Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) is responsible for reviewing, negotiating, and accepting research and other agreements (grants and contracts) on behalf of the University. 

ORSP also ensures that the University Authorized Official signs the agreements, which is required by University and most sponsoring agency policy. It is important to note that principal investigators/project directors do not have the authority to sign these binding agreements.   

When a sponsoring agency or other collaborator indicates that an agreement such as a Materials Transfer Agreement (MTA), Memoranda of Understanding (MOU), Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA), Confidential Disclosure Agreements (CDA), subcontract, or other project-related agreement is required, ORSP will provide suggested formats if needed, review terms and conditions, obtain legal or other necessary reviews, and obtain the University Authorized Official’s signature.   

After receipt of the award notification and completion of any additional negotiations or approvals, ORSP will prepare the documentation needed for award setup and send it to the University’s grant accountants. The grant accountants will set up the index number and work with the project director or principal investigator to facilitate proper award management. Once an index number is set up, project directors and principal investigators will work with the grant accountants for most award-related activities.   

ORSP also provides some non-financial post-award assistance. For example, the office can act as a liaison with other University offices and help principal investigators and project directors determine which offices they need to work with to facilitate successful completion of their projects, as well as help faculty and staff with completion of technical progress reports. Note that the grant accountants prepare and submit the required financial reports; if the sponsor requires the technical report to be submitted with the financial reports, the principal investigator will need to provide his/ her grants accountant with a copy of the technical report.

Post Award

Understanding Participant Support Costs

Participant support costs are defined in the Uniform Guidance as direct costs for items such as stipends or subsistence allowances, travel allowances, and registration fees paid to, or on behalf of, participants or trainees (but not employees) in connection with conferences or training projects. Participant support costs do not include expenses incurred as incentives for research subjects to participate in studies, such as gift cards, stipends, dependent care costs, parking fees or transportation.

Note that participant support costs are not routinely allowed on research projects. Typically, these expenses are incurred for projects that focus on an education or outreach activity. The funding opportunity announcement (FOA) of program guidelines will generally indicate when these expenses are allowable as direct costs to the project.

It is important to note that there are many restrictions on participant support costs.  In addition to not being allowable for employees of the grantee institution, they may not be used to support conference or workshops trainers, speakers, organizers, or similar expenditures.  In addition, these costs may not be rebudgeted without express prior approval from the appropriate granting agency official. Principal investigators must work with their grant accountant and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs prior to making any programmatic changes or incurring any expenditures that will require changes in participant support costs, and must also confirm that participants are not employees of the institution prior to accepting them into the activity.

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