A grant is a type of financial assistance awarded to an organization for the conduct of research or other programs as specified in an approved proposal. A grant, as opposed to a cooperative agreement, is used when the awarding office anticipates no substantial programmatic involvement with the recipient during the performance of the activities. They may be funded by a federal, state, local or private source. A grant is an agreement to accomplish something for the public good. Generally, grants do not require a signature of acceptance by the second party.
A financial contract is a written agreement between two parties by which the sponsor agrees to pay costs incurred for specific research services, deliverables, or research goals. Contracts are more prescribed, allowing less flexibility in the conduct of the sponsored program and utilization of the funds. Contracts contain specific terms and conditions that must be followed to remain in compliance. Changes or modifications to any aspect of the contract can be done only through a written and signed modification or amendment to the contract. A contract must be signed by an authorized representative of the UCF with signature authority.
A cooperative agreement is a funding mechanism in which both parties to the agreement have substantial programmatic responsibilities. Some examples of the sponsor's programmatic responsibilities are participation on a committee for the project, collaborating on the design of a protocol, managing data collection, analysis, and interpretation, and assisting with the management of the technical performance of the research activities.
Cost Reimbursable Awards
Funding may be provided by a sponsor on a cost reimbursement basis. This means that UCF first incurs costs and then submits an invoice to the sponsor for payment. The award is issued on the basis of an estimate of the costs of performing research and is often arrived at by negotiation between the funding agency and UCF. Work should stop when all of the funds are exhausted.
Firm Fixed Price Agreements
A firm fixed price agreement provides an agreed upon amount of funding for a specific deliverable, completion of a milestone, or product. A reconciliation of costs incurred, and funding received is not required by the sponsor. Deliverables must be provided to the sponsor even if the costs exceed the award amount.
- Designated Office of Research (OR) personnel are UCF's official contacts with sponsors/agencies. They are authorized to communicate with sponsors on all administrative matters (e.g., compliance with proposal guidelines, policy issues, all aspects of contract and grant agreements, amendments, modifications, no-cost extensions, and budget transfer requests).
- The Principal Investigator (PI) is authorized to communicate with the sponsor on technical/scientific aspects of the project only.
- OR and UCF Research Foundation (RF) are the only units authorized by UCF to receive, issue, negotiate and sign research agreements (i.e., contracts, grants, amendments, modifications) with a sponsor.
- OR and RF will negotiate all terms and conditions of agreements in accordance with UCF policies and guidelines.
Awarded Funding Report
When OR receives a notice of grant award or completes negotiations on a contract and the award is fully executed, this fully signed award document becomes the basis for issuing an Awarded Funding Report (formerly Report of Grant/Contract Award-Form 650). If the PI has not received an awarded funding report but has had agency contact indicating that a project has been funded, the PI should contact OR.
Once awarded a funding report is generated, and the PI will receive an e-mail from OR. This e-mail will contain general information about the award such as the agency, project title, account number, etc.
A web address will be provided in the e-mail for access to OR's server. From here the award and other documents can be viewed and printed as necessary. The PI will also receive any agency specific guidelines necessary to administer the project. All materials should be carefully reviewed to ensure compliance with all award requirements.
Official award documents include:
- Official award notices
- Letters of intent
- Final Budget
- Export Control documentation
- Official correspondence concerning award issues
- Amendments and/or change orders
OR retains all original, signed legal documents. Should the PI receive originals of such legal documents, they should be forward immediately to OR.
Modifications/amendments to awards are processed in the same manner as new awards, as outlined above.
Under UCF policy 2-107.7, "the business unit or department initiating the contract is responsible for compliance with the contract's terms, including being accountable for any deliverables or other requirements in the contract."" The PI is responsible for all aspects of their award, including financial activities.
The PI should monitor all expenditures and personally approve all major expenditures. The PI must ensure that inappropriate charges are not placed on the grant. The PI should only delegate authority to sign on his/her grant to the appropriate personnel and should approve all changes to the grant hierarchy.
The PI or Business Center staff should regularly monitor the budget versus expenditures to ensure budgetary control and the appropriate recording of expenditures to avoid incurring a deficit.
The PI is responsible for developing an overall plan for the commitment of the awarded funds and supervising the legitimate spending of funds for project activities. Additionally, the PI should assure compliance with sponsor cost principles, UCF policies and OR procedures
All expenses must be:
- directly related to the project
- made during the project period
Plan expenditures so that materials are purchased and consumed during the project period. Equipment should be ordered in sufficient time so that it can reasonably benefit the project and should not be purchased within the last three (3) months of a project.
Sponsors require special permission to spend funds not committed prior to the expiration date even though the necessity to do so may appear obvious. The cost of publishing research results after the project is completed is an example of such an expenditure. Funds must be encumbered with a purchase order prior to the project's end date. A no-cost extension to the award may also be required.
