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Policy Governing Externally Sponsored Industry Projects at SIUE - 1M2

  1. General Considerations

    1. Definition

      The term "sponsored project" in this policy statement refers to projects conducted in whole or in part under a contractual agreement with one or several industry sponsors. It does not refer to projects conducted under a contractual agreement with one or several sponsors that are governmental entities, subdivisions of governmental entities, or not-for-profit organizations.

    2. Best Efforts

      Sponsored projects at SIUE shall be conducted on a best effort basis. The University, however, remains sensitive to the time constraints and the need for responsible efforts.

    3. Publications

      As a public, educational institution, SIUE must serve public purposes. Thus, project results must be freely available to the scientific community and the wider public. The standard contract, therefore, states that SIUE will be free to publish the results of projects after providing a copy to the sponsor.

      While insisting that project findings must be publishable, the University recognizes the legitimate proprietary interests of private sponsors. Where appropriate, publication will be delayed for a specified period in order to protect patent rights. The University also will provide the sponsor with advance copies of intended publications and provide an opportunity for comment with respect to patent matters and for the identification of any inadvertent disclosure of proprietary data. However, title to and the right to determine disposition of any material first produced or composed in the performance of sponsored projects shall remain with the University. The sponsor shall receive a royalty-free, non-exclusive license to reproduce, translate, and use copyrighted material for its own purposes.

    4. Confidentiality

      The University does not retain proprietary information or maintain the confidentiality of project results. Publications normally acknowledge the sponsor's support. While such acknowledgment can be omitted from publications at the sponsor's request, the identity of the sponsor, the identity of the University investigators, the nature of the project, and the value of the agreement must be reflected in University records and be available to the public.

      Although the University does not generate proprietary project results, there are situations in which a project requires access to the sponsor's own proprietary data. In such cases, the contract(s) shall define the conditions under which such data shall be accepted and note that the University shall use reasonable efforts to protect such data, but shall not accept liability for inadvertent disclosure. Such data must be clearly designated as proprietary when they are transmitted to the University. The University retains the right to refuse to accept any such data that it does not consider essential to the research or that it believes to be improperly designated.

    5. Patents, Copyrights, Proprietary Rights, and Title Rights

      Patents, copyrights, or other proprietary rights deriving from sponsored projects must be shared by the University in accordance with arrangements set forth in the contract and pursuant to the terms of the University's Policy Governing Research Involving Patents and Copyrights. The University's patent and copyright policy seeks to ensure that discoveries or inventions are used in ways that benefit the public while also providing adequate recognition and appropriate royalties to the responsible parties.

      Unless otherwise covered in the contract, the University retains title to inventions resulting from sponsored projects and may license them in the public interest under patent management arrangements that also reflect the needs of sponsors. The normal mechanism is to provide the sponsor with a non-exclusive, royalty-free license. Insofar as SIUE is able to grant a license, SIUE may grant the sponsor the option to acquire exclusive rights, title and interest in and to SIUE's inventions or other intellectual property rights made and/or conceived in the course of this grant.

      The University retains title to any equipment acquired and to buildings constructed as a result of any performance of a project unless agreed upon differently in the applicable contract.

    6. Payment Terms

      Externally sponsored projects at the University can be conducted on the basis of a fixed price, installment payments based on milestones or deliverables, or cost-reimbursement. The University's externally sponsored projects involve both direct and indirect costs. Direct costs include the salaries, wage and employment benefits of project personnel; equipment; materials and services; and any other direct expenses necessary for performance of the project. A project's indirect costs include an allocable share of the University's costs to cover maintenance of the physical plant and facilities, the libraries, the general and administrative services, and other University support services.

    7. Liability and Risk

      The University will not cover business risks. In keeping with the best efforts principle, the University cannot accept contract provisions that set strict deadlines, impose penalties for failure to make progress, or provide for withholding of payment if the sponsor is not satisfied with results.

    8. Use of University Property

      Illinois state law requires that public property be applied only to public purposes such as education, research, and service. Such property, which includes assets other than buildings or grounds, may be used by outside persons or agencies only in accordance with approved contracts that further the public purposes of the University.

    9. Compensation

      1. Compensation must be mutually agreed upon by the University employee, industry representative, and appropriate University administrators.

      2. In the event of a change in compensation, such proposed change shall be approved by the process through which all contractual agreements between outside agencies and the University are reviewed and approved. Such changes in compensation shall then be reported to the Office of Human Resources by means of a Change of Assignment form bearing the pertinent information.

      3. University employee research time includes both salary and fringe benefits. It can be negotiated as assigned time in place of regularly assigned duties and responsibilities, as overload compensation in addition to regular duties, as summer salary, or as a combination of these options.

