Frequently Asked Questions

Office of Sponsored Programs

  • University policy defines sponsored programs as externally-funded awards for activities, which can include research, instruction, conferences, public events, and library grants

    If any of the following conditions are present in the terms of the award, it is a sponsored program and funding proposals must be reviewed by central administration through the Office of Sponsored Programs:

    • The proposed work binds the university to a specific line of scholarly or scientific inquiry which requires either a work methodology, or validation of particular approaches.
    • A specific commitment is made regarding the level of personnel effort or items of output, or if achievement of specific performance targets is contemplated as a condition of obtaining sponsorship.
    • A line item budget detailing expenditures by activity, function and a project period must be adhered to as a condition of funding, and a detailed fiscal or activity report or external audit is required at intervals during the course of the work and/or at the end of the project period.
    • The proposed agreement with the sponsor provides for the disposition of either tangible properties (equipment, records, technical reports, theses or dissertations), or intangible property (rights in data, copyrights, inventions) which may result from the activity.
    • Support is requested from any U.S. or other government agency, or from international organizations/agencies.

    Solicitations involving any of the above conditions are treated as sponsored programs and are processed following the guidelines in pre-proposalproposal and award.

  • Both OSP and the Development Office assist members of the AUC community in obtaining financial support from foundations and companies. OSP handles all grants and contracts, and development handles gifts.

  • Here are some useful indicators: 

    • If the draft agreement lists AUC’s name or the department’s name as a party, then it is an AUC agreement.
    • If the work being done will use AUC facilities and/or space, then it is an AUC agreement.
    • If you intend to involve AUC students or employees, then it is an AUC agreement. But if you will perform the work individually then it may be a private consulting agreement.
  • AUC's policy is that sponsored research programs should normally recover their full share of direct and indirect costs from the sponsor.

    Sometimes sponsors require that AUC subsidize (cost share) a portion of the costs, or sponsors may decline to support certain types of costs (such as indirect costs). In other cases, AUC offers to subsidize a share of the cost to make a proposal more attractive.

    In any of these situations, the researcher must identify a source for the subsidy, such as the department, school, center, or the University. Requests for department, school, or center subsidies must be discussed with the appropriate department chair, dean, or center director. The vice president considers requests for the University subsidies for finance and the Provost.

  • Only the Provost is authorized to approve proposals. The Office of Sponsored Programs will submit the proposal to the sponsor. For more information on the proposal process, see proposal.

  • The board of trustees has authorized the President and the provost to sign contracts that legally bind the University.  Faculty members, department chairs, center directors, and deans are not authorized to sign unless they have a specific written delegation from the President. Be careful that you do not accidentally sign a legal document unless you are authorized and required to do so. OSP will ensure that proper signatures are in place for you.


Principal Investigator Support Unit

    • The PI sends a request to the PI Support unit requesting a compensation payment two weeks before the payroll deadline (which is mid-month), specifying the tasks performed and the semester where the service has incurred. 
    • The memo is routed for the signatures needed. 
    • The memo is submitted to the faculty affairs for processing. 
    • The PI initiates the travel request through the online travel system.
    • The PI secures the needed approvals on the final plan (Dean/Department head).
    • PISU creates funding information on SAP.
    • PISU coordinates the request between the PI and GAS office for processing.
    • The PI initiates a per diem request to PISU (The per diem allowance application form) and secure line approvals (Dean/Department head).
    • The agreement is prepared and sent to the legal office for clearance.
    • A PR is issued and sent to the supply chain management (SCM) to make a competition process and suggest suppliers.
    • A sole source form is required by the PI if a specific supplier is required.
    • The SCM sends a purchase order to the selected supplier.
    • If the purchase cost is less than $500, it is processed as a direct purchase with reimbursement.
    • If the purchase cost is more than $500 and less than $2000, the PI Support Unit places a direct purchase request (DPR) and a direct purchase order (DPO) to the supplier, and payment is transferred to the supplier after goods are received. 
    • If the purchase cost is more than $2000, the PI Support Unit places a purchase request through Supply Chain Management. 
  • No, the grant admin person or team is basically the one to coordinate all the grant's activities. These include events, catering, travel, transportation, hiring, and expenses tracking. 

    The PISU Senior Officer assists the PI and the grant admin team in the financial management of the grant budget. The Senior Officer processes all expenses sent by the PI and the grant team while making sure those expenses abide by AUC and Sponsor's financial rules and regulations.