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Sponsored Programs Roles and Responsibilities

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) solicits and accepts contracts and grants for research, training, patient care, and public service projects from a variety of federal and non-federal sponsors (including industrial and commercial concerns, universities, governments, private foundations, and other organizations). With the acceptance of extramurally funded awards, the University of Tennessee agrees not only to provide technical or scientific expertise, but also to manage each award in conformance with various fiscal and administrative regulations. Responsibility for managing these grants and contracts is necessarily shared throughout the UTHSC environment.

The terms and conditions applicable to grants and contracts vary extensively. However, there is a requirement common to all awards: the principal investigator and/or staff are responsible for the technical, administrative, and fiscal management of the project, including responsibility for any applicable subcontracts. In addition, the department chair or center/institute director, dean, and the Office of Sponsored Programs share in various aspects of proposal and award management activities. These responsibilities are discussed below and summarized in the table and matrix that follow the discussion.


New Investigator Onboarding
TASKS VCR OSP PI Dept Dean's Office Finance UTRF Other
Inform research administration that a new faulty member has been hired       1 1      
Send transfer questionnaire to new faculty member   1            
Schedule a welcome meeting for new researcher and team to review their transfer needs   1   1     1 All UTHSC RA Offices
PIs and team complete necessary compliance training (CITI, etc.)     1          
Attend onboarding meeting   1 1 1 1   1 All  RA offices 
Identification of Funding Opportunities
TASKS VCR OSP PI Dept Dean's Office Finance UTRF Other
Search for sponsored funding opportunities   2 1 2       PDO
Distribute information about non-invitational funding opportunities: web and list serve               PDO
Alert faculty to restricted or invitational funding opportunities               PDO
Manage limited opportunity selection process               PDO
Manage intramural programs [announcement, competition, selection, and awards notification]               PDO
Determine whether the funding opportunity is a gift or a grant   1           UT Foundation
Assist PI in interpreting eligibility for funding/provide guidance   1   2        
Assist PI in obtaining and interpreting proposal guidelines   1   2        
Administer funding search engines               PDO
Provide guidance on funding opportunities   1   2        
Proposal Preparation
TASKS VCR OSP PI Dept Dean's Office Finance UTRF Other
Provide guidance on Instruction and/or PI's  eligibility of funding.   1   2        
Provide approval for exception to PI's eligibility 1 2   2 1      
Provide guidance on proposal preparation   1   1        
Develop the scientific/scholarly/technical proposal content     1          
Create proposal budgets and budget justification   2 1 1        
Prepare proposals in Cayuse SP routing and approval and identify necessary additional approvals required (e.g., human subjects, animals, export control, IP, service to the community); prepare and route relevant forms      1 1        
Prepare the administrative sections of the proposal [i.e., coversheet, certifications, subawards, etc.]     1 1        
Guide/oversee staff in development of non-technical components (e.g., bio sketch, budget, face page, etc.)   2 1 2        
Provide editorial assistance for proposals               OSW
Assist with the development of complex large scale proposals   2 1 1 1     PDO
Approve requests for reduction and/or waiver of F&A 1              
Identify need for cost sharing funds     1 1        
Ensure faculty is not over maximum allowed effort   2 1 1        
Identify subcontractors/collaborators and collect budget, budget justification, scope of work, signed LOI and/or subrecipient form     1 2        
Perform analysis to determine if work to be done by outside entities should be treated as a consultancy, vendor agreement or subaward.    1   2        
Secure letters of support.     1          
Provide sole-source justification documentation       1        
Collect documentation to ensure that no external individuals working on the project have FCOI (financial conflict of interest) training   2   1        
Proposal Review, Approval, and Submission
TASKS VCR OSP  PI Dept Dean's Office Finance UTRF Other
Review and approve proposal at department and college level     1 1 1      
Route proposal to OSP for review at least 5 days before deadline     1 2        
Review proposal for cost accounting standards (CAS) exceptions, human and/or animals subject, conflict of interest, multiple schools, multiple PIs, hazmat, space, export control, etc.)   1   1 1      
Review and approve proposed cost sharing for compliance with terms and conditions   1       2    
Review/revise budget as necessary in partnership with PI/dept.; ensure budget accuracy   1 2 2        
Review and submit grant transfer(s) for newly hired PIs    1 2 2        
Submit proposal to sponsors after institutional approval (Note: some electronic systems may require PI to submit)   1 2 2        
Retain Institutional copy of proposal     1            
Upon request by PI/department provide access to eRA Commons/eBRAP and other sponsored systems   1            
Cost Sharing
TASKS VCR OSP PI Dept Dean's Office Finance UTRF Other
Review proposal guidelines to determine cost share/match requirement   2 1 1        
