GRANTS AND RESEARCH 501-512
Mission: Troy University is a public institution comprised of campuses throughout Alabama and worldwide. International in scope, Troy University provides a variety of educational programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels for a diverse student body in traditional and nontraditional and emerging electronic formats. Academic programs are supported by a variety of student services, which promote the welfare of the individual student. Troy University’s dedicated faculty and staff promote discovery and exploration of knowledge dedicated to life-long success through effective teaching, creative partnerships, scholarship and research.
Research and creative work are requisites for effective teaching and active involvement in the intellectual and scholarly developments of an individual's field. What is considered appropriate research in one discipline may not be recognized as appropriate in another discipline; therefore, research or creative work should be evaluated in terms of its quality, its level of recognition among peers, and its significance to the advancement of the academic discipline. Moreover, the University recognizes that not all research ends in publication and that the significance of all research and creative endeavors is that it underscores and illumines excellent classroom teaching. Evidence of appropriate endeavors and activities includes:
- Research grants and projects
- Inventions and patents
- Artistic works and performances
- Reviews of creative and scholarly work
- Creation of educational materials
Sponsored research is defined as that research funded through external means to include federal, state, corporate and private sources.
All research at Troy University must adhere to guidelines for a particular project as set forth by the funding agency and in accordance with the procedures of the institution.
The OSP encourages, facilitates, and supports the development of proposals. Because project opportunities should be related to the predetermined interests of the University, the Office of Sponsored Programs will verify that all projects are related to the purpose and goals of Troy University. The OSP is also responsible for assuring that all agency guidelines and University policies are followed. The OSP staff identifies sources of external funding and assists faculty and administrators in all aspects of securing grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, and other types of awards. The OSP maintains funding source databases and references, and provides, or will obtain, sponsor guidelines and application forms. The OSP provides advice on funding possibilities, conceptualization of projects, budget preparation, filling of applications, proposal editing and review, as well as other aspects of the proposal development. In addition, the OSP, in consultation with the principal investigator, may assist in negotiating the terms of the award.
The OSP serves as a communications link between and among the University community and outside sponsors --- federal, state, and private sector foundations and corporations. The goal of the OSP is to help faculty and administrators secure funding and limit the burden of administrative and accountability responsibilities associated with that funding.
The OSP will develop and maintain a Procedures and Required Guidelines Manual that sets forth the requirements for all personnel engaged in sponsored program activities.
Prior to the development of a proposal the PI must obtain approval from the OSP.
Before a proposal can be processed by OSP and submitted to a funding agency, the principal investigator (PI) must obtain the required endorsement of the appropriate administrators as designated in the OSP Procedures and Required Guidelines Manual.
A grant is defined as fund secured through a competitive process
- In a grant, the priorities, conditions, terms and other criteria for awarding the grant are specified by the grantor agency. The grantee generally creates a proposal to meet the specified criteria.
- The award normally specifies budgetary restrictions; the objectives to be achieved by the use of the funds; the program in which the work will be carried out; the individuals responsible for the completion of the work; the period of performance; and invention and/or patent rights.
- The sponsor retains authority to withhold funds pending satisfactory completion of project objectives. Unused funds must be returned to the grantor.
- Formal financial accounting, during the life of the project, at its termination, or both, is required.
- The sponsor Reports related to the substance of the work during the life of the project and or at its termination, required by the sponsor. Copies of published materials may also be requested.
- Periodic payments are to be made to the University to enable the financing of a project on a continuous basis.
- Generally, research-related awards from corporations, corporate foundations, and major private foundations subject to specific restriction and contingencies are classified as grants. However, the classification ultimately depends on the terms attached to the award.
Contracts are defined as an agreement to perform services or deliver a product or goods within a specified period of time and for an agreed-to-price. Payment conditions vary from advance payments and monthly reimbursements to recovery of costs only after completion of the contract and acceptance of performance by the sponsoring agency.
- Generally, in a contract, the contractor and contractee mutually agree upon the services and conditions of the contract rather than pre-established criteria, as in a grant.
- The award is subject to formal conditions outlined in a contractual instrument signed by both parties.
- The sponsor often places more restrictions upon expenditures allowed in the pursuit of the activity.
- The sponsor requires periodic progress reports as well as others, often including invention reports, royalty reports, financial status reports, equipment inventory reports, etc.
- A closing audit is sometimes required.
Sponsors sometimes require that a portion of the total project costs be contributed
from other sources. Contributions may be in the form of cost sharing and matching.
Cost sharing and matching funds are usually a university contribution, however; they
come from external support. Any cost sharing arrangement requires adherence to the guidelines established in the OSP Procedures and Required Guidelines Manual, as well as the approval of appropriate administrators as identified in the above manual.
The use of human subjects in a research proposal must be reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). This is accomplished by submission of a human subject’s protocol to the IRB. Information regarding Human Subjects.
Proposals that involve the use of live vertebrate animals, regardless of the funding source, must be reviewed and approved by the Animal Research Review Board. Prior to proposal submission, an initial contact must be made with the Director of the OSP. For information about the procedures for conducting animal research, contact the Chair of the Animal Research Review Board.
