Office of Sponsored Projects
Sponsored Project Life-cycle

This page is designed to establish a basic framework in which to view the different types of sponsored projects commonly encountered at Alfred University, and give a broad overview of the lifecycle of those projects and what to expect when applying for and receiving external funding.

The majority of externally funded projects and activities at Alfred University can be broadly separated into two different categories with slightly different approaches in pre- and post-award management for each:

Not-for-Profit Sponsors - Federal, State, Foundation, and Other Entities

Awards from federal and state sponsors, as well as private research foundations and other entities can take many forms – from a small grant to support a new library acquisition, to funding for large multi-year organized research projects. They will all usually involve some type of competitive review of proposals before an award is made. OSP works with faculty, staff, and students to help prepare and submit a proposal or application for funding, which usually is due to the sponsor by a pre-determined deadline. Once the sponsor reviews all of the proposals it has received, one or more awards may be made to those who submitted.

Step 1 – Proposal Development & Submission

All submissions for external funding for projects that will require university facilities and resources, and/or other types of awards made explicitly to Alfred University, must be reviewed and approved by OSP before submission to the sponsor. University faculty, staff, and students should notify OSP as soon as possible after locating a funding source and deciding they wish to submit a proposal. OSP staff will assist during this time in developing the budget and formatting it both for internal purposes (using the OSP budget template) and sponsor purposes, as well as reviewing the proposal to ensure compliance with sponsor and university guidelines.

While OSP does not currently impose a deadline by which we ask to receive completed proposals for review before submission to the sponsor, it is highly encouraged that everything for the submission be complete at least three (3) working days before the sponsor’s deadline. If compliance issues or technical difficulties are encountered during a submission taking place the day a proposal is due, there may not be enough time to reformat and resubmit before the deadline has passed.

Step 2 – Award Management

Once a notice of award document is received by our office, OSP will obtain required university signatures for full execution of the agreement document, and set up the new award with a fund in the University’s Banner Finance system. OSP will be the primary point of contact for all financial and administrative processes on the project, including reviewing and approving all transactions and preparing financial reports, while the principal investigator or project director (PI/PD) will primarily be responsible for the programmatic implementation of the award. OSP will assist the PI/PD in understanding the fiscal status of the award throughout its period of performance by providing regular reports of spending and available balances, as well as facilitating communication between the PI/PD and the sponsor when necessary. OSP also assists the PI/PD in interpreting federal, state, sponsor, and university policies to ensure fiscal and administrative compliance during the life of the award.

Step 3 – Award Close-Out

Once all applicable charges have been placed on the fund and the period of performance for the project has expired, OSP will work with the PI/PD to complete and submit any sponsor-required financial reports necessary to close-out the award. If a no-cost extension is desired, OSP will liaise between the PI/PD and the sponsor to obtain the NCE. At the completion of the period of performance any residual balances will be returned to the sponsor and/or deficits will be moved to the appropriate non-restricted account on close-out of the Banner fund. Financial records for the project will be maintained by OSP, and programmatic records of the project will be maintained by the PI/PD, per specific record retention policies.

Private Companies and Other Industry Sponsors

The award lifecycle for industry sponsored activities is similar to what is described above, although there may be a less formal pre-award process not involving the competitive review of research proposals. Individual faculty members with expertise in a specific area are often approached by industry sponsors in order to discuss potential research collaborations and other service projects. In some circumstances, these collaborations may be set up outside the University as private consulting agreements. In all cases where the facilities and resources of the University are to be used in the activity, it will be set up as a sponsored project with the University.

Please see the “Industry Engagement” page for more information on the different formats that industry funded activity often assume at AU, as well as more information on some of the foundational principles that AU adopts when partnering with for-profit companies.