Office of Sponsored Research - 200.02 - Signature Authority


Office of Sponsored Research - 200.02 - Signature Authority


This operating standard establishes the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) as the institutional authorized signatory to enter into legal commitments regarding sponsored research support on behalf of the University.

Policy Statement

Within the University of North Carolina System, delegations for University signatory authority are assigned by the chancellors of each constituent University and approved by the President.

The Vice Chancellor for Research (VCR) is the primary signatory authority designated by the Chancellor to enter into legal commitments involving sponsored projects on behalf of the University. This includes, but is not limited to, grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements. Throughout the University, there are several offices specifically granted official signature authority. OSR has been granted signature authority for all contracts, proposals, agreements for research, and sponsored programs.

Unless they are so named, deans, directors, and department heads do not have this institutional signature authority and, therefore, are not recognized as designated representatives of the University regarding the verbal or written acceptance of sponsored research agreements of any kind.


Based on the criteria presented in the University Grants Processing Policy and the University of North Carolina Policy Manual, commitments that do not involve external sponsors or an exchange of financial or equivalent considerations may not require signatory authority by the VCR or his/her designees. Consult OSR and the appropriate Dean, Director, or Department Head with specific questions.

The Sponsored Programs Office (SPO) is the signatory authority for sponsored research proposals from the UNC School of Medicine. In this regard, OSR and SPO each have shared responsibilities in the proposal review process.

Related Requirements

External Regulations and Consequences

Unit Policies, Standards, & Procedures

Contact Information

For questions regarding this operating standard and its related procedure, please contact

For questions regarding Pre-Award management or Post-Award administration, please contact the assigned Sponsored Projects Specialist (SPS).

For invoicing, reporting and other financial matters, please contact the assigned Sponsored Projects Accountant.
OSR Staff assignments may be found in RAMSeS or on the OSR website.


05/15/2018 - Revised to coincide with the release of the new OSR Website.

08/19/2013 - Updated title from VCRED to VCR.

The operating standards in the Office of Sponsored Research Operating Standards & Procedures Manual supersede any OSR operating standards, procedures and appendices previously included in the University Business Manual, a publication of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Division of Finance.

100% helpful - 1 review


Article ID: 132272
Thu 4/8/21 9:27 PM
Thu 7/22/21 5:49 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.
05/12/2021 12:00 AM
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Vice Chancellor
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
05/12/2021 12:00 AM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
05/12/2021 12:00 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
07/01/2008 12:00 AM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.