Sponsored Projects Definition

The presence of any one of the following conditions normally identifies the activity as a sponsored project:

  • The proposal is submitted in response to an RFP (request for proposals) or similar solicitation. All proposals are to be submitted via Kuali Research for review and approval.
  • The proposal commits the university to a specific line of scholarly or scientific inquiry typically documented in a statement of work to be performed.
  • The proposal includes a set of objectives that provides a basis for sponsor expectations.
  • The proposal commits university resources, such as the level of personnel effort or use of equipment, facilities or other resources.
  • The proposal includes a detailed budget.
  • The proposed project involves the use of human subjects, laboratory animals, radioactive or hazardous materials, recombinant DNA, carcinogens, pathogens or proprietary materials.
  • There is a written agreement for a commitment of resources between a sponsor (person, corporation, foundation or government agency) and the university.
  • There is a specified period of performance, typically defined by “start” and “end” dates.
  • The sponsor requires deliverables stated in an agreement, such as reports, financial accounting or intellectual property ownership.
  • The award includes conditions for specific formal fiscal reports and/or invoicing.
  • The award restricts or monitors publications or use of results or requires protection of confidential information.
  • The award provides for the disposition of tangible or intangible property that may result from the project such as equipment, records, formal activity reports, theses and dissertations, rights in data, software, copyrights, inventions or research-related materials.
  • The award specifies fiduciary responsibilities such as adherence to a line item budget, project audit, payment contingencies, and the return of any unexpended funds at the end of the project. The sponsor is involved in making decisions regarding project performance or stands to derive benefit from the work performed.

Sponsored awards are made to the university or Kent State University Foundation on behalf of the principal investigator (PI), who is primarily responsible for carrying out the requirements of the award. The PI may also be referred to as the project director.

In developing a proposal and administering an award, the PI represents the university and is responsible for upholding the high standards expected of university projects. The PI is responsible for obtaining all required university approvals by submitting the proposal through Kuali Research. The PI also serves as fiscal officer of the project, with all the attendant responsibilities of project fiscal management.

Sponsored projects are subject to facilities and administrative costs (F&A) at the university’s rate applicable to the type of project being conducted. If the sponsor has a published federally negotiated policy, uniformly applied, prohibiting or restricting the payment of F&A costs, the university will accept the reduced F&A rate in accordance with the sponsor’s policy. This policy does not apply to for-profit sponsors that are expected to provide full F&A recovery.

In cases where there is a question whether a particular project should be treated as a sponsored project contact the director of sponsored programs for guidance.