Roles and Responsibilities of the Office of Sponsored Projects

No. 4-25     Rev.       Date 11-08-05       



I. PURPOSE

To detail the role and responsibilities of the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) (formerly the Office of Grants and Contracts).

II. REFERENCES

  • OMB Circular A-21
  • Board of Regents Regulation 532-5
  • WSU Policy 4-26
  • Board of Regents Regulation 561-3

III.  DEFINITIONS

Awards, non-gift grants, contracts or memoranda of understanding between the University and federal, state or local government entities are sponsored projects.

Sponsored projects also include awards made to the University for non-gift grants and contracts by non-governmental organizations or foundations.  Typically, these awards are made after a published Call for Proposals, Request for Proposals, or similar solicitation.

Gifts to the University from private sources, including individuals, corporations, foundations and other organizations, involve philanthropic intent and are the responsibility of University Development.  These gifts are synonymous with donations.

If a faculty member pursues sources of funding that do not clearly fit one of the above categories, it is his/her responsibility to contact the Development Office or the Academic Associate Provost's office with a brief description of the proposed activity and name of potential funding source.  The Vice President for University Relations and the Academic Associate Provost will together make the final determination whether such projects are the purview of the Development Office or the Office of Sponsored Projects.

IV.  POLICY

A.  OSP will establish procedures and controls necessary to ensure University compliance with award requirements, laws, and regulations pertaining to sponsored projects.  In carrying out this role, the OSP will follow the established administrative guidelines in order to eliminate duplication of functions.

B.  OSP will ensure that all budgets are prepared and managed in accordance with applicable requirements, particularly those defined by the federal government.

C.  Pursuant to the Utah Board of Regents Regulation R532-5, budgets for all sponsored projects funded through the University will include applicable Facility and Administration (F&A) expenses (indirect costs), unless otherwise prohibited by regulation or written policy of the funding provider (see Policy 4-26).

D.  For audit and compliance purposes, OSP will maintain the University's official records for all sponsored projects funded through the University, including, but not limited to copies of award and sub-award agreements, correspondence and project reports.  OSP will act as host for compliance audits, providing official University documents for review.  

V.       INTEROFFICE RELATIONSHIPS

The OSP will maintain the relationships described below with the offices indicated.

A.  Development Office

OSP administers awards, contracts and memoranda of understanding between the University and federal, state or local government agencies unless otherwise authorized by the Provost.  OSP also administers applications in response to widely-published solicitations from non-governmental agencies and foundations.

In those cases where faculty members are unclear about which office is the more appropriate one to handle or solicit funds, they should contact either office.  The Academic Associate Provost and University Development will work together to determine which office should handle the project.  Additionally, the Academic Associate Provost reviews al pre-proposal materials submitted to OSP, and will call to the attention of the Development Office any proposal which seems to involve philanthropic intent.

B.  Deans, Department Chairs, Principal Investigators

The signature of the dean or director on the Sponsored Project Approval Form (available on the OSP website) will be taken as a certification that the document has been reviewed and that the following are true:

1.  The principal investigator is technically competent and capable of carrying out the program outlined in the proposal.

2.  The proposal is technically sound.

3.  The time or effort of faculty and staff members allocated to the program is available and the dean or department chair approve of the allocation of time between this program and other activities.

4.  The salaries requested will be at the present or anticipated base salary rates and are in line with University policies.

5.  Sufficient space is available and designated for the successful administration of the project.

6.  Provisions have been made to provide any necessary additional technical or office equipment.

7.  Charges for any exceptional computer time are included in the budget.

Deans, department chairs and principal investigators will route all initiated correspondence pertaining to a sponsored project through OSP for administrative approval and counter signature.

Copies of all correspondence from the sponsoring agency to the principal investigator, department chairs or deans will be forwarded to the OSP for filing in the master and prime account files.

C.  Accounting Services

When as awarding document (contract, grant or cover letter) places contractual restrictions on the use of the funds granted and requires specified contractual action by the University, the OSP will supply Accounting Services with the necessary guidelines and information for the establishment of an appropriate restricted account.

If authorizations for compensation, travel, fund transfer, special equipment purchases, etc., not originally provided for in the awarding document are required, OSP is responsible for securing the necessary authorizations from the funding provider and notifying Accounting Services when such approvals are received.

Restricted account payroll authorizations, purchase orders, fund transfers, travel requests, etc., will be processed routinely through OSP to ensure allowability and compliance with applicable restrictions.  Upon approval by OSP the documents will be forwarded to Accounting Services for processing.

Accounting Services will notify OSP if it becomes evident that an account may be over expended during the project period.  It will also prepare and submit to the funding provider, all financial reports required on restricted accounts, and will provide copies for the principal investigator and OSP.

D.  Property Control Department

In accordance with Board of Regents Regulation 561-3, Property Control will maintain adequate records of equipment purchased from Sponsored Project funds and will furnish OSP with any information required for compliance with regulations pertaining to such equipment.