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Policies and Procedures Manual

Statement of Purpose

The University of Richmond encourages faculty and staff to seek grants from public and private agencies which support the educational objectives outlined in the University's Statement of Purpose. In particular, the University recognizes the usefulness of grant support in maintaining the balance of teaching and scholarship of a faculty dedicated primarily to excellent teaching and dialogue with students, while remaining actively engaged in scholarly, scientific, and artistic creativity.

The grant policies and procedures outlined here have been developed to ensure that the University retains control of the administration of externally funded grants for research and instruction, and to satisfy the requirements of public and private granting agencies.


A. Administrative Approval of Proposals

Every proposal submitted for external funding to any agency or organization — whether public, private, for profit or non-profit — must receive administrative approval by the University before it is submitted. This includes proposals which request faculty fellowship, sabbatical, or travel support.

The Office of Foundation, Corporate and Government Relations is responsible for coordinating administrative approval of proposals by the appropriate academic and financial offices of the University. All proposals should be submitted to that office, at least five days before the proposal must be sent to the funding agency.

B. Role of the Office of Foundation, Corporate and Government Relations

The Office of Foundation, Corporate and Government Relations, a division of Development/University Relations, works in partnership with University administration, deans, and faculty to secure external funding for faculty research and special projects. All applications for external funding must go through this office.

The office serves faculty and the University by:

  • Meeting with individual faculty members to learn about their research interests and funding needs.
  • Publishing a monthly newsletter of grant awards, opportunities, trends, and deadlines.
  • Notifying individual faculty members of grant opportunities pertinent to a specific area of research.
  • Assisting faculty in the preparation of competitive grant applications, including acting as liaison with funding agencies, providing editorial and budget assistance, reviewing for compliance with agency regulations and guidelines, securing authorizing signatures, and production, copying and timely mailing of applications.
  • Assisting in the acknowledgment and recognition of grant awards through communications and published announcements.
  • Maintaining files on both public and private funding agencies, including annual reports, records of past funding, samples of successful applications, guidelines, and application forms.
  • Maintaining files for faculty grant applications and subsequent correspondence
  • Offering workshops on proposal writing, funding opportunities, and other topics pertinent to successful grants.
  • Making applications to national, regional or local private foundations and government agencies for University-wide projects, or those that involve interdisciplinary faculty groups. This could involve securing "bricks and mortar" grants for new construction or building renovations, funds for curriculum revisions, special scholarship funds, or other special University requirements.

The office has access to a current database of funding sources, SPIN (Sponsored Programs Information Network), that is responsive to key words describing an individual's or institution's particular funding requirements, and matching them with potential funding sources.

In addition, the office receives a number of periodicals on grant opportunities and maintains a library of grant source materials and "how-to" books and videos on proposal writing and special grant opportunities. These are available for faculty use upon request.

C. Reporting the Requirements

Complete and accurate reporting on grant-funded projects is an important professional and institutional responsibility assumed by anyone who receives grant support. The project director or principal investigator is responsible for completing grant reports as required by the funding agency. This includes securing financial reporting information from the Office of the Controller which maintains the only official record of University expenditures.

The Office of Foundation, Corporate and Government Relations maintains a University-wide calendar of grant report due dates, and will remind faculty when reporting dates are upcoming. To ensure institutional accountability and consistency, reports to all external agencies should be submitted through the Office of Foundation, Corporate and Government Relations.


A. Salary

1. Use of External Funds to Pay Salaries
Grants to the University are accepted that are consistent with the University's educational objectives. It is therefore not the University's policy to accept grant funding which would require faculty effort exceeding a regular full-time load.

For this reason, the University will not normally accept grant funding which would increase an employee's total compensation for the academic year beyond the agreed-upon full time salary. In no case will federal funds be used to pay any employee more than 100 percent of his or her regular academic year compensation.

2. Method of Salary Calculation
The regular responsibilities of University faculty include scholarship as well as teaching and course development. To accommodate these responsibilities, University faculty who teach three courses in a given semester are also deemed to receive three hours (or the equivalent of one course) released time in that semester, to accomplish their scholarly work.

For this reason, with the agreement of the department chair and dean, a faculty member may devote up to 25 percent of his or her time to sponsored research or other sponsored projects during a given semester, and reflect this portion of time as a University-funded contribution to the project. This amount of time represents the University's regular expectation of scholarly work on the part of faculty, and will not result in an additional reduction of the number of courses taught.

3. Grant-Funded Released Time

The primary mission of the University is teaching. Grant funds are accepted to provide released time which would reduce a faculty member's teaching load only in very unusual circumstances. These circumstances must directly serve the University's educational mission. All such arrangements must be approved by the appropriate department chairman and dean, as well as by the Provost, before a grant proposal is submitted. In all cases, a reduction in teaching load will only be approved on a short-term basis.

4. Standards for Summer Salary

The normal practice of the University is that faculty summer salaries be limited to two-ninths of academic year salary. This is the limit established by the National Science Foundation and other major federal agencies. In no case will total compensation to a faculty member for summer work exceed three-ninths of the faculty member's academic year salary.

B. Fringe Benefits

Updated: July 2011

It is the policy of the University that where salaries are paid with external funding, corresponding fringe benefits should be paid by the same funding source. Exceptions to this policy will only be made with the prior approval of the vice president for business and finance.

Fringe benefit rates on certain federally funded projects are negotiated with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Faculty should contact the Office of Foundation, Corporate and Government Relations to determine the appropriate fringe benefit rate, to use in proposal preparation. The current federal rates are 26 percent for full-time employees, 16 percent for post doctorates, and 8 percent for temporary, students, and summer employees (including faculty). The current private and state rates are 29 percent for full-time employees, 19 percent for postdoctorates and 10 percent for temporary, student and summer employees (including faculty).

C. Indirect Costs

D. Research Involving Human Subjects

Every proposal for research which will involve human subjects must be submitted to the Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects by the time the proposal is submitted to the funding agency. Visit the provost’s website for more information.

E. Research Involving Animals
Every proposal for research which involves animals must be submitted to the Animal Care and Use Committee by the time the proposal is submitted to the funding agency. Visit the School of Arts and Sciences website for more information.