Office of Sponsored Research - 100.01 - Introduction

Title

Office of Sponsored Research - 100.01 - Introduction

Introduction

The term sponsored research can be defined as University research that receives funding from an external source or a "sponsor." While that is a very simple definition, sponsored research encompasses much more, including considerations that may affect the University financially and legally. Therefore, the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) is not the only office concerned with elements of sponsored research and projects; however, it is considered the central, definitive resource.

The University has a system for managing the many concerns that accompany sponsored research, including accounting, compliance, and reporting. OSR is concerned with financial administration and compliance of sponsored research projects and serves faculty and staff by communicating with sponsoring agencies on behalf of the University.

The following overview describes Federal regulations as well as University guidelines and policies, followed by OSR-specific operating standards and procedures.

About the Operating Standards

In serving faculty and administrators at the University, these operating standards assist in preparing and submitting proposals for sponsored program funding and managing sponsored funds awarded to the University.

Their threefold purpose is:

  1. In an organized and coherent fashion, present and explain existing operating standards and procedures affecting sponsored research funding at the University.
  2. Describe services available to faculty and staff through OSR and other offices involved in sponsored project management.
  3. Serve as a reference and a source for further information and assistance.

Defining Sponsored Programs

The University abides by the criteria provided by the University of North Carolina Sponsored Programs and Research Council (SPARC) to identify "sponsored programs." OSR is responsible for sponsored programs that encompass any scholarly, professional, or creative activity conducted by University personnel using support from external funding sources through grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, or other agreements. Such programs include but are not limited to organized research, instruction/training, other sponsored research activities, and research/support services.

Sponsored Programs versus Gifts

There are many distinctions between sponsored programs and gifts. Essentially, research contracts are signed research agreements, where a sponsor places contractual obligations on the research effort to gain something (referred to as a "deliverable") in return for providing support.

Research grants and cooperative agreements differ slightly. Rather than a mutual agreement, research grants are awarded directly by the sponsoring agency to the University through an award. Research grants are governed by policies and guidelines, rather than contractual obligations. All three - research contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements - require deliverables and are categorized together.

On the other hand, gifts are donations, given voluntarily without the imposition of restrictive contractual obligations by the donor. While gifts may include certain conditions (for example, a donation may go towards a specific type of research), when those conditions include deliverables, the transfer of intellectual property, or provision of data to the funder, it is no longer considered a "gift" but is classified as a "contract" or "grant". OSR can help with questions about determining categorization of funding.

Contact Information

104 Airport Drive, Suite 2200
Campus Box 1350
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
Phone: 919-966-3411
Fax: 919-962-5011
Email: ResAdminOSR@unc.edu
OSR Staff assignments may be found in RAMSeS or on the OSR website.

Details

Article ID: 132269
Created
Thu 4/8/21 9:27 PM
Modified
Thu 7/22/21 5:36 PM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
02/19/2021 9:28 AM
Issuing Officer
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Issuing Officer Title
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Distinguished Professor
Last Review
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02/19/2021 9:28 AM
Last Revised
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02/19/2021 9:28 AM
Origination
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06/16/2017 12:00 AM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Research-Office of Sponsored Research