The policies and procedures for personnel on project funds (C&G) are the same as those UCF applies to departmental funding (E&G): http://www.hr.ucf.edu
Certain projects may have export control requirements that restrict foreign national access, dissemination, and participation.
- In order to provide adequate monitoring of awards, the Office of Research is required to review certain categories of travel expenditures to ensure that the trip is approved or appropriate on a specific C&G account. The categories of C&G travel which require prior approval are:
- Domestic (Continental U.S.) exceeding $2,500/trip/person
- International - all trips
- Create travel requisition in Workday.
- Requisition is routed to OR for approval.
- If sponsor approval is required OR will discuss with PI before contacting the sponsor. Sufficient travel detail in the proposal budget helps in these situations. Travel will be approved by OR, (a) if travel can be approved based upon your award or (b) once agency approval is received.
- Travel expenditures that have not been pre-approved and that cannot be charged to a C&G account due to agency restrictions will be charged against the C&G balance or indirect cost account of the PI, department, college, or institute, as necessary.
- Review by OR is solely to ensure the allowability of the expense in accordance with the terms and conditions of the award. Financial Affairs and the PI's department will continue to assume the responsibility for ensuring that C&G accounts and their budget categories are not over-expended.
- The Fly America Act (41 CFR 301-10.131 through 301-10.143) requires that all federally funded travel be on a US flag carrier or US flag carrier service provided under a code-share agreement, except under specific situations. Under certain circumstances, PI's traveling internationally on federally funded grants MAY be eligible for exemptions to the Fly America Act but prior authorization is required. The explanation of eligibility and instructions for requesting prior authorization can be found in the Fly America Act Exception Form
(Export Control and International Travel) may have certain restrictions including limitations on the export of computers or other scientific devices. If you plan to travel internationally with UCF owned equipment and have any questions related to export, please email the Office of International Collaboration and Export Control (OICEC) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All equipment purchases are subject to the bid and quote limits and procedures outlined in the Purchasing Manual.
Pre-Expenditure Review - Equipment
- Federal Property Control System Analysis regulations require that the Office of Research review purchases of equipment to ensure that the item is allowable for purchase on a Contract and Grant (C&G) account.
- Prior to C&G equipment purchases, either through purchasing, the computer store, expense card, or credit card, the PI or his/her designee is requested to create a requisition within the Workday system which workflow to the Office of Research for approval. If agency approval is required, the Office of Research will contact the PI to determine if agency contact is desired. If the equipment can be approved based on the award or, once agency approval is received, OR will load into to HRS the approval e-mail and the appropriate decal information will be documented within the Workday.
Office of Research's approval to purchase will also provide proper decal instructions for vesting information:
- FS (Florida Solar)
- CG (Contract and Grant)
- CF (Central Florida
- BV (Brevard Campus
- DB (Daytona Beach Campus)
- SO (South Orlando campus)
- US decals
- This decal information should become part of the Workday record so Property and Inventory Control will know which type of decal to use for the item of property the PI is purchasing from the C&G account.
- Any requisition without this information will be returned to the PI for correction or forwarded to OR for the required approval or information.
- OR will make every effort to respond within a day of receipt of the PI's request.
- Purchases made within ninety (90) days of the project end date will need an additional justification regarding the need to make an equipment purchase at the end of the project.
Processes for Property and Inventory control.
A Budget Transfer (BT) Request must be completed by the Principal Investigator (PI) and submitted to the Office of Research for approval on all Contract and Grant (C&G) budget adjustments. Budget transfers are requests from departments to move available funds from one budget line category to another within the sponsored account, after the original budget has been established without an increase or decrease in the total budget. Budget transfers should be submitted prior to a purchase, ideally before an account goes negative.
Follow the steps below to ensure the request is processed in a timely manner:
Submit by e-mail or using the BT Form to ORC
Provide a clear justification explaining the necessity, specific purpose, and effect on the project
For example, the following is insufficient information to approve the transfer, "To cover anticipated expenditures" or "To cover budget deficits incurred."
An acceptable description is, "The actual cost of the gas chromatograph is $3,300 which is $300 above the original proposed cost. To cover this increase, one less person will be traveling to the agency meeting in Golden, Colorado."
Adjustments will also be required to F&A (indirect) costs when transferring budget amounts from equipment (OCO), tuition waivers, and stipends into F&A-bearing cost categories.
OR will review, approve, and process the budget transfer if the request falls within applicable guidelines. If agency approval is required, OR will contact the PI to determine if agency contact is desired. If so, the OR will submit the budget transfer request to the agency. Once agency approval is received, the transfer will be processed, and the Awarded Funding Report (formerly the Form 650) will be modified to reflect the budget change.
