Research Topics

Searching for guidance related to a common research administration issue? Select one of the topics for in-depth information, including policies, procedures, job aids, and useful links relevant to administrators across the entire sponsored research lifecycle.

It is often beneficial to make staff appointments and incur other expenses (e.g., pre-award expenses) prior to the formal notification of an award by the sponsor. When the success of a pending award is apparent, campus units, at their own risk, may incur costs in anticipation of the award. This may reduce the number of cost transfers needed once an award is fully executed.

The SPA Negotiation Team negotiates a variety of agreements for sponsored activities taking place on the Urbana-Champaign campus.

Sponsored Programs Administration is responsible for setting up an award after a successful proposal. Below are the respective responsibilities related to this process.

The SPA Award Management team supports university principal investigators and their departments in the billing and invoicing of awarded projects by helping to manage the financial interactions with sponsors and assuring compliance with all university and sponsor policies.

A budget justification (narrative) should be prepared to explain how the budgeted costs relate to the project. The narrative should provide sufficient detail to allow the sponsor to determine whether the proposed costs are reasonable and appropriate.

Key elements to include:

The university has an obligation to sponsors and funding agencies to bring funded projects to closure in a timely manner. The award closeout process is a collaborative effort of all parties involved in ensuring completion of all project work, filing required reports, and resolving financial matters.

Sponsored Programs Administration helps ensure university compliance with research-related federal, state, and local regulations. SPA also promotes the ethical and responsible conduct of research and provide assistance to faculty, staff, and students engaged in research to facilitate regulatory compliance.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a responsibility to ensure that costs incurred on sponsored projects are in compliance with federal regulations, sponsor policy, award terms and conditions, and university policy. Follow the link below for complete policy and procedures. 

Cost sharing may include only expenses that are allowable on and allocable to the project and incurred during the project period. It is the department’s responsibility to provide documentation which supports cost sharing commitments. Documentation and support of cost sharing commitments must accompany the proposal documents submitted to SPA for review.

According to University of Illinois policy, charges apply to appropriate sponsored project when first incurred. It may be necessary to initiate a cost transfer to reallocate or redistribute expenditures to a sponsored project subsequent to the initial recording of the charge.

Most external funds received by the University are clearly identified as a gift or a grant/contract, but there are some instances in which that is not the case and the determination of the nature of the funds require consideration of many factors and some additional review of the documentation available.

Also referred to as "Intellectual Contributions" or "Credit Allocation."

Pre-Proposals (white papers, letter of intent, etc.) must go through SPA if the submission requires either the signature of an authorized representation or submission by an authorized representative. All pre-proposals should be submitted to SPA through myProposals at least four (4) business days prior to the sponsor deadline date.

The budget is the financial plan for the project or program. It includes both the sponsor and non-sponsor share of the total project cost. Proposed project costs are comprised of allowable direct costs, facilities and administrative (F&A) costs, and cost sharing (when mandatory).

SPA Pre-Award is responsible for reviewing and approving requests for external funding prepared and submitted by the campus community to federal, state, and private sponsors. Each campus unit has an assigned proposal coordinator as the primary SPA point of contact for that unit's proposal reviews.

All proposals should be submitted to SPA through myProposals at least four (4) business days prior to the sponsor deadline date. The SPA Proposal Field Guide, linked below, is a reference guide designed to provide definitions and explanations for each field in myProposals. 

Find resources related to rates for research awards below, including F&A, fringe, and tuition remission rates; a State of Illinois rate schedule; and historical rates.

Resource for finding, adding, and maintaining service rates across campus:

Service Rate Database

SPA is responsible for processing subaward agreements and amendments that are issued by the university to collaborating entities (subrecipients). These subrecipients will perform a portion of the research required under a prime award to the university. Follow the link below for complete policies and procedures.