Rice University Research Policy No.
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR THE
MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION OF SPONSORED PROJECTS
This memorandum is a guide to assist principal investigators,
program chair and project leaders in the management of research or
other scholarly projects and expresses University policies and
procedures in research related matters and activities. It contains
specific information for proposal preparation and submission and
for the administration of on-going research projects. The guide
supplements, but does not supersede, instructions issued through
other Rice University policy memorandums and research policy
memorandums and bulletins.
Principal investigators and others responsible for sponsored
projects should read their grant and contract documents carefully
and be familiar with all requirements, terms, conditions, etc.
II.GENERAL POLICIES ON SPONSORED RESEARCH
Sponsored research should be proposed and carried out within a
regular department of the University, or through the cooperation of
several departments, and be led by a member of the faculty or
authorized professional research staff. Major research projects
should be clearly related to the academic programs of the
department or departments involved and provide opportunities for
graduate and/or undergraduate research training.
The budget should be adequate for the work proposed including
student support, possible salary increases and computer services,
and fringe benefits and indirect costs at standard rates. Results
of all research should be routinely offered for examination and
publication, as appropriate.
In accepting sponsored research, the University, the
departments, and members of the faculty or staff accept obligations
1. An appropriate share of the time and talent necessary to
perform the research.
2. Reports and publications describing the research performed
and the results achieved.
3. Compliance with all terms and conditions of the grant or
contract, such as those covering patents, copyrights, property,
travel, etc. and the timely submission of all technical and
Research and study on the part of the faculty are essential
elements of University work. Accordingly, members of the faculty
are encouraged to undertake research of special interest to them,
for both governmental and private organizations. Individual
researches are free to pursue interesting and important leads which
may arise during the conduct of research, subject only to the terms
of the research agreement and regulations of the sponsor.
The University recognizes the magnitude of current research
problems in both the scientific and humanistic disciplines and
interdisciplinary research is encouraged. It is, however,
anticipated that those faculty members jointly interested in an
interdisciplinary problem will team together under the overall
guidance of a leader who will be directly responsible for the
conduct of the project.
The right to publish research results in appropriate journals
should not be relinquished. However, where justified in certain
cases involving research projects completely supported by external
funds, publication may be postponed for reasonable periods of time.
The support of sponsors should usually be acknowledged in
A research agreement is executed between the supporting agency
and the University. While the principal investigator is responsible
for the technical work and is obliged to comply with all terms of
the agreement, the University is always the grantee or the
Federal research agreements normally require retention of
records for a period of three to six years after final close-out of
a research agreement. The Office of Advanced Studies and Research
is designated as the official office of record for all matters
pertaining to the technical and administrative management of the
research agreement; the controller's department is similarly
designated for all matters pertaining to fiscal records. Any
individual originating or receiving correspondence pertaining to a
research agreement will provide a copy thereof to the research
III. ADMINISTRATIVE RESPONSIBILITIES CONCERNING SPONSORED
The Principal Investigator
In initiating a sponsored research proposal, the faculty or
authorized staff member assumes responsibilities and obligations
which begin with the preparation of the proposal and continue
throughout the conduct of the research program. A final report and
other grant/contract closing documents are essential requirements.
The research project is not concluded until these responsibilities
As a principal investigator, project director/leader, etc., the
faculty or research staff member is responsible for the
1. That the research is soundly based; its primary goal is a
significant contribution to knowledge and that the personnel
involved are qualified.
2. That the budget is adequate to accomplish the research.
3. That the necessary time and talent is available for
commitment to the proposed research and for compliance with the
terms and conditions of the grant or contract, including those
covering reports and publications.
4. Identification of requirements for matching funds or cost
sharing and determining or locating sources for such support.
5. Compliance with safety standards and regulations.
6. The legitimate expenditure of grant/contract funds. No
funds will be used for purposes not allowable by University
policy and/or regulations of the sponsor.