Identify the non-federal account for the cost share/match requirement       1 2      
Review and approve cost share commitment   2       1    
Obtain documentation of third party cost share     1 1        
Confirm over-the cap and other institutional cost sharing   2   1        
Retain necessary documentation of cost sharing and/or matching funds   2   1        
Monitor and review/verify that the required cost share is met   1 2 2 2 1    
Request prior approval for use of F&A used as cost-share from agency     1          
Grant approval for the use of F&A as cost-share  1              
F&A Waivers/Reduction Requests
TASKS VCR OSP PI Dept Dean's Office Finance UTRF Other
Review non-federal proposal for funding amount and F&A requirements   1 2 2        
Request F&A reduction/waiver  (submit request to VCR Research)     1          
Approve requests for F&A waivers   1 2            
Just In Time (JIT)
TASKS VCR OSP PI Dept Dean's Office Finance UTRF Other
PI prepares and sends supplemental material to OSP (prior to peer review) based on notification by agency     1          
Review, approve, and submit additional post/supplemental material to sponsor   1            
Upon notification by program officer PI  prepares JIT documentation      1 2        
Review, approve, and submit JIT paperwork to sponsor    1            
Add JIT information to Cayuse proposal   1            
Prepare human subject data (for NIH) using ASSIST     1          
Review/approve and submit human subject material via ASSIST (in the NIH eRA Commons)   1            
Notice of Award, Review, and Acceptance
TASKS VCR OSP PI Dept Dean's Office  Finance UTRF Other
All notices of award should receive  by OSP    1           UT Foundation
PI receives a NoA forward to OSP     1 1        
Send notification to PI/department and other administrative offices as appropriate   1            
Department and PI review terms and conditions in award document and inform OSP of terms that need to be negotiated from a departmental perspective     1 1        
Compare proposed budget to awarded budget and communicate with dept/center and PI, as needed   1 1 1        
Prepare revised budget if funding has been reduced  (and, if necessary, revised scope of work) to comply with awarded funds, if amount differs from proposed budget     1 1        
Determine account structure    1 2 2        
Approve revised budget and scope         1          
Negotiate terms and conditions of award with sponsor    1            
Verify that all “pending” internal approvals (e.g., human subjects) indicated on the proposal have been received   1            
Accept terms and conditions of the award on behalf of the university/legally bind the university to the terms of the award 1 1            
Contract Review and Negotiation
TASKS VCR OSP PI Dept Dean's Office Finance UTRF Other
Verify CITI training is current   1 2          
Obtain any necessary IRB, IACUC, and current RCOI approvals, waivers, or plans     1 2        
MTA, DUA, NDA requests are made directly by PI using smart forms on OSP webpage   1            
OSP enters data for MTA, NDA, CDA into Cayuse so that PI and departmental personnel can track progress                
Contract is routed for review and approval in Cayuse, appropriate documents are appended: draft contract, scope of work, budget, protocol, etc.     2 1        
Meet with PI to discuss contract (can be formal of informal)   1 1 2        
Review/draft and negotiate terms of contracts (not budgets), request input from department and PI(s) as necessary   1 2 2        
Review and submit information on intellectual properties and patents   2 2       1  
Verify compliance requirements have been met   1 1          
Final approval of proposal, including contract, budget, and compliance    1            
Route final contract for signatures   1            
General counsel review required for foreign agreements/foreign agreements are signed at the UT systems level               GC
Sign as authorized organizational representative for university on contracts, which vary based on contract type and origination 1              
Distribute signed contract to PI, department, and sponsor   1            
Establish account (see section 9)                
 Outgoing Subawards and Subrecipient Monitoring
TASKS VCR OSP PI Dept Dean's Office Finance  UTRF Other
Subaward cycle begins with receipt of Notice of Award (NOA).                 
Subrecipient budget and statement of work (SOW) are finalized.     1 2        
Subaward components (NOA, budget, SOW, other documents) can be routed in Cayuse SP for internal review and approvals).     1 2        
Initial subaward review begins. Verification of need for CITI, RCOI, NCJ, biosafety, export requirements, etc.   1            
Subaward agreement is drafted, sent to PI/dept. for review.   1            
Draft subaward agreement is issued to subrecipient for review; subrecipient and UTHSC engage in negotiations.   1            
Once approved, subrecipient's authorized official signs agreement (i.e., it's partially executed).   1            
After verification that all internal requirements have been met, UT authorized official signs.     1            
Fully executed agreement is distributed internally to PI, department, OSP post-award and externally to sponsor.   1            
Subaward is posted in Cayuse.   1            
Subaward is posted to FFATA within required timeframe.   1            
OSP receives subrecipient invoices, logs them and sends to PI and department for approval/disapproval   1            
PI reviews subrecipient invoices and signals approval/disapproval, return invoices to OSP     2 1        
Invoice is paid unless PI tells OSP that a correction is needed     1 2        
