Central Sponsored Programs Review

Standards for Effective Sponsored Programs Operations

The NCURA Standards represent institutional baselines that provide a supportive environment for the conduct of extramurally funded activities.  They guarantee your operation is assessed against a consistent set of features applied to all institutions. Unlike an audit, the totality of a sponsored programs operation is assessed. While recognizing that institutions differ in organizational structure and institutional priorities, these Standards reflect how the institution integrates the sponsored programs enterprise with its institutional goals and expectations and operationalizes effective sponsored programs administration. 

 

Institutional Planning and Investment in the Research Enterprise 
I. STANDARD for Institutional and Research Planning.
II. STANDARD for Institutional Investment in the Research Enterprise.
(the full Standards include descriptions of each area; request a copy)

The relationship of achieving research strategic goals is reflected in commitments in areas that support research (such as seed or bridge funding, shared cores, release time). This level of financial and other types of support is understood by the institutional leadership.

This Standard is accompanied by two features used by the Peer Reviewers in their assessment.

Research Enterprise Components and Structure
III. STANDARD for the Research Administration Organization. 
IV. STANDARD for Research Administration Staffing and Staff Development. 
V. STANDARD for Resources to Support Research Administration. 

Research Administration Communication and Outreach
VI. STANDARD for Research Administration Communications. 
VII. STANDARD for Outreach Efforts and Program of Education. 

Research Administration Policy and Risk Assessment
VIII. STANDARD for Research Administration Risk Assessment. 
IX. STANDARD for Research Administration Policy. 
X. STANDARD for Research Administration Business Continuity. 

Faculty Engagement and Faculty Burden
XI. STANDARD for Faculty Engagement and Faculty Burden. 

Research Administration Systems and Data Management
XII. STANDARD for Information Systems Supporting Research Administration. 
XIII. STANDARD for Institutional Management of Research Administration Data. 

Institutional Research Partnerships and Associations 
XIV. STANDARD for Institutional Research Partnerships with Other Organizations. 
XV. STANDARD for Research Associations with Non-Employed Individuals. 

Research Development Operations
XVI. STANDARD for Research Development. 
XVII. STANDARD for Sponsored Program Funding and Proposal Services. 

Sponsored Program Operations
XVIII. STANDARD for Proposal Review and Submission.
(the full Standards include descriptions of each area; request a copy)

The institution has a consistent approach for reviewing and processing proposals that is in compliance with institutional and sponsor guidelines and requirements. Such processes include budgeting, cost sharing, and specific sponsor policies. Proposal review includes processes for needs of special solicitation requirements and voluntary waivers of F&A. The roles and responsibilities associated with the proposal review and submission activities are clearly understood by all stakeholders. 

Management systems and the proposal review process interface smoothly with compliance processes/systems and the systems/processes for accepting and managing any subsequent awards. 

There is a clear process for subrecipients in both proposals and as awards. The institution clearly distinguishes sponsored programs from gifts. The institution has clearly defined and communicated internal processes for sponsors that restrict the number of applications.

Clear expectations exist for training appropriate to responsibilities for all level of staff engaged in sponsored program proposal review and submission at central and unit levels. The central and unit-level staff has adequate understanding of submission requirements for electronic and non-electronic proposal submissions.

(This Standard is accompanied by seventeen features used by the Peer Reviewers in their assessment.)

XIX. STANDARD for Award Review and Negotiation. 
XX. STANDARD for Award Acceptance. 
XXI. STANDARD for Award Activation and Notification. 
XXII. STANDARD for Subaward Management and Monitoring. 
XXIII. STANDARD for Sponsored Programs Fiscal Management. 
(the full Standards include descriptions of each area; request a copy)

The institution’s control environment provides reasonable assurance regarding the effectiveness and efficiency of operations, reliability of financial reporting, and compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The institution maintains internal controls through processes, systems, and tools to ensure compliance with institutional and sponsor guidelines and requirements. Fiscal data is readily available through published reports, queries, or integrated systems for transaction processing, review and tracking of activities, and reporting. 

Clear expectations exist for training appropriate to responsibilities for all level of staff engaged in sponsored programs fiscal management at central and unit levels.

(This Standard is accompanied by ten features used by the Peer Reviewers in their assessment, with three additional features for U.S. institutions.)

XXIV. STANDARD for Sponsored Programs Administrative Management. 


 

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