The Academic Department
In supporting sponsored research activities by its faculty and
research staff, departments assume certain responsibilities. The
department chair's approval of a proposal certifies to the
1. Compliance with existing University and departmental
2. Academic/scholarly considerations and the professional and
scholarly quality of the project.
3. The competence of the principal investigator in the area of
4. The ability of the principal investigator to successfully
manage the proposed research project.
5. That the research project relates to the academic
objectives of the department and provides opportunities for
graduate and/or undergraduate research training.
6. The capability of the department to provide necessary
administrative support (personnel and supplies).
7. The availability of departmental facilities and equipment
to fulfill project needs.
8. The adequacy of the budget and the determination of the
department to prevent cost overruns.
9. The recognition of applicable safety standards and
regulations and the existence of plans for appropriate action to
comply with them.
The Vice President, Advanced Studies and
The Vice President, AS&R, assisted by the research
administrator, shall review sponsored research proposals for
compliance with policies of the University and the potential
sponsor with particular attention given to the following:
1. Contributions to the principal objectives of the
- The education of undergraduate and graduate students and
- The advancement of knowledge through research and
- The advancement and protection of the public interest and
2. Research shall be proposed and carried out within a regular
department of the University, or through the cooperation of
several departments, and be led by a member of the faculty or
authorized professional research staff.
3. The relationship of research activities to the educational
mission of the University.
4. The free publication of results.
5. University administrative control and responsibility for
6. No sponsor or other external party shall be allowed a
continuing role in the scientific direction of the research.
7. Reimbursement of the indirect expenses as well as the
direct costs of the research.
The Research Administrator
The research administrator at Rice University is responsible for
1. The review of all research proposals to insure compliance
with policies of the University and instructions of sponsoring
2. The administration of research grants and contracts between
Rice and sponsoring agencies.
3. The administration of University programs for the support
4. Assisting University personnel in locating potential
sources of funding for research, fellowships, and other scholarly
5. The collection and dissemination of appropriate data
regarding sponsored and unsponsored research.
IV. THE UNIVERSITY RESEARCH COUNCIL
The Rice University Research Council is responsible for the
adequacy and appropriateness of general University policies
concerning sponsored research and for the enhancement of
The council shall meet at the call of the chair to consider such
new policy or changes and such research promotional activities as
may be deemed to be appropriate.
The minutes of all meetings of the council and such
recommendations as the council may wish to make shall be recorded
in writing and submitted to the Vice President, Advanced Studies
V. PROPOSAL PREPARATION
This section prescribes the standard procedures and forms for
submitting proposals for sponsored programs, including those for
research, educational activities, facilities, equipment, and
The process of obtaining research support starts with a proposal
written by a member of the faculty or authorized research staff. It
is reviewed by appropriate department and University officials, and
submitted to potential sponsors. After grant or contract terms and
conditions are negotiated and an award is made, a University
account for the funds is established. The research activity is
directed by the principal investigator who is also responsible for
the timely submission of reports to the sponsor . Since the grant
or contract is a binding legal agreement between the sponsor and
the University, the University must play a significant role in the
project administrative process.
Types of Proposals
1. Proposals for "Research" are those for the support of any
form of original work, including the writing of articles or books
or other forms of scholarly investigation.
2. Proposals for "Education Activities" are those for the
improvement of instruction, teacher training programs,
institutes, conferences, symposia, seminars, continuing studies
3. Proposals for "Facilities" are those for support of all or
part of a new building, an annex to a building, renovations,
4. Proposals for "Equipment" include those for all types of
permanent equipment including research equipment, instructional
equipment, apparatus, etc.
5. Proposals for "Service Activities" include those involving
service to some segment of the local community, service to the
city, state, or country, service to another school or consortium
of schools, etc.