Coordinate issue resolution with subawards (invoicing schedule, billing questions, deliverable scheduling, no-cost extension requests, etc.)     1 2        
Confirm completion of subrecipient's  work      1 2        
Reconcile monthly expenses      1 2        
Request an amendment to provide subrecipient with additional funds   1            
Certify that subrecipient is performing satisfactorily     1 2        
Create subaward amendment and ensure that it is executed, notify PI and department   1            
Award Setup
TASKS VCR OSP PI Dept Dean's Office Finance UTRF Other
Request approval for pre-award cost up to 90 days before the executed award date      1 1        
Approve pre-award costs incurred 90 days prior to executed award date   1            
Request sponsor approval for pre-award cost exceeding 90 days prior to executed award date   1 1          
Approve and sign as AO request for preaward spending exceeding 90 days   1            
Request advance WBS element number for account set-up         1 1        
Approve/deny the set-up request for the advance account number      1            
Approve commitment of department funds if project is not funded.     2 1 1      
Establish account  based on either the executed award or the approved advance account request    1            
Confirms that final budget for award is accurate     1 2        
Assign account number and submit to UT system for activation   1            
Establish fund/budget in IRIS based on award documentation   1            
UT systems office provides IRIS notification that a new account has been established               UT systems
Verify account release from UT system   1            
PI and department administrators notified that account is active     1 2        
Record award information for tracking in Cayuse and record management        1            
Award Management
TASKS VCR OSP PI Dept Dean's Office Finance UTRF Other
Overall stewardship and programmatic responsibility     1          
Review terms and conditions of the award for conformity with UT policies, ensure that UT can agree with the award terms and conditions, review notice of award for accuracy   1            
Negotiate any changes to the notice of award on behalf of UT   1            
Monitor award expenditures for allowability, allocability, and reasonableness throughout period of performance     1 2        
Review and approve expenditures for allowability and allocability   1            
Ensure proper documentation exists and is retained to support appropriateness of expenditures   1 1 1        
Provide advice on allowability, allocability and reasonableness of expenditures     1 1        
Monitor and reconcile balances to ensure spending within budget and to prevent over expenditure on a monthly basis     1 1        
Initiate and substantiate request for equipment   1            
Request prior approval for equipment purchase     1 1        
Review, approve and co-sign prior approval requests                
Monitor project spend rate and review deviations in expenditures     1 2        
Receipt of subaward and review terms and conditions                
Receive, review, and approve subaward's Invoice and authorize payment     1 1        
Coordinate issue resolution with subawards (invoicing schedule, billing questions, deliverable scheduling, financial issues, no-cost extension requests, etc.)     1 2        
Confirm completion of subrecipient's work and receipt of final invoice   1            
Request amendments and budget revision on subaward                
Draft, negotiate and finalize subaward's amendments                
Confirm award receipt for continuations                
Verify continuation award dates/dollars, etc.                
Update/activate continuing account after acceptance of award       1 1        
Coordinate issue resolution with sponsors                 
Initiate award changes (change of scope, additional subaward, etc.)     1 2        
Track cost sharing   1   2        
Ensure complete and accurate documentation for any key personnel changes that arise (including new/old PI signature, dean’s approval form, sponsor approval)     1 2        
Approve/deny PI and/or key personnel changes       1        
Take responsibility for sub-recipient monitoring      1          
Prepare trainee appointment documents                
Review and submit trainee appointment documents                    
Ensure that faculty and staff time is correctly entered into IRIS                
Identify, report program income and post to appropriate account                 
Manage reporting on and billing of program income                 
Prior Approval Requests (PI Absence or Change, Foreign Travel, Significant Rebudgeting, etc.)
TASKS VCR OSP PI Dept. Dean's Office Finance UTRF Other
Initiate prior approvals request for changes to project   1            
Review terms and conditions of award to determine if prior approval is required     1 2        
Provide guidance on terms and conditions (primary on industry sponsored clinical trials only)     2 1        
Initiate prior approvals request for adding/removing subrecipients (if applicable)   1            
Review and submit prior approval request to OSP   1            
Approve prior approval request   1            
Forward prior approval requests to sponsor if required   1            
Obtain sponsor's decision regarding change(s) to the project and update  university systems (Cayuse and IRIS)   1            
Ensure regulatory compliance offices are notified of changes to project   1            
Cost Transfers
TASKS VCR OSP PI Dept Dean's Office Finance UTRF Other
