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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Approved by President effective 6/4/13
This policy was issued on May 21, 2014, replacing the June 7, 2013 version.
Document Reference: 1M2
Origin: GC 2-82/83; OP 11/5/90; GR 3/21/13