On-Campus Routing of Proposals
1. In preparing a proposal for any sponsored program, the
principal investigator will be expected to avail himself, or
herself, as appropriate and needed, of the advice and counsel of
fellow members of the faculty, the chair of the department, the
division dean, and the University Office of Advanced Studies and
Research. The proposal will be typed in the proper form with an
appropriate cover page and an action brief. The original and four
copies will be submitted by the principal investigator to the
chair of the department. Of this number, one copy is for
retention by the chair of the department, one is for the
divisional dean and two copies are required by the Office of
Advanced Studies and Research. (One of the latter two goes to the
research accountant at the time the project is funded. The other
copy will be the AS&R file copy.) Additional copies are
usually required by sponsoring agencies. The number prescribed
should be submitted directly to the potential funding source,
after approval by AS&R and the PRESIDENT.
2. To simplify the submission of proposals for sponsored
programs, and to provide a record of approval by each person or
office involved, the "ACTION BRIEF" form will be used for the
on-campus routing of all proposals.
1. Proposals for
will go from the initiating faculty member to the following, in
Vice President, Advanced Studies and Research
Assistant to the President
2. Proposals for
, including continuing studies,
, will go from the initiating faculty member to the following, in
1. Department Chair
2. Dean of the School or Academic Division concerned
3. Vice President, Advanced Studies and Research
4. Assistant to the President
proposals that include matters of significance regarding the
procurement, use, modification or construction of facilities and
plant equipment will be routed to the vice president for
administration (and his signature on the action brief) before
going to AS&R.
4. All proposals to private foundations, individuals,
corporations, consortiums, etc., other than those to such
organizations that regularly support sponsored programs at Rice,
will be routed to the Vice President for Administration for
coordination, (and his signature on the action brief form).
Proposal Review and Approval
1. Only the president personally, or, under certain special
circumstances a person specifically designated by the president,
may sign a proposal for the institution and thus commit the
University. Principal Investigators will submit their proposals
without having the name and title of the approving institutional
official typed in. This will be completed in the office of
AS&R following signature.
2. Before initiating a proposal and starting it on its way,
the faculty Principal Investigator must insure that it is
complete in all respects. He or she should anticipate potential
problem areas and questions that may arise out of the on-campus
reviews and attach such explanatory memoranda as may be deemed
appropriate. Doing this will almost always save time in the
long-run. In particular, the sources of necessary matching funds
must be determined in advance and clearly indicated on the
accompanying action brief. If appropriate, the concurrence of
University officials who may have an interest shall be obtained
Chair of the Department
reviews proposals for compatibility with the intellectual aims
and fiscal responsibility of the department.
Dean of the School or Division
(as required) reviews proposals for compatibility with the
intellectual aims and fiscal responsibilities of the unit.
5. Proposals for interdisciplinary programs involving faculty
from more than one division or school should be approved by all
of the department chairmen and deans involved, as
University Office of Advanced Studies and
reviews proposals from the standpoint of the academic, fiscal,
administrative and other requirements of the University and
arranges for such changes as may be considered to be necessary.
Proposals are then submitted to the President for his review and
approval in the name of the University.
Office of the Research Administrator
will notify the department or the principal investigator after
the president has affixed his approving signature. It shall be
the responsibility of the investigator, or the department, to
pick up the signed original and to mail or deliver the original,
plus the number of copies required by the agency concerned, to
the potential sponsor before their deadline.
Essential Funding to be Sought
1. Fringe benefits and indirect costs must, of course, always
be fully included at the established rates in all proposal
budgets, except where specifically precluded by written
instructions of the potential sponsor.
2. In addition to fringe benefits and indirect costs, proposal
budgets should include funding requests for the items listed
below where it is expected that expenditures will be required for
such items during the conduct of the proposed project, except
where specifically precluded by written instructions of the
- Staff (shop, secretarial, etc.)
- Academic year/summer salary for faculty
- Graduate student, stipends, to include that necessary for
the student to pay tuition, as required
- Consumable supplies/special materials
- Miscellaneous services (maintenance, analytical,
- Long distance telephone calls
Time Required to Clear the University
Faculty members should keep in mind the date set by sponsors for
the receipt of proposals in relation to the time it takes for
university review and approval, and for mail delivery. Under normal
circumstances, processing requires three or more working days, but
unless proposals are received by the Office of Advanced Studies and
least five working days before the date that it must be
, timely mailing cannot be assured.
