2.1 - Sponsored Programs Definition


Sponsored programs are projects supported by non-university (external) funds that are awarded as a result of an application submitted to a potential sponsor by the university on behalf of a faculty or staff member. Sponsored programs usually involve research, training, or service activities and typically include one or more of the following:

  • formal sponsor application guidelines;
  • restrictions on the use of funds;
  • a specific and limited program period;
  • specified performance or outcomes;
  • specified use of program outcomes or data;
  • required fiscal and/or programmatic reports. 

Excluded from this definition are:

  • direct payments to individuals, such as faculty fellowships and sabbatical support;
  • student financial aid;
  • gifts and bequests to the university;
  • donations of equipment or property.

The official applicant for all sponsored programs is The University of Mississippi, with the Vice Chancellor for Research and Sponsored Programs designated as the official signatory on the application. TheOffice of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) is responsible for the authorization of university commitments to and commitments on all sponsored programs, regardless of the type of sponsor or size of program. This means that all requests, applications, proposals, or other types of solicitations for sponsored programs funding must be coordinated through, and submitted by, the ORSP.

The UM Chancellor has confirmed the univer­sity’s commitment to a thoughtful, well-coordinated communications and proposal submission process through the ORSP. All communi­cations or correspondence with Mississippi’s Con­gres­sional delegation and/or their staffs pertaining to university-related projects or activities must be coordinated through the Vice Chancellor for Research and Sponsored Programs.  Faculty are encouraged to develop and maintain strong relations with federal agencies; however, legislators and agencies will disregard any requests for funding that are not made through the ORSP. Federal agencies expect institutional oversight, responsibility, and accountability.  The ORSP exists to assist in this process and to help provide better opportunities for funding and research growth in the future.

If funding is designated by an individual or organization (donor) as a gift and no financial or programmatic reports are required by the donor, the Office of University Development is responsible for the activity. Any request for donations or gifts from an outside donor should be coordinated through the Office of the Director of University Development.

For all sponsored programs involving university employees or facilities, The University of Mississippi is the official applicant and awardee.  The faculty and staff members who will oversee or undertake the work are the investigators or directors of these sponsored programs.  University faculty members may also apply for external funding for sabbatical support, fellowships, and similar opportunities. These activities do not fall under the definition of sponsored programs, since such awards are made directly to the individuals involved.