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

Within the University of North Carolina System, delegations for University signatory authority are assigned by the chancellors of each constituent university and approved by the President.
The Vice Chancellor for Research (VCR) is the primary signatory authority designated by the Chancellor to enter into legal commitments involving sponsored program agreements for grants, contracts and cooperative agreements on behalf of the University, including Memorandums of Agreement (MOUs) and confidentiality agreements relating to sponsored research. Throughout the University, including the Office of Sponsored Research, there are several positions specifically granted official signatory authority (see UNC-GA Approved Delegations for Campus Chief Financial Officers).
Unless they are so named, Principal Investigators (PIs), Department Heads, Deans, and Directors do not have this institutional signature authority, and therefore, are not recognized as designated representatives of the University regarding the verbal or written acceptance of sponsored program agreements of any kind.

Reason for Policy

This policy establishes the institutional signatories authorized to enter into legal commitments regarding sponsored research support on behalf of UNC-Chapel Hill.


Based on the criteria presented in the University Grants Processing Policy and the University of North Carolina Policy Manual, commitments that do not involve external sponsors or an exchange of financial or equivalent considerations may not require signatory authority by the VCRED or his/her designees. Consult the appropriate dean, director, or department head, and OSR with specific questions.
The Sponsored Program Office (SPO) is the signatory authority for sponsored agreement proposals from the School of Medicine (UNC-CH SOM). In this regard, OSR and SPO each have shared responsibilities in the proposal review process.
The Office of Clinical Trials (OCT) is responsible for executing clinical trial agreements and other research efforts associated with clinical research.

Procedures and Related Policies

Related Policies include:

OSR Research Tool Kits

Proposal Development and Submission: Review Process


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
UNC Sponsored Programs and Research Council (SPARC), Approved Delegations of Authority to Sign Grants & Contracts and Cooperative Agreements for Chancellor and the President, Revised, October 17, 2007.
2. University of North Carolina Policy Manual, 500.4.4.
3. University Grants Processing Policy
4. The Code of the Board of Governors, The University of North Carolina, Chapter V-Officers of the University, and Chapter 501C(7), Relation of the President to the University.

Revision History

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.

8/19/2013 Updated title from VCRED to VCR.