Initiate request for cost transfers in accordance with university and federal policy and procedures       1        
Complete the cost transfer explanation form and obtain appropriate signatures      2 1        
Submit cost transfers explanation forms "less than 90 days" past the original expenditures, to remove unallowable costs and over expenditures     2 1        
Submit cost transfers explanation forms "within 91-120 days" past the original expenditures, to remove unallowable costs and over expenditures   1            
Submit cost transfers explanation forms "over 120 days" past the original expenditures, to remove unallowable costs and over expenditures   1            
Review and approve cost transfers explanation forms "less than 90 days" past the original expenditures, to remove unallowable costs and over expenditures   1            
Review and approve cost transfers explanation forms "within 91-120 days" past the original expenditures, to remove unallowable costs and over expenditures   1            
Review and approve cost transfers explanation forms "over 120 days" past the original expenditures, to remove unallowable costs and over expenditures   1            
Initiate the cost transfer transaction within IRIS                
Carry Forward and Budget Reallocation
TASKS VCR OSP PI Dept Dean's Office Finance  UTRF Other
Initiate carryover request and/or budget reallocation to OSP     2 1        
Review carryover request and/or budget reallocation under expanded authority   1            
Approve carryover request and/or budget reallocation under expanded authority   1            
Review and submit  carryover and/or budget reallocation to sponsor (if required)    1 2 2        
No Cost Extension
TASKS VCR OSP PI Dept Dean's Office Finance UTRF Other
Initiate the first one-time no-cost extension up to 12 months (30 days prior to end date)     1 2        
Submit the first one-time no-cost extension request to OSP     1 2        
Review and approval of the first one-time no-cost extension   1            
Initiate the second or third no-cost extension request (45 days prior to end date)     1 2        
Submit the second or third no-cost extension request with supporting documentation to OSP     1 2        
Review and submit the second or third no-cost extension request to sponsored agency   1            
Update Cayuse and IRIS with no-cost extension   1            
Certification of Time and Effort
TASKS VCR OSP PI Dept Dean's Office Finance UTRF Other
Review staff salary and efforts on award for accuracy and document any discrepancies or special situations     1 1        
Manage annual faculty effort reporting and annual & summer faculty salary certification process in timely manner       1            
Track current and pending effort commitments on a monthly basis     1 2        
Ensure compliance with effort reporting policy and provide oversight   1   2        
Ensure appropriate delegation of effort certification is on file for faculty/staff who are absent or on leave     1 2        
Complete time and effort reports including approving certification of other personnel     1 1        
Complete monthly effort reporting via the electronic system     1 2        
Understand and comply with sponsor requirements for notifications regarding changes in personnel activities   2 1 1        
Notify OSP of changes in effort requiring sponsor approval     1          
Request sponsor approval for effort change   2   1        
Communicate with other institutions to ensure effort commitment of activity has been met   1            
Retain/Store effort certifications, quarterly summaries, certified paper copies and backup documentation     1   1        
Financial Reporting /Billing for Sponsors
TASKS VCR OSP PI Dept Dean's Office Finance UTRF Other
OSP ensures contract includes billing terms and conditions, and payment method   1            
Review monthly ledgers on charges, available balances, and personnel; initiate any corrections in a timely manner     1 2        
Monitor charges for accuracy, allocability and allowability   1            
Obtain department/PI approval and sign-off on research related clinical invoices and supporting documentation       1            
Preparation/submission of approved invoices or periodic billing to sponsor   1            
Preparation/submission of approved federal financial reports to sponsors   1            
Received payments; monitor accounts receivable aging report and follow up as needed   1 2 2        
Manage funds (check deposits, drawdowns, etc.)   1            
Monitor and pursue the collections of overdue payments from sponsors (pursue bad debt collection)   1            
Produce and record a letter of credit for a specific funding agency   1 1          
Provide institutional approval on deobligations/relinquishments   1            
Initiate request(s) for financial modifications, or budgetary changes to grant/contract   1            
Preparation and Submission of Progress/Technical Reports
TASKS VCR OSP PI Dept Dean's Office Finance UTRF Other
Identify the need for submission of annual progress reports/technical reports     1          
Prepare annual progress reports/technical reports     1 2        
Submit annual progress/technical reports to sponsors   1 1          
Maintain official copies of technical reports       1        
Prepare and Submission of Inventions Disclosures/Patents
TASKS VCR OSP PI Dept Dean's Office Finance UTRF Other
Promptly submit invention disclosure to UTRF in IDEA system     1          
Review invention disclosure information to ensure complete and accurate data   1         1 UTRF
Complete assessment of new invention/disclosure. Notify the PI, dept. chair and dean of outcome of UTRF assessment.   1         2  