1. Occasionally, because of departures from our standard
procedures, some difficulties, embarrassments, and
misunderstandings occur. Principal investigators should note,
that whenever any of the fiscal aspects of a proposal, or of an
award already made, are to be altered in any way, the
communication of such changes should proceed through the same
channels as a proposal. In particular, changes in the budget of a
contract or grant and requests for no-cost extensions, should be
communicated to the sponsor via the Office of Advanced Studies
and Research to assure official sanction. This is important
because the financial terms of any grant or contract or other
agreement are legally binding upon the University. Faculty
members cannot make legal commitmen ts or negotiate sub-contracts
except through AS&R and with the approval of the
2. When a member of the faculty communicates informally with
any sponsoring agency or office regarding a possible sponsored
program of any kind, a broad approximation of the total cost of
the program may be given but no detailed budget should be
submitted. Only the president or persons specifically designated
by him or her can commit the University in the matter of
indirect costs, university-sharing of costs, or other matters
which are properly the responsibility of the University
3. The principal investigator may have supporting personnel
consisting of one or more postdoctoral researchers, professional
specialists, graduate students, undergraduate students,
laboratory technicians, secretaries, etc., as properly required
for the successful completion of sponsored work, provided funds
are available under a given grant or contract to cover the full
cost of such supporting personnel, including stipends, graduate
tuition, fringe benefits, computing, publishing, equipment,
supplies, travel, indirect costs, etc. It should be understood by
everyone that no commitments of long range or permanent
employment can be made for any category of such personnel under
any sponsored program.
4. The Office of Advanced Studies and Research is very anxious
to be of service to all members of the faculty and staff of the
University in connection with all phases of sponsored
Helpful Suggestion for the Smooth Processing of
It is the duty of the Office of Advanced Studies and Research to
see that your proposal is submitted in the best possible form and
each proposal is given a close and careful review. Several common
mistakes occur in the preparation of a research proposal and the
following suggestions should help to avoid these mistakes and
insure the smooth processing of your proposal.
1. Be sure to check the budget carefully. Make sure that the
rates for fringe benefits and indirect costs have been used in
the preparation of the budget.
2. Make sure that all necessary forms are included with the
proposal (i.e. the Action Brief, the proper cover page, etc.). If
the proposal is in response to an R.F.P. or some other
solicitation or request, please be sure to include all the
information regarding such solicitations.
3. If any questions or problems arise during the preparation
of the proposal, please contact the Office of Advanced Studies
and Research (ext. 4820) rather than waiting until the proposal
is completed and sent through for processing. This precaution may
save you and AS&R valuable time and unnecessary revisions
VI. RESEARCH GRANT AND CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION
Research Projects Involving Human Subjects
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), regulation
45 CFR 46, provides a systematic means, based on established
ethical principles, for protecting the rights and welfare of
individuals who may be exposed to the possibility of physical,
psychological, or social injury while they are participating as
subjects in research, development, or related activities. The
regulation extends to the human fetus (either in utero or ex
utero), the dead, organs, tissues, and body fluids, and graphic
written, or recorded information derived from human sources. It
covers activities which present no physical risk to the subjects,
but which may create legal risks or expose subjects to public
embarrassment or humiliation through breach of confidentiality or
invasion of privacy. The major focus of a project (for example, on
a medical procedure) may not be the sole determinant of the types
of risks involved or the need for additional protection. The
safeguarding and confidentiality of medical records and other forms
of data collected on individuals and groups, the use of such data
by the principal investigator conducting the original research,
concurrent uses of the data by other investigators, and the use of
the data for research purposes at a later time are considered
within the scope of this policy.
The regulation requires institutional assurances, including the
implementation of procedures for review, and the assignment of
responsibilities for adequately protecting the rights and welfare
of human subjects. Safeguarding these rights and welfare is, by
DHHS policy, primarily the responsibility of the applicant
organization. In particular, the applicant organization is
responsible for ensuring that the activity described in the
application and additional information relating to human subjects,
derived materials or data are reviewed and approved by an
Institutional Review Board (IRB).
