The Sponsored Programs and Research Council (SPARC) of the 16-institution University of North Carolina is a forum for the advancement of sponsored programs and best practices in their administration. Made up of representatives from the Office of the President and each of the 16 constituent institutions, SPARC serves as an advisory council to the Vice President for Sponsored Programs and Research from the Office of the President. SPARC also serves as an inter-institutional forum and recommends policies for the University in areas related to sponsored programs and research, including:
- Identifying, discussing, and formulating recommendations, as necessary, on laws, regulations, and sponsor policies that affect or may affect the likelihood of funding or the manner in which funded projects are administered by the University;
- Recommending University-wide policies and procedures for the administration of sponsored programs and research and assisting in their implementation;
- Building competency in the administration of sponsored programs and research and providing opportunities to learn about and from each other;
- Encouraging collaborative activities among the constituent institutions;
- Identifying special needs that would be best addressed at a system-wide level;
- Advising on the dissemination of information on sponsored programs and research across the University; and
- Undertaking work in other areas as identified by the Vice President for Sponsored Programs and Research.
Membership on the Council consists of the Vice President for Sponsored Programs and Research and the Chief Research Officer (or designee) from each of the 16 constituent institutions, with the Vice President for Sponsored Programs and Research as Chairperson of the Council. Those constituent institutions that administer sponsored programs and research through two offices (e.g., pre-award and post-award) are encouraged to send representatives to the Council from both offices, but only the Chief Research Officer (or designee) is a voting member.