The UNC Policy Manual
Regulations on Administering Sponsored Programs
This administrative memorandum establishes the general requirements, responsibilities, and relationships, with respect to sponsored programs, of the University of North Carolina Office of the President and the 16 constituent institutions (together referred to as the "University"), and its faculty, staff, and students. "Sponsored programs" refers to scholarly, professional, and creative activities that University personnel conduct with support from external funding instruments such as grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, or other agreements deemed appropriate by the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina. Sponsored programs, therefore, are key instruments through which the University fulfills its diverse mission; efficient and effective administration of sponsored programs is imperative.
2. Sponsored Programs and Research Council
The University Council on Research is hereby reconstituted as the University of North Carolina Sponsored Programs and Research Council (SPARC). The council will consist of one or more representatives from the Office of the President and one or more representatives from each constituent institution. The Office of the President shall have one voting member on the council who shall serve as its chair, as appointed by the President. Each constituent institution shall have one voting member on the council, as appointed by the institution's chancellor and confirmed by the President. SPARC is authorized to adopt bylaws, not inconsistent with this or other University policies, to govern its administration.
3. Delegation of Authority
The Board of Governors retains overall policy-making authority with respect to sponsored programs. SPARC may recommend revisions of this guidance pursuant to procedures outlined in its bylaws. The President delegates to SPARC the authority to create guidelines and procedures, ancillary to this administrative memorandum, which shall govern the administration of sponsored programs within the University. The authority not delegated, nor prohibited herein, is reserved to the institutions.
Generally, two basic features define sponsored programs: (1) they are separately supported in whole or in part by external sponsors, and (2) they are executed under the terms of agreement between the University and sponsors. While the specific instruments (e.g., grant, contract, cooperative agreement) authorizing sponsored programs typically are associated with specific individuals or groups, those instruments legally are awarded to the University. Information about all sponsored programs will be compiled according to guidelines established by SPARC for submission to and approval by the Office of the President. General criteria that must be considered in the development of sponsored programs include:
a. Adequate budgetary support, both direct and indirect, is to be provided by the sponsor or other appropriate sources. No unauthorized obligations are to be assumed by the University.
b. Sponsored programs must be compatible with the overall mission of the University.
c. Sponsored programs must be consistent with federal and state laws and University policies.
5. Office of the President Requirements and Responsibilities
The Office of the President will:
a. Collect and review sponsored programs data from the constituent institutions and disseminate reports.
b. Advocate for sponsored programs support.
c. Maintain sponsored programs information resources.
d. Provide leadership in the professional development of faculty and staff concerning sponsored programs.
e. Maintain and disseminate guidelines and procedures related to sponsored programs.
f. Resolve disputes among constituent institutions.
g. Interface with state and federal governmental entities on behalf of the constituent institutions.
h. Facilitate interinstitutional collaboration on sponsored program activities.
6. Constituent Institution Requirements and Responsibilities
Each constituent institution will:
a. Report sponsored programs submission, award, and expenditure data to the Office of the President.
b. Ensure that sponsored programs are conducted and funds are used in a manner consistent with federal and state laws and University policies.
c. Ensure that sponsored programs funds reside in a designated University account.
d. Ensure that a statement of work and budget exists explaining the purpose and use of each sponsored program's funds.
e. Ensure that only those with delegated authority enter into agreements that commit the University to provide for the delivery of goods or services.
f. Ensure that prior approval from the Office of the President is obtained for the following:
i. Commitment to continue an activity, retain personnel, provide cash matching/cost sharing funds, or provide capital improvements or equipment beyond the expiration of sponsored support or in excess of institutional resource levels.
ii. Creation of a new organizational unit within the institution or the University.
iii. Creation of a new degree program.
7. Faculty and Staff Requirements and Responsibilities
Each faculty or staff member involved with sponsored programs will:
a. Submit all requests for support of sponsored programs through the appropriate institutional office for review and approval prior to submission to the sponsor.
b. Adhere to all federal and state laws and University policies.
c. Conduct sponsored program activities in accordance with the highest ethical standards.