      4. Compensation must be in compliance with Policy 1M1 Overload Compensation.

      5. Personal consulting by University employees normally does not involve a formal agreement for SIUE. Given reasonable limits and proper approvals, as specified in Policy on Outside Employment for Faculty, such consulting can be beneficial for the University as well as for faculty members and clients. Approvals for consulting will generally be given whenever these consulting activities do not interfere with regular duties. The University may, however, require more extensive involvement in the review of proposed consulting work or in the monitoring of approved consulting work in certain cases [for example, in a situation in which an employee(s) desires to perform consulting services for an entity that is a sponsor of a cooperative University-industry project].

  2. Process for Establishing a Sponsored Project

    1. Preliminary Discussions

      Sponsored projects are most frequently initiated (1) when a sponsor wishes to support a project that an employee of SIUE wishes to pursue and (2) when the proposed project is approved by the University as consistent with the University's policies.

      University policies and guidelines concerning externally sponsored projects are administered by the Graduate School. Under these policies and guidelines the University may engage in collaborative or joint programs with external sponsors, and the sponsor may work closely with the University to ensure that the project maintains its stated interest, but the University is ultimately responsible for the direction and supervision of the project. The principal investigator is responsible for directing the project in accordance with University policies and the contract. The sponsor is entitled to periodic reports on the progress and direction of the project.

    2. Proposed Contract Review and Submission

      Formal review begins when an employee submits a proposed contract according to Policy 5B2 University Guidelines Regarding Review and Approval of Externally Financed Projects. The contract shall describe the scope of work, identify the individuals who will perform it, and delineate the proposed budget. The employee's supervisor and dean or director of the unit must be satisfied that the project is appropriate as part of the unit's educational and research program, that adequate space and facilities are available, and that the budget covers all applicable direct and indirect costs.

      The Office of Research and Projects and the Associate Provost for Research review the proposed project for, among other issues, being relevant to the mission and scope of the University and not in conflict with the public interest or University policy. The Office of Research and Projects submits the signed contract to the sponsor.

    3. Grant/Contract Negotiations

      All contracts and grants are negotiated by the Office of Research and Projects. Contract discussions between the sponsor's representatives and other University employees are preliminary only, and the Office of Research and Projects must review any proposed commitment on behalf of the University and either endorse or negotiate necessary modifications. After negotiations are completed, the final contract must be approved and signed by the Associate Provost for Research as the official authorized institutional representative for externally sponsored grants and contracts.

  3. Project Administration

    1. When negotiations are completed and the contract is signed, the Office of Research and Projects Post-Award Services establishes a project account, notifies the project supervisor and unit, and takes whatever other steps are necessary so that the project can begin. The principal investigator and unit in which the project is performed are responsible for the conduct of the work and for the submission of appropriate technical reports to the sponsor. The Office of Research and Projects grant accountant is responsible for the submission of appropriate fiscal invoices and financial reports to the sponsor.

    2. The Office of Research and Projects Post-Award Services reviews the expenditures on an ongoing basis to assure compliance with the terms of the contract and University policy. Any proposed modifications in the terms or conditions of a contract, including changes in the scope of work or an increase or decrease in the estimated costs, must be forwarded via the Office of Research and Projects. Major renewals or extensions involving additional costs must be reviewed through normal procedures, the same as new proposals.

    3. If required by the contract, a final financial accounting shall be submitted to the sponsor within ninety days after completion of the project. If the sponsor wishes, monthly reports or other periodic reports also can be submitted in the same format. If necessary, the University's accounting office can provide sponsors with copies of original receipts, vouchers, and other source documents relating to the costs. Financial records are maintained in accordance with generally accepted accounting practices and are available at the accounting office for inspection and audit by the sponsor for one year following completion of the project.

    4. Termination

      1. If a sponsor is dissatisfied with the progress of a project, or for any other reason wishes to discontinue it, the project may be terminated at the sponsor's convenience with sixty days prior written notice as set forth in the standard agreement. The University shall terminate any outstanding commitments and phase down the work in an orderly manner, and all costs associated with termination and with prior commitments shall be paid.

      2. The University also reserves the right to terminate a project if conditions beyond its control preclude continuation or if it determines that the project's activities are no longer in the public interest, as stated in the original proposal. In this event, the University shall provide the sponsor with a final fiscal report accompanied by a final check for excess funds or invoice for funds due within ninety days after termination. The University shall also provide a report summarizing project results to the date of termination.

Approved by President effective 6/4/13
This policy was issued on June 7, 2013, replacing the April 4, 2000 version.
Document Reference: 1M2
Origin: GC 2-82/83; OP 11/5/90; GR 3/21/13