NCURA Peer Programs

Central Sponsored Programs Review

Standards for Effective Central 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. 

 Interested in learning more about the Standards? Contact us to request a copy of the full Standards, which contains the detailed description of what NCURA Peer Reviewers consider when conducting a Peer Review. 

Institutional Planning and Investment in the Research Enterprise 

I. STANDARD for Institutional and Research Planning.

II. STANDARD for Institutional Investment in the Research Enterprise.


Research Enterprise Components and Structure
III. STANDARD for the Research Administration Organization. 

IV. STANDARD for Advisory or Other Standing Committees that Support the Institution’s Research Enterprise. 

V. STANDARD for Research Administration Staffing and Staff Development.

VI. STANDARD for Resources to Support Research Administration.

Research Administration Communication and Outreach
VII. STANDARD for Research Administration Communications. 

VIII. STANDARD for Outreach Efforts and Program of Education. 


Faculty Engagement and Faculty Burden
IX. STANDARD for Faculty Engagement and Faculty Burden.

Research Administration Policy and Risk Assessment
X. STANDARD for Research Administration Risk Assessment. 

XI. STANDARD for Research Administration Policy. 

XII. STANDARD for Research Administration Business Continuity. 

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

XIV. STANDARD for Institutional Management of Research Administration Data and Generation of Metrics. 

Institutional Research Partnerships and Associations 
XV. STANDARD for Institutional Research Partnerships with Other Organizations. 

XVI. STANDARD for Research Associations with Non-Employed Individuals. 

Research Development Operations
XVII. STANDARD for Research Development. 

XVIII. STANDARD for Sponsored Program Funding and Proposal Development.

Sponsored Program Operations
XIX. STANDARD for Proposal Review and Submission.

XX. STANDARD for Award Review and Negotiation. 

XXI. STANDARD for Award Acceptance. 

XXII. STANDARD for Award Activation and Notification. 

XXIII. STANDARD for Subaward Management and Monitoring. 

XXIV. STANDARD for Award Management Support

XXV. STANDARD for Sponsored Programs Fiscal Management.

XXVI. STANDARD for Sponsored Programs Administrative Management.


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

What's in the full Standards?

STANDARD for Sponsored Programs Fiscal Management.

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.)