If a proposal involves human subjects, PHS requires that the
principal investigator shall, under the heading HUMAN SUBJECTS,
DERIVED MATERIALS OR DATA, at the end of research plan section of
the application, provide the following information:
1. Identify the sources of the potential subjects, derived
materials or data. Describe the characteristics of the subject
population, such as their anticipated number, age, sex, ethnic
background, and state of health. Identify the criteria for
inclusion or exclusion. Explain the rationale for the use of
special classes of subjects, such as fetuses, pregnant women,
children, institutionalized mentally disabled, prisoners, or
others, especially those whose ability to give voluntary informed
consent may be in question.
2. Describe the recruitment and consent procedures to be
followed, including the circumstances under which consent will be
solicited and obtained, who will seek it, the nature of
information to be provided to prospective subjects, and the
methods of documenting consent. (A copy of the consent form is
required by PHS staff for review purposes.)
3. Describe any potential risks - physical, psychological,
social, legal, or other - and assess their likelihood and
seriousness. Describe alternative methods, if any, that were
considered and why they will not be used.
4. Describe the procedures for protecting against or
minimizing any potential risks and include an assessment of their
likely effectiveness. Include a discussion of confidentiality
safeguards, where relevant, and arrangements for providing
medical treatment if needed.
5. Describe and assess the potential benefits to be gained by
the subjects, as well as the benefits that may accrue to society
in general as a result of the planned work.
6. Discuss the risks in relation to the anticipated benefits
to the subjects and to society.
Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human
Subjects at Risk
The purpose of the Rice University Institutional Review Board is
to provide for the adequate discharge of the University's legal
responsibility for safeguarding the rights and welfare of research
subjects at risk.
The board functions to:
1. Review proposed research projects and activities involving
2. Review on-going research projects and activities involving
The Board will determine for each activity as planned and
1. Whether subjects will be placed at risk, and if risk is
- a. The risks to the subject are so outweighed by the sum of
the benefit to the subject and the importance of the knowledge
to be gained as to warrant a decision to allow the subject to
accept these risks.
- b. The rights and welfare of any such subjects will be
- c. Legally effective informed consent will be obtained by
adequate and appropriate methods.
- d. Emergency medical treatment is reasonably available.
2. The time intervals at which the board will meet to provide
for continuing review. Continuing reviews must be conducted and
reported on at least annually.
Research Projects Involving Recombinant DNA
Research by Rice University personnel involving recombinant DNA
molecules, regardless of sponsorship or sources of funding, will be
conducted only with the approval and under the cognizance of the
Rice University Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), and in
accordance with the Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant
DNA Molecules, published by the National Institutes of Health.
(Policy Memorandum 321-year.)
The purpose of the Institutional Biosafety Committee is to
insure that recombinant DNA activities at Rice University comply
with the guidelines, and are conducted safely.
All research proposals and projects known or appearing to
involve recombinant DNA shall be referred to the committee.
Further, the committee must be notified before any research
involving recombinant DNA is initiated, whether or not it is
externally funded. The committee will visit and inspect each
laboratory in which recombinant DNA research is to be conducted and
review with the investigator(s) and other personnel concerned the
procedures for complying with the guidelines of the NIH and other
sponsors of research involved. Follow-up visits and inspections
will also be conducted by the committee.
The Rice University Biosafety Committee will function to:
1. Advise the University administration on policies.
2. Review applications for the support of research involving
recombinant DNA molecules to insure that the facilities,
procedures and practices and expertise of the personnel involved
are satisfactory and, if approved by the committee, to certify
such on the application.
3. Review the actions of principal investigators involved with
recombinant DNA research to insure that proper safeguards are
implemented and that the responsibilities of the principal
investigator, and others, as specified in Part IV (Roles and
Responsibilities) of the guidelines are carried out.
4. Review ongoing research at least annually and, if approved
by the committee, to certify such to the President.
The care and use of laboratory animals are governed by The
Laboratory Animal Welfare Act, Public Law 89-544, as amended, and
such instructions and guides as may be issued by the National
Institutes of Health (OPRR).
