OSP, OTT and FGC Discuss Guidelines for Interactions with Sponsors

Joint Announcement from:

Kerry Peluso and Holly Sommers, Office of Sponsored Programs
Todd Sherer and Cale Lennon, Office of Technology Transfer
Bill Lambert, Finance — Grants & Contracts

Guidelines for Interaction with Sponsors

Office of Sponsored Programs/Office of Technology Transfer

The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) and Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) should always be the primary contact with external sponsors for pre-award matters for all official correspondence. Additionally, OSP/OTT should be the primary contact whenever there is simply any potential for the dialogue to be interpreted as an official communication from the university. In general, this includes the following circumstances

  • Proposal submission
  • Submission of Just-in-Time or similar materials to sponsors
  • Responses to requests from sponsors for any other additional information
  • Prior approval requests
  • Correspondence related to awards

There may be times, however, when it is acceptable, or even advantageous, for a RAS staff member to have direct or informal communications with a sponsor. These circumstances can include:

  • During development of proposals – communication with the sponsor may be necessary to seek clarity on proposal preparation guidelines and sponsor requirements. Such communications should be included in EPEX at the time of proposal routing. (OSP/OTT remain available to help with these types of inquiries, as well.)
  • During development of subaward proposals – communication with the sponsor is likely necessary to reach agreement on the budget and statement of work for a proposal. Care should be taken in these situations to ensure that the prime applicant is aware that any materials provided by Emory for discussion purposes are in draft form until endorsed by OSP.
  • Email or hard copy submission of a proposal after it has been signed/approved by OSP. In these cases, the communication is for transmission of endorsed materials only (OSP should be copied on any such emails).
  • Submission of certain requests, whether prior approval or otherwise, where a formal request letter has been drafted and signed by an OSP or OTT representative. In these cases, the communication is for transmission of endorsed materials only and the communication should note that the letter has been signed by an authorized official of the university.
  • Other situations where it has been determined to be appropriate or advantageous for the communication to come from the PI or a RAS staff member. In these cases, OSP/OTT will explicitly request such a communication.

If there are any questions on the above exceptions, clarification should be sought from OSP or OTT, as applicable before any communication is initiated with a sponsor.

Finance – Grants & Contracts

Finance Grants and Contracts (FGC) should always be the primary contact with external sponsors related to post award issues:

  • Invoicing
  • Financial Reporting
  • Closeouts

There may be cases where the request from the sponsor (related to science, progress, or milestone completion) requires FGC to work with the RAS and/or PI in order to formulate a response, but the communication to the sponsor should be sent from FGC.

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