Office of Sponsored Research

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In the spotlight

3rd Annual Symposium for Research Administrators



Colleagues I am pleased to announce the 3rd Annual Research Symposium, which will be held on Friday, July 29, 2016 from 7:30 am – 4:30 pm, hosted by UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, and sponsored by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR) and Office of Sponsored Research (OSR).  Please take this opportunity to save the date on your calendar and distribute the attached flyer throughout your departments. Unlike prior years, completion of the Tar Heel Certificate Program is not a prerequisite to attend the Symposium. In order to help us plan the event and ensure adequate space we would like to ask that you complete a brief survey to indicate whether you plan to attend or not. We will have a more detailed session sign up later for you to register for specific topics. The theme of this year’s Symposium is “The New Research Environment: A Unified Campus Collaborative”.  The Symposium will have two tracks for break-out sessions, one track for those new to research administration (or new to UNC), and a second for those who are veterans of research administration and looking for more advanced information.   A planning committee (staffed with representatives from Campus and OVCR/OSR offices) is hard at work developing the program and will soon be asking for your suggestions for specific break-out session topics via a survey. Thanks, and I look forward to seeing you there! Andy Johns Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Interim Director, Office of Sponsored Research

Pilot Program for Enhancement of Employee Whistleblower Protections

In order to encourage employees to report fraud, waste, and abuse in federally funded programs, the National Defense Authorization Act of FY 2013 (41 U.S.C. § 4712), established the “Pilot Program for Enhancement of Employee Whistleblower Protections” (the “Program”).  The purpose of the Program is to provide protections for employees against reprisal for certain whistleblowing activities in relation to federal grants and contracts. The Program provides that employers may not discharge, demote, or otherwise discriminate against an employee as reprisal for whistleblowing.  These protections cannot be waived by agreement, policy, form, or condition of employment. Whistleblowing is defined in the Program as disclosing information that an individual reasonably believes is evident of any of the following:

  • Gross mismanagement of a federal contract or grant;
  • Gross waste of federal funds;
  • Abuse of authority relating to a federal contract or grant;
  • A substantial and specific danger to public health or safety; or
  • A violation of law, rule, or regulation related to a federal contract or grant (including the competition for, or negotiation of, a contract or grant).
The Program provides protection when the disclosure is made to one of the following persons or entities:
  • A member of Congress or representative of a committee of Congress;
  • An inspector general;
  • The government accountability office;
  • A federal employee responsible for contract or grant oversight or management at the relevant agency;
  • An authorized official of the Department of Justice or other law enforcement agency;
  • A court or grand jury; or
  • A management official or other employee of the contractor, subcontractor, or grantee who has the responsibility to investigate, discover, or address misconduct.
Procedures for making a report of suspected fraud, waste or abuse as described above can be found on the Office of the Inspector General’s Whistleblower Hotline website ( Any employee with concerns of possible noncompliance may also report them to the University Compliance Line: or 1-866-294-8688. Furthermore, if you believe that you have been discharged, demoted, or otherwise discriminated against as a reprisal for whistleblowing related to a federal contract or grant, you may submit a complaint to the Inspector General of the agency associated with the federal contract or grant. Complaints under the Program must be filed within three years after the date on which the alleged reprisal took place. For more information regarding the Program and an employee’s rights and remedies, please read the statute here: A report of suspected fraud, waste or abuse may also be protected under State law.  For more information, please see the University’s “Policy for Reporting Improper Government Activities,” available at: