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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 Programs (OSP) is not the only office concerned with elements of sponsored research and projects; however, it is considered the central, definitive resource.
Management of sponsored research is a combined effort of the University of North Carolina System Office (UNC-SO), the University proper, the sponsors that provide their support to research efforts at the University, and the Principal Investigators (PIs) who spearhead the research itself. The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) considers the policies, regulations, and requirements issued by State, University, and Federal offices for every individual sponsored research project.