Complete iEdison reporting and Bayh-Dole compliance requirements for all federally supported discoveries   1            
Complete initial invention reporting, and patent reporting as necessary, pursuant to the terms of any non-federal funding agreement(s).             1  
Provide interim and final invention & patent progress reports to sponsor (pursuant to requirements under the applicable funding agreements).             1  
Prepare patent applications and file with United States Patent Office (and/or foreign patent offices)               UTRF
Initiate and approve licensing agreements. Notify the PI, dept. chair and dean.               UTRF
Account Closeout and Audit
TASKS VCR OSP PI Dept Dean's Office Finance UTRF Other
IRIS close-out notice sent   2   1        
Identify unresolved close-out-related items and communicate to affected parties   3 1 2        
Ensure expenditures/cost transfers have been posted to accounts    1   1        
Confirm completion of subaward's work and receipt of final invoice     1 2        
Review budget deviations at closeout; all expenses must be final within period required for timely closeout   1            
Encumbrances are reviewed/removed       1        
Prepare consolidated report for all periods to include all child accounts     2   1        
Oversee the resolution of issues related to accounts that are past the end date for closeout and make necessary adjustments   2 1          
Ensure that all financial reports have been submitted to sponsor        1            
Ensure that all technical reports have been submitted to sponsor   1            
Prepare and ensure all inventions/patents have been identified, included on signed forms and verified in iEdison   2   1        
Identify and request disposition of government titled equipment (if applicable)   1            
Verify residual supplies over $5,000 and complete supply form     1 2        
Transfer residual funds on fixed price agreements - to PI support account   1            
Refund excess cash back to the sponsor and provide proper documentation   1   1        
Closeout award account(s) in financial accounting system    1            
Prepare, review and approve relinquishing statements   2            
Maintain official award documents for sponsored projects per records retention requirements   1            
Coordinate the audit for UTHSC    1            
Comply with circulars and sponsor conditions for compliance at the transaction level   1   2        
Complete the A-133 Subrecipient monitoring questionnaires   1            
Serve as a liaison to sponsors on audit requests and visits   1 1 2        
TASKS VCR OSP PI Dept Dean's Office Finance UTRF Other
Keep current with federal and non-federal regulations regarding grants and contracts   1            
Interpret and provide guidance on regulations as they relate to sponsored research and related research policies   1            
Provide education and training in the responsible conduct of research   1           RA
Cayuse training   1            
TASKS VCR OSP PI Dept Dean's Office Finance UTRF Other
Develop policies, SOPs and sponsored programs policies   1            
Disseminate university policies related to sponsored programs   1            
Grant/Project Transfer Out
TASKS VCR OSP PI Dept Dean's Office Finance UTRF Other
PI notifies department, dean's office, the VCR and OSP of decision to transfer to another institution (PIs are advised to do this several months in advance so that their grants and materials will not be delayed     1          
PI requests the ability to transfer his/her grants to another institution     1          
VCR approves or denies request 1              
OSP sends PI and department an offboarding checklist   1            
PI completes offboarding checklist and routes (includes initial request for grant, materials, equipment, and data)     1 2        
PI makes formal request to the VCR for the transfer of equipment     1          
OSP determines vacation payout and how much will be charged to grants and contracts using a 21 month look back   1            
PI requests that potentially fundable proposals be released to the new institution      1 2        
OSP writes letters to agencies to relinquish potentially fundable proposals   1            
OSP prepares and submits final FFR to sponsor   1            
OSP prepares relinquishing statements in consultation with department, grants are not relinquished until all pending transactions are accounted for)   1   2        
OSP coordinates with new PI institution as necessary to facilitate transfer   1            
TASKS VCR OSP PI Dept Dean's Office Finance UTRF Other
Be cognizant of applicable regulations and identify need for compliance    1 1          
Provide protocol approval letters to OSP     1 2        
Monitor expiring protocols and update as needed thru completion date of project     1 2       RA Offices
Identify and disclose potential conflicts of interest     1          
Review and submit information on intellectual properties and patents     1          
Complete compliance forms: Institutional Review Board, Animal Care and Use, Institutional Bio Safety Department     1 2        
Review and complete conflict of interest disclosure form and facilitate institutional oversight 1             VCR
Verifies investigators are submitting protocols to appropriate compliance committees   1            
Maintains export control documentation and clearances for faculty and staff               Export Control Officer
Request disposition of government titled equipment at closeout   1 1 2        
Request disposition of university titled equipment     1 2        
Prepare and submit property reports to sponsor   1 1          