The PI will receive an e-mail from the Office of Research with a website link to view/print all documents pertaining to the Budget Transfer.
A cost transfer is a reassignment (transfer) of an expense (charge) to a federally or non-federally funded project that was initially recorded on another journal. Cost transfers are used to bill interdepartmental costs, to adjust billing errors, or for other reasons associated with the department's regular financial operations. When cost transfers to move expenses involve sponsored projects, it is critical that the transfer meet the rules for allowability, allocability, reasonableness, and consistency.
Any time you initiate a transfer, you invite the assumption that the initial transaction was not handled properly. If expenses are being transferred to a sponsored project, there will be considerable scrutiny of the reasons for the transfer and of the justification for moving those charges.
|Administrative Reports|| UCF may be required to submit administrative reports to the funding agency. The Office of Research can assist the PI in preparing/submitting these reports. Administrative reports can include but are not limited to:
|Fiscal Reports||Fiscal reporting requirements include the submission of all vouchers, invoices, and/or financial status reports as required in the award. These reports are prepared and submitted by the Contracts and Grants section of the Division of Finance and Accounting.|
Traditional scientific research usually requires project progress be documented in a record log, journal, diary, or progress notebook. These records keep track of project dates, events, and travel. These records also outline research directions, detours, and dead ends of the project, as well as aid the PI in writing the required reports specified in the award. The OR recommends that all UCF researchers maintain such documentation of their work.
It is advisable to keep record logs in a pre-bound notebook. Be sure to date each entry and have a witness read and sign important observances, events, or notations. These records should be kept current and in a secure location. Duplicate records, such as a photocopy of the records, should also be kept in a separate, secure location.
- When a PI needs additional time to complete a project at no additional cost to the sponsor, he/she must submit a completed no-cost extension request form. The form will include a detailed justification (e.g., late receipt of required materials or government authorization to proceed; task #1 took longer than originally anticipated due to…, etc.).
- OR will submit the official request to the funding agency with a copy to the PI.
- Once the agency response is received OR will forward a copy to the PI. If approved, university system records will be updated with new end dates.
Note: Some Federal Demonstration Projects (FDP) allow the institution to grant itself a one-time, one-year, no-cost extension. If this is an option OR will return to the PI the appropriate paperwork to document the extension. The PI's signature and that of his immediate supervisor are required.
The OR and UCF's Research Foundation (RF) are the official liaisons between UCF researchers and funding agencies. UCF's Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) is responsible for managing the university's intellectual property (IP) assets and for bringing discoveries to the marketplace through IP protection, marketing, and licensing. Our teams are committed to fostering growth of the research enterprise through sponsored research and facilitating commercialization of innovative research results. OR, RF and OTT work collaboratively to negotiate optimal IP terms in sponsored research contracts to ensure protection of university's innovations and to safeguard the university's rights to continue to use, disseminate, and build on its knowledge base and research capabilities, while providing to private industry sponsors opportunities to secure rights to bring university technologies to market.
UCF's standard position on intellectual property (IP) in sponsored research contracts with industry:
UCF's standard IP terms are consistent with the best practices followed by many other research-intensive universities across the nation and are briefly summarized below.
- Each party to an agreement retains rights in its IP existing before a project or generated outside of the scope of a project ("Background IP").
- IP generated in the performance of the scope of a project ("Foreground IP") solely developed by each party to an agreement is owned by that party.
- Foreground IP developed jointly is owned jointly by the inventing parties. Inventorship is determined in accordance with United States patent laws.
- An industry sponsor is provided a time limited first option to negotiate a commercial license. An industry sponsor may also be provided a nonexclusive license for internal research purposes.
Special Industry Partnering Program:
To support our research ecosystem and provide a pathway for more efficient contracting, UCF also offers interested industry partners certain selectable pre-negotiated choices for grant of commercial Foreground IP rights:
- Nonexclusive royalty free (NERF) license with an upfront payment of 5% of the sponsored research contract;
- Exclusive license with an upfront payment of 10% of the sponsored research contract or $15K, whichever is greater; or
- Transfer of ownership with an upfront payment of 20% of the sponsored research contract or $30K, whichever is greater.
TUCF employees are bound by the Collective Bargaining Agreement and/or by UCF Regulations 2.029 (Patents, Trademarks and Trade Secrets) and 2.033 (Copyrights and Works) to disclose to OTT the Inventions and Works described below. All capitalized words are defined in the aforementioned UCF regulations.:
- All Inventions made in the field or discipline in which the Inventor is employed by the university or for which there has been University Support and all Works developed by Creators using University Support ;
- All Inventions and Works made during the course of funded research;
- All Inventions resulting from Outside Activity within the field or discipline of the inventing employee.
