Faculty and authorized professional staff at The University of Texas at Dallas (University) are encouraged to seek and obtain external financial support for research, training and instructional projects that further the mission of the University in teaching, research and public service. These sponsored projects serve to expand the educational opportunities available to undergraduate and graduate students at the University; support research activities; encourage scholarly inquiry and the development of new knowledge; and, enhance the academic structure of the University and its ability to fulfill its responsibilities to the State of Texas and the nation.
As a public institution that is part of The University of Texas System, the University cannot conduct proprietary research, develop exclusive or proprietary data for a sponsor, conduct "work-for-hire," or permit a sponsor to direct or control research on campus. Except as part of an approved educational or research collaboration, University facilities and equipment cannot be used by a sponsor's employees or for the sole benefit of a sponsor. The purpose of University research is the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge; the University cannot assume the role of an advocate or a social action agency.
The primary responsibilities for the origination, development, and preparation of proposals rests with the Principal Investigator/Project Director (PI/PD). All proposals must be germane to the interests and/or expertise of the PI/PD; be truthful and accurate in their content; and, not contain plagiarized materials or research data that has been fabricated or falsified.
The PI/PD is responsible for compliance with all applicable University and U.T. System policies related to the research in question; e.g., Intellectual Property Policy (79-I.2-36), Allegations of Misconduct in Science (90-III.21.50), Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (70-I.1-30), Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects (70-I.2-31), University Safety Committee (91-I.3-53), Biosafety Committee (79-I.2-27), Radiation Safety Committee (92-I.3-55), University Research Integrity Committee (95-III.21.67), and Research Investigator Financial Disclosure (95-III.21-69). The PI/PD is also responsible for ensuring that all personnel associated with the research also comply with such policies. Copies of all applicable documents are available for inspection in the Office of Research Administration (ORA) or in the Office of the School Dean.
The PI/PD is similarly responsible for ensuring compliance with federal, state and agency regulations, such as OMB Circulars A-21, A-110, and A-133, Federal Acquisition Regulations and Supplements, and The Federal Demonstration Project, which are applicable to the grant or contract award. In addition, the PI/PD is responsible for ensuring compliance with any specific requirements of the grant or contract.
While awards for successful projects are made to the University, the PI/PD is responsible for, and held accountable for, the fiscal management, laboratory/project management, technical execution, and completion of the project, including submission of all required reports to sponsors.
To support the PI/PD in carrying out these responsibilities, the University provides administrative services and has established procedures to help meet both sponsor and University administrative requirements. Information, assistance and technical support are provided to the PI/PD during the pre-award process by the ORA and, during the post-award phase, by the ORA and the Grants and Contract section of the Office of Finance.
Although, ultimately, the University is legally responsible and accountable to the sponsor for the performance of the activity funded and the proper use of funds, without the full cooperation and vigilance of the PI/PD the University cannot perform its stewardship role. The sponsored project process is a joint effort between the PI/PD and the University. The PI/PD is responsible for the proper expenditure of all grant and/or contract funds. If a grant or contract is over-expended, or if an unauthorized expenditure is disallowed by the auditors, the PI/PD must ask the appropriate program head/dean/ director of her or his academic department/program/ center/unit to cover this cost. Therefore, the PI/PD is responsible to the sponsor, the department/program/center/ unit and the University to ensure that the requirements of the sponsor and the agreement are being met. The University will expect the department/ program/center/unit to establish procedures to ensure that the PI/PD is complying with all of these requirements.
The PI/PD is responsible for monthly account reconciliation between grant/contract records and the monthly expenditure reports distributed by the Office of Finance. The PI/PD must certify this reconciliation by initialing the report and writing on the report the date the reconciliation took place. Accordingly, the PI/PD must seek immediate correction of any incorrect, inappropriate, or outstanding expenditure. State and federal auditors have pointed out to the University that reconciliation helps ensure the accuracy of financial information and reduces the risk of errors, fraud, and non-compliance with grant/contract terms.
It is the responsibility of the PI/PD to properly report and allocate time and effort to the appropriate project. Therefore, the PI/PD is required to certify his/her time and effort charges on grants/contracts from which he/she is paid and to certify the time and effort charges of anyone paid from a grant or contract on which he/she is the PI/PD.
The PI/PD is responsible for making staff appointments and purchases consistent with approved project budgets or subsequent agency approvals and in assessing charges for costs which meet approved guidelines (see Policy Memorandum 96-I.3-74 regarding payments to individuals under contracts and grants). Reasonable judgment should be exercised when charging any of the costs restricted by A-21 as direct charges to a sponsored project, since the allowability of the costs will rest on the PI/PD and the department/program/center/unit.
Freedom to publish is essential to the fulfillment of the University's responsibility to disseminate the findings of research. The University therefore reserves for the PI/PD the sole and exclusive right to publish freely scientific findings and to preserve this right in sponsored research agreements. In special circumstances, such as the protecting of intellectual property and technology transfer, the University may restrict or delay publication. However, it should be noted that research which cannot be reported to the public cannot be used as the foundation of a thesis or dissertation.