Responsibilities of the Principle Investigator/Project Director(s) (PI or PD)

The Principal Investigator has the freedom to choose the nature and direction of their research program and to disseminate the results of that research to the public, within any constraints imposed by the funding agency.  S/he also is responsible for financial oversight of the project and filing required reports, per its terms and conditions.

The PI is the individual with responsibility for the technical, administrative, and fiscal management of a project, including any applicable subawards and subcontracts. As a practical matter, it is often necessary and appropriate to rely on staff members for assistance in carrying out much of this responsibility. The PI and/or staff must:

  • Be knowledgeable, at the proposal stage, about appropriate agency and UTHSC guidelines and restrictions relative to the conduct of research, training, and public service programs, and be willing to adhere to such guidelines and restrictions.
  • Conduct the work supported by the grant or contract in a timely and professional manner.
  • Comply with the specific terms and conditions of each award as stated in the grant or contract documents and with all administrative requirements, as set forth in various sponsoring agency and UTHSC policy statements, concerning issues such as charging of costs, publication, patents, equipment screening, proprietary data, consultants, human subjects, animal subjects, computing equipment, recombinant DNA, cost sharing/matching, or regulated substances;
  • Assure that expenditures made prior to the receipt of a fully executed contract or grant award are incurred only after obtaining specific authorized approval, that expenditures do not exceed the total amount of funds awarded, and that specific budget category expenditure limits are adhered to.
  • Maintain budgetary control using departmental bookkeeping and cost control systems and monthly reconciliation.
  • Certify that all costs charged to each grant or contract specifically benefit the project being charged by reviewing and approving certifications of effort policy on salary charges to extramural awards] expended by employees, staff employee time sheets, payments of vendor invoices for goods and services, check requests (non-payroll), travel reimbursements, requisitions to and acceptance of charges from campus service units, and similar charges to the project. If it becomes necessary to make after-the-fact adjustments [see: Cost Transfer Policy] in the allocation of certified costs, the PI or other knowledgeable person must provide full justification and documentation of the costs being transferred.
  • Comply with the reporting requirements of each grant and contract which may include periodic progress reports, annual reports of project accomplishments, reports of inventions, reports of publications generated, reports of major items of equipment acquired, cost sharing/matching reports, and financial reports. Although the OSP is responsible for the preparation and submission of reports of expenditures, the PI must assure that all financial transactions, including cost sharing and matching, are properly recorded and/or documented in a timely manner so that the reports of expenditures can be submitted promptly.
  • Review the general ledger reports monthly and upon expiration of the grant or contract and adjust as may be necessary to assure that the general ledger is cleared of any expenses not applicable to the award. Such adjustments may include transferring outstanding liens, transferring items of expense not allowable under that grant or contract, and transferring overdrafts to other permissible fund sources.
Ensure that any subcontractors comply with the terms and conditions of each award as stated in the grant and contract documents and with all administrative requirements, as set forth in various sponsoring agency statements.
Faculty research roles and responsibilities (non- PI), Co-PI, Investigator, Lead Scientist, Sr. Scientist, (non-postdoctoral fellow roles)

Non-PI faculty have similar responsibilities to the PI, except for overall responsibility for project direction and reporting.  Collaborating investigators must:

