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Sponsored Research Orientation for New LBJ School Faculty

  • Who does what
    • Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP): Reviews proposal, signs proposal on behalf of UT, negotiates award
    • Sponsored Projects Awards Administration (SPAA): Sets up research project account budgets, invoices sponsor, provides financial reporting
    • Institutional Review Board (IRB): Reviews and approves protocols with human subject research
    • Jeff Meserve (LBJ Sr. Grants & Contracts Specialist,, 512-471-3043): Liaises with OSP, SPAA and Effort Certification, assists in budget preparation and proposal submission, submits no-cost extensions, submits budget transfers for research accounts, assists with data usage agreements, assists with business contracts set-up.

  • How to Submit a Research Proposal
    • Contract Jeff ahead of time and let him know what opportunity you plan to apply to and the deadline.
    • Jeff will set you up electronically so that you can have your proposal reviewed by OSP and accounts added for any electronic systems (e.g., NSF Fastlane, Cayuse).
    • Be prepared to provide all materials to Jeff for OSP review at least FOUR (4) business days before the deadline (OSP requested lead time).
    • Be prepared to provide Jeff with the following (Jeff can assist with these):
      • Budget
      • Budget Justification
      • Abstract
      • Scope of Work
  • If there are named consultants, be prepared to have a letter from the consultant stating their rate (hourly or daily) and the total cost of their services.
  • All graduate students are required to have tuition remission included in budgets.
  • More info:

  • Office of Sponsored Projects
    • Oversees research administration at UT, responsible for proposal review, signing authority, contract negotiations, award set-up, compliance, and reporting.
    • Any proposal or contract requiring an institutional signature should be reviewed and signed by an OSP representative to be valid, not by PIs.
    • If you are a subcontractor on another institution’s research project, your subcontract proposal should be reviewed by OSP.
    • If you are taking any data, technologies, software, or hardware abroad, you may be subject to export controls. More info:
    • More general OSP info here:

  • Sponsored Projects Awards Administration (SPAA)
    • Responsible for financial management of research projects.
    • All accounts will have beginning and end dates.
    • Budgets will be divided into budget categories such as salary, fringe benefits, travel, supplies, tuition, and overhead (IDC).
    • Depending on contractual terms, funds may be transferred between budget lines up to a certain percentage or with sponsor approval.
    • To extend contract end dates, a no-cost extension must be approved by the sponsor.
    • Most grants are “cost-reimbursable,” which means expenses are charged to the project, then the sponsor is invoiced after expenses occur on a quarterly or monthly basis.
    • More info:

  • Indirect Costs
    • Indirect costs (IDCs) are also known as overhead costs and consist of a federally-negotiated rate for The University of Texas at Austin.

  • Sponsored Project vs. Gift
    • Sponsored Projects are reviewed by OSP, and typically have reporting requirements, Intellectual Property or publication rights language, require signature by an Authorized Organizational Representative, and have deliverables that must be met.
    • Gifts are funding with “no strings attached” and typically involve payment from a sponsor with little to no oversight of how the money is spent.

  • Institutional Review Board (IRB)
    • If you have human subjects involved in your research proposal, you will need to have IRB review your protocol. Work cannot begin until approval has occurred.
    • Allow several weeks of lead-time for this process to take place, as protocols are reviewed by University committees.
    • More info:

  • Salary Compensation Reports
    • UT’s system of internal controls is required to include processes for the after-the-fact review of personnel costs that are allocated to a project based on budget estimates to ensure compliance with Federal Regulations and sponsor requirements.
    • Salary Compensation Reports will be provided three times a year, following the end of each academic semester, to provide PIs and departments another tool to review personnel costs on sponsored accounts.
    • More info:

  • Office of Business Contracts
    • If you have a consultant agreement, interview services agreement, or other services agreement that needs to be signed by UT, those will go through the Office of Business Contracts.
    • Contact Jeff to begin this process. Depending on the type of agreement, it may take a month to have all documents reviewed and signed by both parties.
    • More info:

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