Proposals and laboratory teaching activities which employ the use of recombinant DNA (which are not exempt from NIH guidelines), infectious agents, teratogens, mutagens, carcinogens, biohazards, hazardous waste, and the Environmental Committee must review radioactive material. For information, contact the OSP.
Other compliance issues may be developed and primary investigators must check with the OSP to ensure that they are in compliance with new standards.
A university faculty is made up of highly trained professionals, many of them of national and international reputation, representing a substantial reservoir of human resources. Services of this group are available to the various sectors of society for the mutual benefit of industry, government, the academic community and society at large. Outside employment and activities are encouraged, provided they do not detract from the full and competent performance of a faculty member's duties. In light of this, faculty whose activities are paid from grants or contracts should be aware of potential conflict of interest situations.
The policy is explained in detail in the Troy University Faculty Handbook, and the Troy University Staff Handbook.
The following represent prohibited activities or activities that can be permitted only with conditions:
- Orienting/influencing University research to serve the needs of a private financial interest or enterprise.
- Purchasing major equipment, instruments, material or other items for research from any private firm in which the staff member has either a direct or indirect interest.
- Transmitting to any private firm or enterprise, use for personal gain, or other unauthorized use of sponsored work products, results, material, records, or information that are not made generally available. (This includes licensing arrangements for inventions or consulting on the basis of sponsored research results or in any way using the information in outside activities.)
- The use for personal gain or other unauthorized use of privileged information, such as sharing the information in the course of outside activities, acquired in connection with the staff member's sponsored activities. (The term "privileged information" includes but is not limited to medical, personnel, or security records of individuals; anticipated material requirements or price actions; possible new sites for sponsor's operations; knowledge of forthcoming programs or of selection of contractors or subcontractors in advance of official announcements; and academic principles, ideas or processes discovered or improved upon as a result of sponsored activity).
- The direct or indirect participation in the negotiation of agreements relating to the staff member's research, between the University and private organizations with which the staff member has consulting or other contractual relationships.
- Acceptance of gratuities or special favors from private concerns with which the University does conduct, or may conduct, business in connection with a sponsored research project; or extension of gratuities or special favors to employees of the sponsoring agency under circumstances that might reasonably be interpreted as an attempt to influence the recipients in the conduct of their duties.
Reporting responsibilities for sponsored projects fall into two categories: Financial reporting and technical reporting. Financial reports are sent to the sponsoring agency and prepared by the Project Manager, OSP and Accounting Services. The Principle Investigator (PI) or Project Director prepares the technical reports with assistance from the OSP liaison. When a PI receives an award, he/she should determine what the agency requires in terms of reporting. It is imperative that reports are submitted in a timely manner and in accordance with the agency’s requirements.
Accounting Services assists in the preparation of all necessary financial reports. Most agencies require that final financial reports be submitted within 60-90 days after the termination of a project. In order for Accounting Services to meet these deadlines, it is imperative that any problems in an account, such as outstanding encumbrances, be cleared within 30-60 days of the termination of the project.
Patents and Copyrights
Patentable discoveries or inventions may result during the course of research on a sponsored project. Policies related to patents and copyrights are set forth in the Troy University Faculty Handbook.
Any item of permanent equipment costing $5000 or more is marked with a permanent Troy University identification number and becomes a part of the annual inventory of permanent equipment. Title to permanent equipment purchased with funds from a grant or contract varies by funding agency. To determine the title to any permanent equipment purchased on a specific grant or contract, one should consult the terms and conditions applicable to the grant or contract. Specific questions related to inventory/property control should be directed to the Director of Purchasing.
Sponsored project accounts are periodically audited by external agencies. OSP Accounting Services and the OSP liaison coordinate all contact with external auditors concerning sponsored projects. In cases in which an audit team requires files, documentation, or discussion with other campus personnel, OSP Accounting Services will make arrangements for these discussions or information, and usually a University accountant will review any materials and will be present at any discussions. If an external auditor contacts a project director, he/she should refer the auditor to the Principal Investigator’s assigned grant or contract accountant.
Close-out of fixed price agreements
Fixed Price Agreements that have been satisfactorily completed (all the terms of the agreement have been met) and have cash (budget) available must be closed by sending a memo, and executing other such steps as may be required, to Sponsored Programs Accounting.
Consultant Payments and Independent Service
Consultant payments on sponsored projects must represent compensation to individuals who are independent of the university and who render independent services. The University may not make consultant payments to faculty, staff or other employees where an employer/employee relationship exists. Rather, in these situations employees should be compensated for services via the University personnel/payroll system according to percent effort of committed time; or donate their services as professional courtesy. On the whole, it is expected that consulting needs can be satisfied from resources within the University community. When outside consulting services are needed for a grant or contract, all of these conditions must be met:
- There must be evidence that the services provided are essential and cannot be provided by persons receiving salary support under the sponsored project.
- There must be evidence that a selection process was employed to secure the most qualified person available.
- There must be evidence that the charge is appropriate considering the qualifications of the consultant, normal charges, and the nature of the services rendered.