Procedure for Accepting Funds for Research or Sponsored Programs without Properly Executed Agreement



A properly negotiated and executed agreement or contract for grants and sponsored programs should be in place before funds are accepted by the University of Mississippi. Occasionally, units receive payment for services without the benefit of such a contract. In such cases, this procedure outlines the steps to be followed.


Funds in any form (i.e., cash, check or wire transfer) should not be received for research or other sponsored programs, or for other goods and services provided by faculty or key research personnel, before a contract has been negotiated and fully executed by an authorized signatory of the University of Mississippi. For all sponsored programs involving university employees and facilities, the University of Mississippi is the official applicant and awardee, and the official signatory for all sponsored programs is the Vice Chancellor for Research and Sponsored Programs (see UM Policy 1000836, Contractual Authority and UM Policy 10000650, Authority for External Funding Requests).

In the event that a faculty or staff member (or other research personnel) undertakes and receives payment for a project without benefit of a properly executed agreement, the funds shall be sent to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) with a fully executed Transmittal Sheet, Statement of Work performed, and budget containing full Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs. The decision to keep the funds or to return them to the sponsor will be made by the ORSP, the Department Chair or Director, and the Dean.

If it is decided that the funds may be kept, an account shall be established for the project. All costs associated with conducting the work for which payment was received must be transferred to the new account. Full F&A costs will be recovered (see UM Policy 10000653: Recovery of Facilities and Administrative Costs Required for All Sponsored Programs).

Ideally, the budget would have been appropriate for the project and neither a deficit nor a substantial surplus of funds will remain. In the event of cost overruns, such costs will be assumed by the Principal Investigator, department and/or dean. Should surplus funds remain, the decision to keep or return funds to the sponsor will be made by the Director of Accounting. If kept, unspent funds will be transferred to an appropriate unrestricted account 90 days after the end of the project period.

Repeated receipt of funds by an individual faculty or staff member without properly executed agreements in place may result in disciplinary action.