  • Ensure that they are aware of the terms and conditions of the prime award;
  • Ensure that expenditures are in accordance with sponsor and university regulations, policies, and procedures;
  • Coordinate with the PI any approvals for restricted expenditures such as: equipment, the addition of a subaward or the addition of a consultant;
  • Maintain knowledge of and compliance with university procedures related to sponsored research;
  • Attend research team meetings and promptly provide required or requested information for internal and external reports associated with the award;
  • Disclose financial conflicts of interest to the PI;
  • Obtain and maintain applicable IACUC, IRB, IBC, and EHA training and approvals before initiating a research project;
  • Disclose prior disbarment/suspension or proposed disbarment; and
  • Verify that their project staff have signed University Patent Agreements
  • Faculty conducting human subjects research should also refer to the section below on the roles/responsibilities of clinical research coordinators.
Trainee research roles and responsibilities

Post-Doctoral Fellows and graduate students must:

  • Seek and follow faculty guidance on scientific and other procedures (e.g., allowable uses of grant funds);
  • Maintain knowledge of and compliance with University procedures and policies related to sponsored research;
  • Disclose financial conflicts of interest to the PI;
  • Obtain applicable training in and practice responsible conduct of research; and
  • Obtain applicable IACUC, IRB, IBC, and EH&S, approvals/training.
Research coordinator research roles and responsibilities 
  • Manage all aspects of conducting clinical trials under the direction of the PI;
  • Maintain in-depth knowledge of protocol requirements and Good Clinical Practice (GCP) per FDA regulations;
  • Provide sound conduct of the clinical trial (including recruitment, screening, enrollment, and follow-up of eligible subjects per protocol);
  • Maintain accurate and complete documentation (e.g., regulatory documents, signed consent forms, IRB approvals, source documents, drug dispensing and subject logs, and study-related communication);
  • Provide timely management of all aspects of the trial (e.g., completing case report forms, data entry, reporting adverse drug experiences [ADEs], and managing caseload and study files)
  • Communicate protocol-related problems to the management staff (e.g., questions regarding the conduct of the clinical trial, possible ADEs, or subject compliance) and
  • Maintain professional conduct in the presence of subjects, research staff, sponsors, monitors, auditors, etc.
  • Coordinate with OPS for assistance with questions related to the allowability of expenditures or any other matter related to the proper management and stewardship of the clinical trial agreement.


Department research administrator research roles and responsibilities
  • Support project investigators in the development of proposals;
  • Thoroughly understand unallowable, direct, and facilities and administrative (F&A) costs;
  • Thoroughly understand and properly follow Cost Accounting Standards;
  • Show consistency in charging sponsored award costs; and
  • Ensure monthly review of project costs and obtain PI approval of same in a timely manner;
  • Maintain grant files within the department;
  • Coordinate with OPS for assistance with questions related to the allowability of expenditures or any other matter related to the proper management and stewardship of the grant or contract.
Department Chair or Center Director
  • Review and approve proposal submission
  • Verify availability of resources such as equipment/facilities
  • Certify academic soundness
  • Verify that project is compatible with PI’s other commitments
  • Approve cost sharing commitments
  • Verify that project adheres to related college/unit or department/center missions (academic/research goals)
  • Monitor researcher loads to assure that capacity is not exceeded
  • Oversee all rebudgeting activities on sponsored projects
  • Provide oversight on all aspects of program income
  • Provide oversight on the implementation of university and federal financial policies and regulations at the unit level
  • Ensure financial compliance with applicable regulations for sponsored projects within department/center and reports instances of noncompliance to OSP

Accountable for all funds administered by units under their authority as well as for the coordination of all programmatic elements within their college.

 This includes:

  • Reviewing and approving all proposals to assure that the proposed project is consistent with the educational and professional objectives of the school or college and providing:
    • Verification that the resources (such as equipment and space) necessary to conduct the project are or will be available; and
    • Approving cost sharing and/or matching fund commitments contained in proposals
  • Endorsing requests for facilities & administrative cost rates at less than full recovery;
  • Providing guidance in sponsored programs matters that cannot be resolved at the departmental level;
  • Identifying appropriate unrestricted fund sources to cover overdrafts and/or disallowances that department chairs within the school or college have not been able to cover with funds under their jurisdiction [Cost Transfer Policy];
  • Promoting compliance with research policies and procedures
Vice Chancellor for Research

The Vice Chancellor is the primary signatory for research contracts and other related research agreements.The Vice Chancellor for Research oversees all aspects of research at UTHSC.  With respect to sponsored programs the VCR has oversight responsibility for policy issues associated with extramurally-funded research programs.

