Contracts and Grants Policy 7 – Communications with Sponsor Agencies on Financial Matters

University Channels to be Followed on Administrative Matters

Communications between the University and the sponsoring agencies relative to financial management of projects are to be coordinated through the Director of Contracts and Grants. This includes, but is not limited to, negotiation of project terms or amounts, budget revisions, interpretation of contract/grant language or any events which may require formal approval of the University or sponsor. To facilitate the identification of written correspondence with the applicable award, reference must be made to the UNCG fund number assigned to the contract or grant.

Leaves of Absence

When a principal investigator (P.I.) is scheduled for a leave of absence, it is essential that written concurrence be obtained from the sponsor(s) involved prior to departure on the leave of absence. Satisfactory arrangements must be made for a substitute P.I. and continuation of the specified research or training. The definition of a leave of absence varies from sponsor to sponsor. For example, the National Science Foundation and NIH consider an absence in excess of three months to require advance agency approval. Other sponsors are more restrictive and reserve the right to approve any change in key project personnel. Adherence to sponsor requirements for advance notification and clearance minimizes the chance of problems with and possible costs disallowances by a sponsor. Coordination should be made through the Director of Contracts and Grants who can offer any assistance that may be required.

Should a P.I. plan to transfer to another university or terminate UNCG employment for other reasons, the appropriate Contract Specialist(s) should be contacted relative to sponsor requirements applicable to transfer or termination of an award. For example, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) requires the submission of “Official Statement Relinquishing Interests and Rights in a Public Health Service Research Grant” when the P.I. plans to continue the research at another institution. If the P.I. plans to request the transfer of equipment, Policy No. 11: Equipment Management, should be consulted.

Technical communications between P.I.s and their counterparts in the sponsoring agencies are authorized and encouraged, but direct communication between P.I.s and sponsor agency program directors on matters possibly affecting contractual agreements is to be avoided. Assistance in such matters is readily available from the Office of Contracts and Grants.

It is extremely helpful to Contracts and Grants if the assignment control number (e.g. via PHS Form 3830) given a proposal by the sponsor, primarily PHS, is provided our office. It facilitates inquiries to the sponsor. In those cases where a proposal is deferred, rejected, or not funded it is also helpful to forward a copy of such information to the Office of Sponsored Programs.