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Office of Research and Sponsored Programs Administration

East Tennessee State University

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A.  Office of Research and Sponsored Programs

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs Administration (ORSPA) assists members of the ETSU community with the identification of funding opportunities; submission of proposals for external support for research and creative, instructional, and service activities; drafting, review, negotiation and acceptance of sponsored and research-related agreements; and managing sponsored program awards.

ORSPA reports to the Vice Provost for Research and Sponsored Programs, the institution's chief research officer. Through written delegation of authority, the Vice Provost for Research and Sponsored Programs is the named institutional authorized official for ETSU's sponsored programs. The authorized official is responsible for ensuring the accuracy and integrity of the proposals submitted by ETSU to external sponsors and the management of its sponsored program awards.

ORSPA supports the role of the authorized official by establishing and administering internal policies and procedures to help ensure that all proposals submitted in request of external funding, and all sponsored agreements and other research-related agreements conform to sponsor guidelines as well as all federal, state, TBR, and ETSU policies and regulations.

This Investigator's Guide is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the principles, policies, and procedures employed by the ORSPA in support of ETSU's pursuit and management of our sponsored program portfolio.

B.  Grant Accounting

The Office of Grant Accounting in the Office of Financial Services is responsible for the financial management of ETSU's sponsored program funding, including the submission of invoices and all financial reports. Once an award has been accepted and processed by ORSPA the award is communicated to the Grant Accounting staff for the establishment of a Banner index and management.

C.  What is a sponsored program?

"A sponsored program is a research, training, instructional, or related project or program supported by external funds that are received by the University on behalf of a member of the University community, and for which the University is accountable. Such funds are provided as a result of a formal communication with the sponsor such as a letter, application or other written proposal signed and submitted by an authorized University official through ORSP."
                  -- official definition adopted by ETSU in 1987

A sponsored program will normally have one or more of the following additional characteristics:

  • the sponsor has published guidelines, applications, and/or procedures for requesting support;
  • the use of funds awarded is restricted to support for a particular project or line of scholarly or scientific inquiry;
  • the award includes specifications for project performance and/or outcome;
  • the award provides for the disposition of rights in data, inventions, and/or other intellectual property;
  • the sponsor requires, as a condition of the award, programmatic, technical, and/or financial reports, which are subject to external audit.

Examples of externally provided support not included in this category are:

  • gifts or bequests to the University;
  • student financial aid;
  • support for student projects, unless institutional submission is required.

Not sure if your project or funding meets the definition of a "sponsored program"? Contact the ORSPA at .

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