Policy | Contract and Grant Responsibilities

Forms for approving proposals for submission to funding agencies, as well as activations for authorizing the Grants Accountant to assign an account number, have occasionally been signed by non-permanent, full-time persons. Past history has demonstrated the need for permanent, full-time staff to have the overall responsibility for proposals and funded projects. In view of this, the following policy is to be followed.

Policy

A permanent, full-time faculty or professional staff member is to be responsible for a contract or grant as either principal investigator or project director. If it is desirable to recognize the important contributions being made to a project by a non-permanent, full- time faculty or professional staff member, then that person may serve as a Faculty Associate (faculty member), a Postdoctoral Associate, or Other Professional*. A permanent, full-time faculty or professional staff member must serve as the project director with full responsibility for approving all invoices, requisitions, and any other charges to be made to the project budget including those on interdepartmental transfers (IDTs). The permanent, full-time faculty or professional staff member is also responsible for any technical changes, budget changes, and project reports. In unusual circumstances, exceptions to this policy can be made with the approval of the Associate Vice President for Research.

In the event the Principal Investigator or Project Director is absent, his or her supervisor or Center Director, if applicable, is authorized to act on their behalf (including signature authority) in their absence.

Implementation

The forms used to propose and to activate a project and any expenditure document (including an IDT) are to contain the signature of the project's permanent, full-time faculty or professional staff member. Any requests to the funding agency must be initiated by the project's permanent, full-time faculty or professional staff member and must be processed through the Office of Research.

* Personnel categories for research proposals (reproduced from the NSF Grant Proposal Guide, Exhibit II-7).

  1. Senior Personnel
    1. (co) Principal Investigator(s) -- the individual(s) designated by the grantee and approved by NSF who will be responsible for the scientific or technical direction of the project. If more than one, the first one listed will have primary responsibility for the project and the submission of reports.
    2. Faculty Associate (faculty member) -- an individual other than the Principal Investigator(s) considered by the performing institution to be a member of its faculty or who holds an appointment as a faculty member at another institution, and who will participate in the project being supported.
  2. Other Personal
    1. Postdoctoral Associate -- an individual who received a Ph.D., M.D., D.Sc. or equivalent degree less than five years ago, who is not a member of the faculty at the performing institution, and who is not reported under Senior Personnel above.
    2. Other Professional -- a person who may or may not hold a doctoral degree or its equivalent, who is considered a professional and is not reported as a Principal Investigator, faculty associate, postdoctoral associate or student. Examples of persons included in this category are doctoral associates not reported under B1, professional technicians, physicians, veterinarians, system experts, computer programmers and design engineers.
    3. Graduate Student (research assistant) -- a part-time or full-time student working on the project in a research capacity who holds at least a bachelor's degree and is enrolled in a degree program leading to an advanced degree.
    4. Undergraduate Student -- a student who is enrolled in a degree program (part-time or full-time) leading to a bachelor's or associate's degree.
    5. These categories include persons working on the project in a non-research capacity, such as secretaries, clerk-typists, draftsmen, animal caretakers, electricians and custodial personnel regardless of whether they hold a degree or are involved in degree work.

Updated July 25, 2008

 

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