Some proposals result in unilateral awards; based on the proposal and through budget revisions, the sponsor issues an award document. In these cases, a formal acceptance of the award signature by MIT is not required because our expenditure of funds demonstrates our acceptance of the award terms and conditions. These are known as unilateral awards. NSF and NIH grant awards are examples of such unilateral awards.
When a sponsor requires that an MIT-authorized official sign to accept the award terms and conditions, the award is called a bilateral award. Typically, federal contracts and most foundation and industry awards are bilateral.