Introduction 1 – Overall Policy on Contracts and Grants


The University encourages the involvement of University personnel in seeking both federal and non-federal funds for sponsored research, training, and public service projects. These projects provide an opportunity for the faculty to extend themselves beyond the classroom and gain experience that can be utilized in their teaching and writing. This policy is consistent with the University’s goal to seek opportunities consistent with the University’s teaching, creative expression, and research standards; to serve the people of the state; and to promote understanding of the resulting mutual benefits.

Policies related to externally funded grants and contracts must ensure conformity of this activity to the stated purposes of the institution, provide an appropriate balance between this type of activity and instruction and guarantee institutional control of the administration of research projects. The researcher’s freedom to investigate and report results must be preserved. Research support from outside agencies should not undermine these basic research principles.

The institution must establish a clear policy concerning a faculty member’s division of obligations between research and other academic activities. The institution must ensure that this policy is published in such documents as the faculty handbook and made known to all faculty members. The institution should develop policies regarding summer salaries paid from contracts and grant funds, salary supplements paid from grants during the regular academic year and fees for consultative services undertaken by faculty members. These policies must also be published and made known to the faculty.

In accepting funds from outside agencies, the institution must take steps to ensure that the institution maintains control of research and instruction. Because many agencies attach stringent regulations directing and limiting the activities for which they provide funding, the institution must safeguard its prerogative to control its own activities.

Continuity of support for general institutional activities must not be endangered by acquisition of research contracts and grants. Grants are given and contracts are made for limited lengths of time. When the institution become dependent, even partially, upon such funds for faculty salaries and/or graduate fellowship and assistantship stipends, termination of grants and contracts can jeopardize an entire educational program. It is also important that the institution not become dependent upon indirect cost allowances from grants and contracts to support its regular operating budget.

Description of Offices Involved

To assist the faculty with submitting proposals and post award administration of contracts and grants, the University has established two offices: the Office of Sponsored Programs and the Office of Contracts and Grants.

Office of Sponsored Programs

The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), a department within the Provost’s Division, is available to help faculty and staff in the preparation and submission of research proposals. Subsequently, if funded, this office is involved in the programmatic aspects of administering the contract or grant. Accordingly, this office maintains all permanent files pertaining to the funded projects. Included in these files are the proposal, award letter, other communication with the awarding agency, and the final program report prepared by the principal investigator.

In addition, all the ancillary support activities needed for research (Animal Care Committee, Human Subjects Committee and other safety-related committees and responsibility for the internally funded programs) are housed in the Office of Research and Public/Private Sector Partnerships.

OSP is responsible for identifying potential funding sources and communicating such information to the faculty, maintaining contacts with potential sponsors and arranging appointments with such sponsors as requested by the faculty, and helping with the development of preliminary proposals to potential sponsors. In addition, the office is responsible for proposal processing–ensuring, prior to submission, that proposals conform to all agency requirements, that the proposed financial arrangements have been approved by the Office of Contracts and Grants and that special commitments have had prior internal review. This office is also the keystone for contract and grant administration, functioning as the liaison between the funding agency, the faculty member, and other University offices.

The Office of Sponsored Programs is the primary support organization for pre-award activity for sponsored programs at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. As such, it works with the Office of the Provost for academic matters dealing with sponsored programs and with the appropriate financial officers on fiscal matters. All contract and grants represent obligations of the University and, as such, must be signed on behalf of the University by the Director or Associate Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs.

Office of Contracts and Grants

The Office of Contracts and Grants, a department within the division of Business Affairs, provides assistance with the fiscal matters dealing with project administration. This includes providing budgetary advice during proposal preparation, as well as, the financial management of the funds awarded to the University to insure compliance with direct and indirect costing directives of the sponsoring agency. Permanent files maintained by the Office of Contracts and Grants are: interim and final financial statements filed with the agency; copies of the original budget and any budget revisions; prior approval notices from the agency where applicable; and any other correspondence relative to the fiscal management of the grant.

This office publishes procedures to ensure that expenditures are made within the regulations and policies of the University, the State of North Carolina, and the Federal Government. In addition, the office advises principal investigators of any special regulations which may be imposed by the granting agency.

Organization of Manual

This manual includes the basic information needed by the principal investigator to manage a contract or grant within the guidelines established by the University and the sponsoring agency. Programmatic questions should be directed to the Office of Sponsored Programs and financial questions to the Office of Contracts and Grants.