Can I get an account created before the award formally starts?

Yes. With the designation of a discretionary source of back-up funding, the DLC may authorize the RAS to create a new WBS element in Pending Status (not billable to sponsor). Under such circumstances, the DLC assumes all of the financial risk associated with the possible failure of MIT to negotiate or receive an acceptable, fully executed award from the sponsor. The DLC must submit in writing the request for a cost objective in Pending Status; the request must be endorsed by an individual authorized to commit the source of back-up funding and by the DLC administering the pending WBS element.