Negotiation.

During the contract review process, OSP is responsible for identifying and notifying other internal core offices (e.g. Export Control, Information Technology, Office of University Counsel, STC, and/or other compliance offices) that must be involved during the Contract Negotiation process.

Once the contract review has been completed, OSP will provide the other entity with notice of any T&Cs that are not acceptable. This action marks the start of negotiations, often leading to back-and-forth communication between UNM and the other entity until mutually-agreeable T&Cs have been negotiated. During this stage, additional internal core offices may be involved to provide guidance, verbiage, or other input as needed.

*If UNM’s template is used without edits, the Contract Negotiation stage will be eliminated.

In order to finalize the contract, the contract must be signed by the authorized signatory of each party. One party will sign and then send a partially-executed copy to the other party for countersignature. Once all required signatures have been obtained, the contract is considered fully-executed. The contract will then be routed to OSP’s Award Team.


Please note that processing times may vary based on complexity of negotiations.