About the Office of Sponsored Programs
The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) provides a comprehensive array of support services for faculty and staff as they pursue and manage external funding projects. The office also functions as the steward of Virginia Tech’s research portfolio and its staff is responsible for ensuring that all research proposals and projects comply with university, federal, and sponsor regulations, policies, and procedures. Virginia Tech continues to rise in national university research rankings and remains the top university in Virginia for funds expended in pursuit of engineering, science, and other scholarly outreach and activities.
The office is comprised of service teams to provide faculty and staff with expertise in the following areas: pre award, post award, contract, and compliance. Other areas in the office, not listed here, provide functional support for OSP.
Commonly Used Acronyms in Research Administration
Pre Award Associates strive to provide customer friendly support services to faculty and staff preparing and submitting research proposals to a wide array of external sponsors. Their duties and responsibilities include Request for Proposals (RFP) review, budget development and review, proposal package checks and edits, and cost share review and authorization. Pre Award Associates can guide faculty and staff through the often complex process of submitting proposals compliant with sponsor guidelines and online submission systems such as Cayuse and Grants.gov.
Awards Associates in Contracts expedite the set-up of new grants, cooperative agreements and contracts which have standard terms and conditions that do not require negotiation with the sponsor before acceptance. This gives faculty more timely access to extramural funding. This team coordinates documentation of certain compliance requirements needed before the Banner fund can be set up, such as conflict of interest (COI) certification, Institutional Research Board (IRB) approval for human subjects and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval for animal subjects, and documentation for cost sharing, cost accounting exceptions or special overhead distribution.
Contract Associates review and negotiate more complex contracts and awards from commercial, foundation, and federal sponsors such as the Department of Defense (DoD) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Their role as stewards of Virginia Tech's extramural portfolio includes preserving the intellectual property and publishing rights of faculty innovators, negotiating and disclosure of proprietary information, negotiating material transfer agreements, and assuring that all awards and contracts provide for export controls on sensitive or classified information.
This group utilizes OSP's Awards Tracking System which provides Principal Investigators (PIs) with transparent access to the process and current status of an award set-up.
Post Award Associates play an integral role in successfully performing funded research projects by offering expertise in financial accounting and contract administration and serving as liaisons with academic departments and sponsors, pre award, the Controller’s Office, and the Procurement Department. Their various duties include sponsor billing, post award budget revisions, administering no cost time extensions and cost transfers, cost share monitoring, and award and contract close out.
Compliance Associates provide quality assurance through continuous monitoring of financial transactions charged to sponsored awards, assuring the expenditures are in compliance with sponsor and university regulations, policies and guidelines. They identify and monitor emerging compliance issues in extramural award administration. Currently the team reviews and monitors costing practices, cost transfers, labor redistributions, effort reporting, and cost sharing. They also provide outreach and training to the university community on compliance issues.