Included is the responsibility for:

  • Approving exceptions to PI eligibility;
  • Ensuring the appropriate resolution of research related disputes which arise concerning scientific propriety or involve research related policies;
  • Serving as the institutional official for the human subjects, animal welfare, and biohazards; with overall responsibility for managing research integrity.The Research Integrity Officer (RIO) reports directly to the VCR.
Research Integrity Office 

This office under the direction of the RIO has responsibility for:

  • Responsible Conduct of Research policy and training
  • Managing research misconduct
  • Resolving authorship disputes
  • First tier review of research conflict of interest filing
Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Research 

Reporting to the VCR the Sr. Associate Chancellor for Research (SAVCR) is the secondary signatory for research contracts and other related research agreements

Included is the responsibility for:

  • Coordinating compliance with federal and other research regulations in matters such as human subjects, animal welfare, radiation safety biohazards;
  • Serving as chair of the Research Conflict of Interest Committee;
  • Managing data metrics associated with allocation of space; and
  • Resolving disputes which arise concerning scientific propriety and other research related matters.

In addition to the Office of Sponsored Programs the following functional areas report to the SAVCR:

 Research Development
  • Announcement and management of limited nomination proposals
  • Managing intramural funding opportunities and resources
  • Assisting faculty to find extramural funding and resources to support their research endeavors
  • Providing resources for proposal and manuscript development
  • Providing the Research Toolkit (for planning, developing and conducting research projects)
Scientific Writing
The Office of Scientific Writing (OSW) is designed to assist research faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and students in the writing of successful research grants and scientific manuscripts. The investigator must first complete a request form and provide a complete first draft to initiate the process.
University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF)

The University of Tennessee Research Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that promotes the commercialization of UT intellectual property, encourages an entrepreneurial culture, contributes to state and regional economic development, and promotes research and education to benefit the people of Tennessee and beyond. While UTRF is a separate entity from UT, it provides assistance and resources to the research activities of faculty, staff and students of the UT system. UTRF works to help move ideas to the marketplace.

Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP)

The mission of the OSP is to provide helpful, timely, and accurate information and service to the UTHSC research and scholarly community in support of their pursuit, acquisition, and management of extramural funding. Under the direction of Associate Vice Chancellor for Sponsored Programs the office, is responsible for:

  • Developing necessary and appropriate policies and procedures related to proposal and award management;
  • Collecting institutional information related to proposal and award data;
  • Providing training to the research community related to sponsored programs administration.

OSP works collaboratively with many offices and business units at UTHSC to provide cradle to grave integrated services related to sponsored programs.

Proposal Review and Approval

  • Aiding with proposal preparation entailing researching questions related to the program announcement;
  • Reviewing and submitting proposals including obtaining institutional signature;
  • Reviewing and submitting any requested just-in-time information

Award negotiation, acceptance, and account set-up

  • Negotiating terms and conditions of the award and accepting awards on behalf of the university
    • OSP has responsibility for the negotiation of grant and contracts related to research including:
      • Non-disclosure agreements
      • Material transfer agreements
      • Data use agreements
      • Subawards and subcontracts
      • Research collaboration agreements
      • Industry sponsored research agreements
      • Clinical trial agreements
    • Establishing sponsored programs accounts and monitoring the budget of record
    • Establishing and monitoring (together with the PI and department) subawards and subcontracts

Managing the award

  • Managing the financial aspects of the award: reviewing expenditures for allowability and working with the PI and department administrators to resolve any discrepancies and/or remove inappropriate charges
  • Facilitating any prior approval requests such as: supplemental funding requests, no-cost extensions, change of PI, re-budgeting, reduction of effort, etc.;
  • Meeting sponsors needs for fiscal reports and accounting requests;
  • Managing the effort certification process;
  • Cost-sharing including preparing NIH over the cap calculation;
  • Helping with the preparation of, reviewing, and approving cost transfers and budget reallocation requests;
  • Reviewing and approving carryforward requests;
  • Providing the annual leave payout analysis;
  • Subrecipient monitoring; and
  • Working closely with the Office of Finance and Operations on any audits related to sponsored programs.

Award Closeout

  • Ensuring that awards are properly closed out which entails:
    • Preparing and submitting financial and closeout reports and documents as required by the sponsor;
    • Ensuring all appropriate documentation has been submitted and is in the file; and
    • Coordinating with the University Technology Research Foundation (UTRF) to ensure that all patent and technology transfer information has been reported to the sponsor.
  • Maintaining archival award records.


Jan 11, 2024