Current version: May 2, 2011
Illustrates the major categories of sponsored projects, i.e., organized research (including both sponsored research and University research), sponsored instruction, and other sponsored activities. Establishes procedures to meet the requirements of July 15, 1993 revisions to OMB Circular A-21 regarding the definition of University Research. Definition of Industry-Funded Clinical Trials clarified in October 2009.
Sponsored projects at Stanford University are categorized under the following general headings:
Classification of a sponsored project into one of these categories affects the calculation of Stanford’s Facilities & Administrative (F&A), i.e., indirect cost rates, and determines the appropriate rate to be charged. See Facilities & Administrative (Indirect Cost) and Fringe Benefit Rates: Definitions and Calculations, Research Policy Handbook 3.3.
Definitions and examples of these categories follow below.
Research and scholarship activities include the rigorous inquiry, experiment or investigation to increase the scholarly understanding of the involved discipline. Organized research activities are funded by both external sponsors (Sponsored Research) and by Stanford University (University Research), and must be separately budgeted and accounted for. Together, these categories comprise the Organized Research distribution base, used to calculate the Organized Research F&A rate.
Any research and development activity that does not meet the criteria to be defined as Sponsored Research or University Research (Sections A.1 and A.2, below) shall be classified as Departmental Research, and shall be accounted for separately from Organized Research. Examples of Departmental Research include: new faculty start up funds which are provided on a non-competitive basis, funds from a faculty member's designated gift accounts expended for research that are not used to cover costs incurred on behalf of externally or University sponsored research, and University support of faculty salaries for non-sponsored research.
NOTE: Externally-funded research training grants are categorized as Sponsored Research (rather than Sponsored Instruction) where the primary activities of the trainees will be research. The following characteristics indicate that a sponsored agreement should be treated as a research training grant:
Research awards that are administered and funded by Stanford departments or programs are examples of University Research, e.g., G-CEP awards for energy research projects.
Sponsored activities that qualify as either Sponsored Research or University Research shall be assigned to the Sponsored Research or University Research task service types in the University's accounting system. All University Research shall be separately budgeted and accounted for. Space used in the conduct of Sponsored Research or University Research shall be coded to Research (R) in the University's Space Inventory System.
All other research activity that is not defined as either Sponsored Research or University Research shall be considered Departmental Research.
Expenditures for Departmental Research shall be assigned to the Instruction and Departmental Research task service type in the accounting system. Space used in the conduct of Departmental Research should be coded to Departmental Research (L) in the University's Space Inventory system. See Service Type Determination matrices at http://fingate.stanford.edu/staff/resources/job_aids.html
Sponsored Instruction is defined as teaching and training activities funded by grants and contracts from federal or non-federal sponsors. Sponsored Instruction includes agreements which support curriculum development as well as teaching/training activities (other than research training) whether offered for credit toward a degree or certificate, on a non-credit basis, or through regular academic departments or by separate divisions, summer school or external division.Sponsored Instruction includes:
Accounting for Sponsored Instruction
Activities that qualify as Sponsored Instruction shall be assigned to the Sponsored Instruction task service type in the University’s Accounting system. Space used in the conduct of Sponsored Instruction should be coded to Instruction (I) in the University's Space Inventory system.
See Service Type Determination matrices at http://fingate.stanford.edu/staff/resources/job_aids.html
NOTE: Research training grants are not categorized as Sponsored Instruction, but as Sponsored Research (see Section 1.A., above).
Other Sponsored Activities (OSA) are defined as projects funded by sponsors that involve the performance of work other than Sponsored Instruction or Sponsored Research.OSA may include:
Accounting for Other Sponsored Activities
Activities that qualify as OSA shall be assigned to the Other Sponsored Activities task service type in the University's Accounting system. Space used in the conduct of OSA should be coded to Instruction (I) in the University's Space Inventory system. See Service Type Determination matrices at http://fingate.stanford.edu/staff/resources/job_aids.html
In addition to sponsored projects as defined above, the following specialized categories of agreements are defined and handled as sponsored projects.
A Research Participation Agreement (RPA) is a form of sponsored project in which services of Stanford personnel, academic facilities, and/or laboratory equipment are employed on behalf of parties not otherwise affiliated with the University. A Research Participation Agreement is different from other forms of sponsored research projects in that a significant portion of the responsibility for the intellectual direction, interpretation, and/or outcome of the work rests with the outside user.
Criteria for the establishment of Research Participation Agreements and process for their approval is outlined in Research Participation Agreements, Research Policy Handbook 10.6.
Beta Test Site Agreements are contracts by which commercial vendors test and evaluate early product development. The proposed agreements come from companies that have agreed to provide various products and/or software to academic departments in exchange for evaluation. Beta Test Site Agreements must be processed as sponsored research projects through the Office of Sponsored Research.
Equipment Loans are agreements whereby a sponsor may loan certain equipment to Stanford, such as hardware, software and/or documentation for research use. One such example is an agreement whereby Stanford and a private entity participate in a joint research program using the company's equipment and share the results, including data. This type of agreement usually does not involve money, but enables Stanford and industry researchers the opportunity to use each other's facilities.
Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs) are contracts by which tangible research property, such as biological organisms, is provided by external sources to Stanford investigators for research, or by Stanford investigators to external researchers. Material Transfer Agreements are processed as sponsored research projects along with the fully endorsed MTA Routing Form through the Industrial Contracts Office within the Office of Technology Licensing.
Companies and universities are increasingly requiring documentation of inter-institutional research partnerships. Formal agreements in these cases will help to avoid misunderstandings and disputes over ownership of results. Collaboration contracts should be sent with a fully endorsed Proposal Routing and Development Form to the Industrial Contracts Office within the Office of Technology Licensing. Stanford has its own standard collaboration agreement that may be used as well.
An IPA is a service agreement whereby Stanford employees may serve or cross train in federal agencies for limited periods of time. Some or all of their salary and staff benefits are paid by the federal agency under Title IV of the Intergovernmental Personnel Act, while they are still considered Stanford employees, and provision has been made for their return to Stanford.
IPAs are not considered to be sponsored projects. However, in order to monitor compliance with applicable regulations, these agreements will be administered by Stanford's Office of Sponsored Research. IPA proposals should be submitted to each school dean's office. The dean will review the appropriateness of the arrangement, and the need for certification by Stanford that the participating employee will be returned to the same or similar position upon completion of the assignment. The dean's office will notify the Stanford employee of its decision and forward the approval to the Office of Sponsored Research for submission to the appropriate government agency.