OR and OTT will report to the sponsor all Inventions and Works developed under the sponsored project in accordance with the agreed-upon terms. OTT will lead licensing discussions with the sponsor.
Cost share and matching are commitments from sources other than the funding agency to cover certain costs of a project or to provide in-kind services such as use of space or equipment.
If a project requires cost share, a separate account(s) will be established to document all cost share expenditures. OR will send the PI a separate cost share memo detailing how to utilize the account(s). Read and follow the directions included in the cost share memo.
It is essential that the cost share account(s) be used to document the fulfillment of your cost share commitments. Failure to properly document cost share may result in an audit finding, the requirement to return agency funds, and could negatively impact future sponsorships.
Cost share/matching sources can originate from:
- OR Match Commitment Policy for Proposals to Federal Agencies.
- A University department
- A University College
- Other sources from within or outside the University.
- A match (cost sharing) account will be established for each sponsored grant incorporating cost sharing/matching provisions. This includes grants covered by agency standing policy (National Science Foundation (NSF)), and by other required cost sharing arrangements.
- The source of funds may be any E&G fund account of the university, and in some instances other non-federal C&G funded accounts (funding from a foundation could serve as cost share to a federally funded project). It could also be an F&A return account (indirect/overhead).
- All costs shared, including those that exceed the contractual requirement, must be budgeted, and recorded in the match grant except for F&A (indirect) costs allocable to the match grant. F&A will recognize both costs in their financial reporting.
- Upon receipt of an award OR will establish a sponsored C&G award and assign a grant number; budget as awarded; determine the required cost sharing/matching from the proposal and/or award; establish a match grant and assign a number. This information will be provided to the department responsible for administering the grant.
- For E&G accounts, the PI will coordinate with department/college personnel in the preparation and submission of a budget transfer form to fund the match account.
- Charges will be recorded against the two accounts as directed by the PI on payroll vouchers, purchase, and check requests, etc.
- Cost share should be limited to the amount specifically required by the funding agency. All committed cost share must either be specifically identified in the proposal or by a separate form accompanying the proposal during internal routing and approvals, documented on the Proposal Transmittal Form (PTF) and signed by the responsible party for the cost share commitment (e.g., chair, dean, etc.). Subsequent funding of the proposal requires that all proposed cost sharing be budgeted, recorded, and documented in accordance with this policy.
- Responsibility for substantiating cost sharing/matching is the PI's and the department heads.
The Office of International Collaboration and Export Control (OICEC) is responsible for managing UCF’s export control program and assisting the UCF community with complying with federal export control laws, regulations, and sanctions. Research grants that involve certain types of technologies or an entity under sanctions may require compliance measures. International shipments, the sharing of restricted information with foreign nationals, or allowing foreign nationals or collaborators to participate in restricted research may be subject to export control restrictions.
PIs have the following responsibilities:
- Prior to commencing any research, to review and cooperate with the Office of Research to determine whether any technical information or technology involved in their research is subject to the export control law or regulations and if so, whether any exclusion is available under the export control regulations;
- To re-evaluate that determination before changing the scope or adding new staff to the project to determine if such changes alter the initial determination;
- To assist OICEC in making export determinations far enough in advance to allow OICEC to obtain an export license from the appropriate agency, if required and available; and,
- To ensure that foreign nationals are excluded from access to restricted data or technology until the availability of an exclusion has been determined, or an export license has been obtained.
OICEC will assist PIs in assessing the application of such regulations, but primary compliance responsibility must rest with the PI of the research.
- Types of Awards
- Negotiation/Signature Authority
- New Awards & Account Set-Up
- Account Responsibility
- Account Expenditure Guidance
- Subcontracts & Subcontract Admin
- Budget Transfers
- Cost Transfers
- Technical Reports/Deliverables
- Laboratory Project Records
- No Cost Extensions
- Intellectual Property
- Cost Share/Matching Requirements
- Export Controls
The Office of Research serves UCF scholars as the official liaison between UCF and funding sources and by helping faculty work through the proposal and contract management process.
This site includes information to assist university scholars through the announcement, application and post-award stages and to familiarize prospective partners with the breadth of funded research conducted at the university.
UCF is committed to the pursuit of excellence and intellectual growth and seeks to excel at moving ideas to innovation and realization. The Carnegie Foundation rates UCF as a "very high research activity" university. We�ve been on an upward trajectory for years and in 2021 UCF surpassed the $212.9 million dollar mark in external funding. UCF's pioneering efforts to commercialize technology continue to stimulate local economies throughout the state. The number of patents at UCF also continue to climb with 64 U.S. issued patents produced in 2021.