Unit-Level Sponsored Programs Review

Standards for Effective Sponsored Programs Operations

The NCURA Unit-Level Standards represent baselines for sponsored programs operations located at the college, school, or organized research unit level and that provide a supportive environment for the conduct of extramurally funded activities.  Similar to the Central-Level Standards, they guarantee your unit-based 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. 

 

Unit-Level Commitments 
I. STANDARD for Unit-Level Research Administration Planning.
(the full Standards include descriptions of each area; request a copy)

The institutional priorities and strategic plans as relate to research are clearly articulated and tied to action plans and metrics, defined by research administration, that will support and advance the institutional priorities. The unit (research, center/institute, college, school) understands institutional priorities and has appropriately aligned their strategic directions. The relationship of research strategic goal successes and infrastructure commitments in areas that support research (such as seed or bridge funding, shared cores, release time) is understood by the unit leadership. A commitment to research and sponsored projects is clearly evident at all levels of the unit as appropriate to the culture, mission, and strategic plans.

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

II. STANDARD for Unit-Level Research Administration Organization. 
III. STANDARD for Unit-Level Research Administration Staffing. 
IV. STANDARD for Unit-Level Research Administration Resources. 


Unit-Level Research Administration Communications
V. STANDARD for Unit-Level Research Administration Communications. 

 

Unit-Level Research Administration Policy Understanding
VI. STANDARD for Unit-Level Research Administration Policy Understanding. 
(the full Standards include descriptions of each area; request a copy)

The unit works with institutional and central administration to interpret and apply institution and central policy; for those policies not proscribed externally (such as by specific federal regulation). There is a clear understanding and approach for policy clarification, policy ownership, and the associated approval process.

Unit-level research administration has developed appropriate relationships and communications to align their unit’s policies and practices to those of the central operations.
This Standard is accompanied by eight features used by the Peer Reviewers in their assessment.

Program of Education About Sponsored Programs
VII. STANDARD for the Program of Education About Sponsored Programs. 

 

Assessment and Institutional Preparedness
VIII. STANDARD for Risk Assessment. 
IX. STANDARD for Institutional Preparedness for Research Disasters or Media Exposure.
 
 
Information Management
X. STANDARD for Information Systems Supporting Research Administration. 
(the full Standards include descriptions of each area; request a copy)

The institution has in place appropriate information systems for research administration and sponsored programs and has processes that integrate proposals, awards, financial management, and compliance reviews.  Unit research administration utilizes the institutional systems or has in place unit-specific systems that interface with the institutional systems. The uniperiodically assesses research administration technology needs and ensures all appropriate research administration staff attend appropriate training courses, seminars, and lectures in order to be proficient in the use of institutional systems.  

This Standard is accompanied by four features with three additional features for larger volume institutions, used by the Peer Reviewers in their assessment.

XI. STANDARD for Institutional Management of Research Administration Data. 
XII. STANDARD for Research Administration Data Accessible to Constituents. 


Institutional Affiliations and Relationships
XIII. STANDARD for Research Affiliations with Other Organizations. 
XIV. STANDARD for Research Affiliations with Non-Employed Individuals. 


Unit-Level Sponsored Program Operations: Funding and Proposal Services
XV. STANDARD for Unit Funding Resources. 
XVI. STANDARD for Unit Proposal Assistance. 


Unit-Level Sponsored Program Operations: Proposal Review and Submission
XVII. STANDARD for Unit Proposal Review. 
XVIII. STANDARD for Unit Proposal Submission. 


Unit-Level Subaward Processing 
XIX. STANDARD for Unit Subaward Processing. 

Unit-Level Sponsored Program Operations: Award Acceptance and Initiation 
XX. STANDARD for Unit Award Review and Negotiation. 
XXI. STANDARD for Unit Award Acceptance. 
XXII. STANDARD for Unit Award Activation and Notification. 


Operations: Award Management 

XXIII. STANDARD for Unit Fiscal Management. 
XXIV. STANDARD for Unit Administrative Management. 


Institutional Integration of Obligations Made with Sponsored Programs Activities
XXV. STANDARD for Institutional Integration of Obligations Made with Sponsored Programs Activities.

 

For questions or further information, please complete our information request form.