Sponsored Projects

Handbook of Operating Procedures 7-1040

Sponsored Projects

The University of Texas at Austin
Executive Sponsor: Vice President for Research
February 2, 1988



General Policies


All proposals for Sponsored Research must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Sponsored Projects.


  1. Integration of Teaching and Research

The University of Texas at Austin encourages faculty members to seek support for sponsored projects related to teaching, research and public service. The University recognizes that research under sponsored projects contributes significantly to the academic stature, achievement, and capability of the faculty in fulfilling its responsibilities as teachers and public servants. To that end, the University seeks to insure the close integration of research and teaching, including the employment of students in sponsored projects and the use of research facilities for instructional purposes.


  1. Faculty Initiative

The basic responsibility for originating a proposal and managing the project lies with the individual faculty member. The principal investigator (or project director) has many University resources at his disposal to assist him in the preparation of a proposal, the management of the project, and the termination of the project. Information on University assistance can be obtained from the Office of Sponsored Projects.


  1. Restrictions on Publication

The University encourages the general dissemination of knowledge acquired through sponsored projects. Where necessary, and with specific justification, restrictions on publication may be permitted in the interest of national security or proprietary concerns of the sponsor. The University will accept only those agreements under which there is a reasonable expectation that the investigation will yield significant new literature at an early date. Classified research projects must be reviewed periodically by the Committee on Classified Research. (See HOP 7-1050, Classified Research Policy.)


  1. Benefits of Research

While it encourages projects sponsored by commercial and industrial organizations, The University, as a public institution, cannot engage in projects which involve continuing large-scale production or manufacture. Likewise, The University ordinarily will not undertake projects which limit benefits to one corporation or agency but will accept projects which benefit an entire industry or the public generally


  1. Social Action and Advocacy

The University encourages sponsored projects which seek to discover and disseminate knowledge in the areas of human rights and welfare. However, in order to remain free to continue the quest for knowledge, The University cannot assume the role of an advocate or social action agency.


Administrative Review and Approval of Sponsored Projects


All proposals to sponsoring agencies and the grants or contracts resulting from the proposals must be reviewed and approved at certain administrative levels before transmittal to the sponsoring agency. In most cases, a proposal, after preparation and initiation by the individual faculty member, must be reviewed and approved in turn by:

Office of Sponsored Projects (preliminary review)

Department Chairman (or Unit Head)

Dean (or Director)

Office of Sponsored Projects (final review)

Vice President for Business Affairs (fiscal/legal)

Executive Vice President and Provost (final institutional approval)

In some cases, depending on the nature of the proposed activity, the cost of the project, or institutional commitments involved, review and approval by the U.T. System administration may be required. Principal investigators (project directors) should contact the Office of Sponsored Projects during proposal preparation to ascertain the required approvals.


All proposals must be accompanied by the form, "Application for Review and Approval of Proposal for Grant or Contract." The summary information contained on the completed form will facilitate administrative review and approval, and thus help to expedite processing. Copies can be obtained from the Office of Sponsored Projects.


Persons Authorized to be Principal Investigators or Project Directors for Sponsored Projects


When The University accepts a grant or contract from an outside sponsoring agency, certain legal and ethical obligations are stated or implied in the document of agreement. The University becomes responsible for the proper performance of the stated work and for fiscal management of the funds received from the sponsor. Sponsors usually require that an individual be named to oversee the project with the reasonable assurance that the agreed responsibilities will be discharged faithfully and prudently in the mutual interest of the sponsor and The University and over the full period of the award.


In order to implement these obligations only individuals in the categories shown below are authorized to be principal investigators or project directors for sponsored projects. Only in rare instances will others be authorized, and then only with the prior written approval of the Executive Vice President and Provost.


  1. Members of the faculty in the professorial ranks (instructor, assistant professor, associate professor and professor)
  1. Directors (code 1000)
  1. Research scientists/engineers (code 1000) and senior research scientists/engineers (code 1000)
  1. Special research associates at the Applied Research Laboratory.


Previously HOP 5.08