The Rice University Animal Welfare Committee shall be composed
of at least five members who are knowledgeable regarding the care
and use of animals used in research, including at least one
veterinarian. The committee shall maintain oversight of animal
facilities and procedures reviewing them at least annually and
reporting to the Vice President, AS&R.
Grant or Contract Negotiations
Administrative negotiations for all grants and contracts and
other research agreements are the responsibility of the research
administrator. All negotiations will, or course, be closely
coordinated with the principal investigator.
All grants or contracts should be officially received for the
University by the research administrator. Awards transmitted
directly to principal investigators, departments, etc. should be
delivered immediately to the research administrator to facilitate
activation. The research accountant in the controller's department
will make the funds available to the principal investigator through
a separate account.
Principal investigators are furnished a copy of each grant or
contract. They should review the document carefully, with
particular attention to the scope of work, budget limitations and
report requirements. The research administrator will be responsible
for negotiation and compliance with the general terms and
conditions which, in the case of some contracts, may amount to
several pages of "boiler-plate" provisions.
A grant or contract is a legal binding agreement between the
sponsor and Rice University, on behalf of the principal
Any questions concerning the agreement, or any modification in
terms or cost, are to be referred to the research
After a contract or grant has been received and an account has
been established, the principal investigator is responsible for
initiating requests for personnel appointments and for the purchase
of any materials or supplies needed by the project. Offices
throughout the University are available to help, but unless he/she
signals requirements clearly and at the proper time, things will
not get done. For assistance with any administrative problems that
arise during initiation or conduct of the research, the project
leader should consult with the research administrator.
One of the most important responsibilities of the principal
investigator is to keep track of project expenditures and
commitments and to prevent them from exceeding the budget or being
used for inappropriate purposes. Even if the project leader
designates other persons as "authorized signers" for his or
her project, he or she remains the person solely
responsible for operating within the budget. The principal
investigator is assisted in monitoring expenditures of project
funds by the monthly fiscal status reports issued by the Controller
Department. Specific questions concerning these reports should be
addressed to the research accountant.
The product or deliverables of most sponsored projects is a
report or a series of reports. Consequently, the principal
investigator should give best effort to this aspect of the project.
The principal investigator should make sure that he/she knows the
sponsor's requirements for reporting and plans the work of the
project so that all required reports are carefully prepared and
submitted by their due dates.
Expenditure of Grant/Contract Funds
The grant/contract period begins on the effective date of the
agreement and runs for the length of time indicated on the award
document. Expenditures incurred prior to the effective date of the
grant/contract may not be charged against the project account
unless specifically authorized in the award document. No
expenditures may be made after the scheduled expiration date of the
agreement unless approved by the sponsor.
Sponsors generally allow principal investigators the freedom to
pursue interesting and important leads which may arise during the
conduct of a sponsored project. They may also discontinue or modify
unpromising lines of inquiry. However, when such modifications
result in a major deviation from original research objectives,
prior approval must be obtained from the sponsor.
Similarly, reasonable flexibility is provided the principal
investigator in the expenditure of funds. However, there are
certain specific restrictions on rebudgeting, and the expenditure
of any funds in excess of the amount budgeted for any item in the
budget should be cleared with the research administrator. In some
cases, the Vice President, AS&R has been delegated authority to
approve minor deviations; in others, such as changes in senior
personnel (including sabbatical leave), foreign travel, or the
acquisition or expensive equipment, prior written approval of the
sponsor is required. Requests to sponsors for approval of changes
in program objectives or in the authorized budget are initiated by
the principal investigators and transmitted via the department
chairman to the Vice President, AS&R, who will provide the
necessary University endorsement on the request.
Although general questions concerning purchasing procedures
should be referred to the controller department, questions relating
to the propriety of purchases under grants and contracts may be
addressed to the research administrator. Government contracts often
contain specific purchasing requirements -- or limitations. Many
require prior approval by the sponsor before certain types of
expenditures can be made.
