Responsible Officer: Associate Vice Chancellor for Research

Responsible Unit: Office of Sponsored Research

Effective date: July 1, 2008

Last revised on: July 21, 2011

Policy Statement

The Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) at UNC-Chapel Hill is the designated University unit responsible for institutional oversight, administration and financial management of federal and non-federal contracts, grants and cooperative agreements. Thus, any document and/or transaction related to the administration of these types of research-related instruments are reviewed by OSR on behalf of the University to confirm its accuracy and appropriateness to the research project. In some instances, OSR may delegate certain tasks to the Sponsored Programs Office (SPO) or the Office of Clinical Trials (OCT), as appropriate.

OSR provides numerous services, including, but not limited to:

  • Reviewing and approving the financial and business aspects of proposals, awards, agreements and/or contracts and grants associated with research and training activities.
  • Signing all instruments associated with research activities on behalf of the University.
  • Negotiating and implementing award terms, conditions and amounts.
  • Negotiating and implementing the University’s Facilities and Administrative (F&A) rate agreement.
  • Overseeing financial compliance related to award terms and conditions.
  • Training University staff in research administration regulations and procedures.
  • Managing regulatory compliance.
  • Administering financial reporting and information systems.
  • Maintaining accounts receivable for sponsored research accounts.
  • Serving as liaison with auditors on financial matters.

Reason for Policy

As a division of the Office of Research and Economic Development, OSR provides control of the administrative and financial aspects of sponsored research and maintains consistency with the University’s mission to acquire and disseminate knowledge. OSR is established in adherence with the UNC-General Administration policies governing sponsored research.


1. For administration of State Funds refer to the Financial Planning (FPB) Section of the Business Manual.
2. For administration of Institutional Trust Funds, Special Funds, and Endowment Funds refer to the Accounting Services section of the Business Manual.
3. Gifts for research (contributed by donors without restrictive contractual obligations) are processed through the individual school’s foundation (i.e., The Medical Foundation of North Carolina, Inc.) and/or the University Development Office.

While OSR is concerned only with sponsored research administration, there are various aspects of research governed by other divisions at the University, and subject to University-wide conventions, such as purchasing and accounting methods.

Procedures and Related Policies

Throughout the policies, applicable procedures and related policies will be listed for easy access to clear directions and forms necessary to complete them.


Questions and concerns can be submitted online at Ask OSR or by using the OSR staff directory. Within RAMSeS, the “Speak to Someone” option assists in locating the staff member best suited to address project-specific issues.


Research Administration Glossary at Carolina

1. UNC General Administration Policy Manual, Chapter 500.4.
2. North Carolina General Statutes (NCGA) § 116-11.3.

Revision History


8/6/2010 updated links to Account Services Business Manual

The policies in the Office of Sponsored Research Policies & Procedures Manual supersede any OSR policies, procedures and appendices previously included in the University Business Manual a publication of UNC Chapel Hill’s Division of Finance.