Responsible Officer: Director

Responsible Unit: Financial Reporting and Cash Management

Effective date: March 1, 2009

Last revised on: July 21, 2011

Policy Statement

The Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) is responsible for coordinating all audit matters and responses relative to sponsored research, training, and public service activities of the University. Federal, State, and public firm auditors must make initial contact with OSR when conducting periodic audits or special inquiries relative to contract and grant matters.

OSR will coordinate Federal or public firm audit visits with departments to ensure that necessary personnel are available for discussions and to facilitate audit access to required records. Depending upon the nature of the audit or subject matter, OSR may elect to be represented in audit discussions at the departmental level. Departmental personnel needing guidance at any time should contact OSR without hesitation.

The Director of OSR is responsible for coordinating the University’s responses to those audits concerned with sponsored research, training, and public service awards. This responsibility in no way relieves the principal investigator or department concerned from providing necessary input in a timely manner or from resolving financial liability that may ultimately be assessed as a result of audit exceptions. The Director of OSR or an authorized designee will participate in and coordinate audit exit briefings. Other University representatives will be requested to attend exit briefings as deemed necessary by the significance and nature of the audit findings and recommendations.

Financial responsibility for audit disallowances ultimately sustained rests with the department, school, or center having primary responsibility for the project on which costs are questioned. Personal liability may be considered and assessed should circumstances show that an audit disallowance stemmed from a result of gross negligence or malfeasance on the part of an employee or staff member.

Reason for Policy

All performance under sponsored award agreements at UNC-Chapel Hill is subject to internal and external audit according to the guidelines published in OMB A-133, Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations. This policy establishes general foundations for audits of sponsored awards at the University.


All exclusions and/or exceptions are approached on a case-by-case basis.

Procedures and Related Policies


OSR Research Tool Kits



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. OMB A-133, Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations.

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.