Requests for sponsor's approval should normally be in the form
of a letter from the principal investigator addressed to the
sponsoring agency program manager and endorsed by an institutional
representative. Such a letter should be forwarded to the research
administrator for the endorsement and forwarding to the agency.
The following are some examples of the kinds of purchases that
frequently require prior approval from government sponsors:
1. Purchase of capital EQUIPMENT costing $1,000 or more.
2. Purchase of articles or supplies not produced or
manufactured in the U.S.
3. Purchase of general purpose equipment or furniture.
4. Building construction, alteration or restoration.
5. Special insurance
7. Consultant services
8. Any other special costs.
Rice University Travel Policies and Procedures are prescribed in
Policy Memorandum No. 806-93
. Some travel reminders are listed below:
1. Foreign travel requires prior approval by the sponsor under
government grants and contracts and should be processed through
the research administrator approximately two months in advance of
departure to allow adequate time for arrangements. (Some sponsors
require the filling out of a form.)
travel expenses for food and lodging will be reimbursed on the
basis of actual and reasonable costs.
travel expenses on federally sponsored projects may be limited to
maximum per diem allowances in effect at the time. These should
be ascertained prior to departure.
3. Government grant or contract funds may be used for domestic
travel to scientific or technical meetings, provided funds for
such travel were included in the proposal budget, and provided
the travel is approved by the principal investigator.
4. Entertainment - government regulations and contracts do not
permit charges for entertainment.
Property purchased under government sponsorship
falls into one of these two categories:
1. Grants and other Agreements: The property listed in the
proposal and authorized by the grant may be purchased without
further approval. Title to property costing less than $1,000 will
vest in the University upon receipt. However, for equipment
costing $1,000 or more, the sponsor may reserve the right to
transfer the title to the federal government or to a third party
(an option that is rarely exercised).
2. Contracts: Generally, title to property purchased or
fabricated under a contract is vested in the government.
Inventories are required. We normally request title transfer to
Rice University for equipment costing less than $1,000 during the
course of the contract period or when submitting the final
inventory. Title to equipment costing $1,000 or more may be
requested upon the expiration of the contract.
Title to government-furnished equipment for use on a contract or
grant is vested in the government, and usually the University can
obtain title only if declared surplus by the government.
1. Responsibility: The principal investigator(s) named in the
contract is responsible for the care, control, and custody or
property accountable under that contract.
2. Administration: The University property administrator is
responsible for establishing uniform property control procedures
and for maintaining central property records for all sponsored
projects, that will assist principal investigators in meeting
contractual obligations with respect to property.
3. Receipt: Principle investigators must insure that all
permanent equipment is entered into the University property
inventory control system as it is delivered or brought on to the
4. Sponsor Requirements: Since requirements for property
control vary between government agencies, it is necessary to read
the terms of the contract or grant to insure that basic
requirements are satisfied. For further details and for
information about acquisition, transfer of title, equipment
disposal and inventory, contact the office of the research
Shared Use of Equipment
Federal Bureau of the Budget regulations require that during the
time that personal property is held for us on the government
sponsored project or program for which it was acquired, the
recipient shall make it available for use on other projects or
programs, if such other use will not interfere with the work on the
project or program for which the property was originally acquired.
Preference for such other use shall be:
1. Other projects or programs of the same Federal agency.
2. Projects or programs of other Federal agencies.
3. Activities not sponsored by the Federal Government (if the
property is owned by the Federal Government, authorization of the
Federal agency concerned may be required.)
Industrial Security Clearances
It is sometimes desirable that an individual acquire a security
clearance on a "need-to-know" basis for access to classified
information. The research administrator serves as the industrial
security supervisor. All requests for personnel security clearances
are processed through the Office of the Research Administrator, who
is also responsible for the maintenance of up-to-date records
reflecting currently cleared University personnel. Detailed
information is contained in the "Standard Practice Procedures for
Safeguarding Classified Information" (
Policy Memorandum 818-88
All research grant and contract funding agencies require the
submission of certain reports, both periodically during the course
of the research project and upon termination. Generally, they are
of the following four types:
1. Performance Reports - Usually called progress or technical
reports. Used to inform the sponsor or contracting agency of the
progress of research underway and of results and accomplishments
upon completion or termination.
2. Invention Reports - Used to promptly inform the sponsor or
contracting agency of new discoveries and inventions. A complete
written disclosure of each invention conceived or first actually
reduced to practice is usually required immediately, and prior to
publication. Following this, determinations will be made by the
sponsor and/or the University, concerning advisability of a
patent application, ownership, licensing and royalty
arrangements. A final report of inventions, including a negative
report when there are none, is required by some sponsors upon the
termination of a research project.
3. Property Reports - Used to keep inventories and
accountability current on all permanent equipment purchased with
grant/contract funds or furnished by the sponsor. Some agencies,
including DOD and NASA require both periodic and termination
property reports. Others may require a report only upon
termination of the project. Title transfer to the University may
be contingent upon agency approval of such reports.
4. Fiscal Reports - Prepared and submitted by the research
accountant and/or principal investigator, periodically and/or on
termination, in accordance with the sponsor's instructions.
Expenditures are subject to the sponsor's approval, or
disallowance if not in accordance with the approved budget.
As the grantee or contractor, Rice University is responsible,
clearly and directly, to all grantors or contracting agencies for
the timely submission of all reports in accordance with the terms
of the research agreement. These instructions are issued to
The Vice President, Advanced Studies and Research, through the
research administrator, will execute the University's reporting
responsibilities by either transmitting the reports to the sponsor,
or where agency instructions will permit, insuring that the
principal investigator or other responsible administrative official
submits the reports directly to the sponsor, within the time
allowed, furnishing a copy to the research administrator.
Principal investigators and administrative officials will
execute their reporting responsibilities in accordance with the
1. Performance Reports - The principal investigator will
submit both periodic and terminal reports to the research
administrator for transmittal, unless the sponsor's instructions
permit direct reporting the principal investigator prefers to
handle them in this way; in which case the research administrator
should be furnished with a copy.
2. Invention Reports - Rice University
Policy Memorandum 303-90
, "Patent and Copyright Policy" requires immediate reporting to
the Vice President, Advanced Studies and Research, of new
inventions and discoveries. AS&R will make required reports
to sponsors based on information thus received.
3. Property Reports - The property administrator will cause
the property reports required by funding agencies to be prepared.
Reports will be prepared from data in the inventory control
system file, managed by the property administrator. The property
administrator should ascertain that the property reports agree
with the University accounting record where applicable. Reports
will be coordinated with the research administrator.
4. Fiscal Reports - Prepared and submitted by the research
accountant, except where submission by the principal investigator
is required. In both cases, the research accountant and the
principal investigator will effect coordination with each other,
prior to submission. Fiscal reports prepared for submission with
renewal or continuation proposals must be verified by the
research accountant. Final fiscal reports cannot contain
outstanding commitments. It is the responsibility of the
principal investigator to ascertain that all outstanding
commitments are liquidated by the termination date of a grant or
contract. This will allow the submission of the fiscal report in
a timely fashion.
The acceptance of a research grant or contract carries with it
the obligation to submit technical and administrative reports by
the times prescribed by the sponsor. It is incumbent upon the
principal investigator and administrative officials concerned to
see that the terms of the agreement are met in every way.
Adherence to these aspects of research grants and contracts can
be beneficial to both investigators and the University. The timely
submission of all required reports will aid in creating and
maintaining good relationships between Rice and the sponsoring
agencies. In the long run, if goodwill exists, then the sponsors of
our research will perhaps be more receptive to our proposals for
support in the future.
We are experiencing strict enforcement of administrative
regulations by both federal and private sponsors. If we are to
continue to receive the external support that we need to do
research, we must do the best that we can to meet our contractual
obligations. The full cooperation of all principal investigators
and University administrative officials is important.
Policy No. 301-83
Janurary 1, 1983
Policy No. 301A-91