Proposals Submitted through Research Centers and Institutes

Updated July 10, 2014

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences includes prominent and successful research Centers and Institutes (hereafter, Centers), and is affiliated with other campus research entities. These Centers promote work integral to the mission of our College and of NC State as a university dedicated to serving the people of North Carolina. Their strength is enhanced both by the scholarly and outreach activities of their core members, and by the efforts of faculty that choose to affiliate with these Centers for one or more funded projects.

This policy is intended to guide faculty and staff when making decisions to run a grant through a Center rather than a scholar’s academic department.

1. When should a faculty member route a proposal through Center?

A faculty member should submit a grant proposal through a Center when there is clear benefit for managing the grant in the Center instead of in the faculty member’s home department. The faculty investigator(s) should work with the Center to provide a brief rationale for putting research through the center; the faculty member’s department head, and the Associate Dean for Research and Engagement and, as necessary, the Dean of the College will review and approve the rationale. The  proposals must clearly describe how the project will advance the faculty members’ scholarly interests and the programmatic and scholarly mission of the Center. Convenience or the need to raise revenues is not a sufficient rationale for working with a Center over a department.

The College understands that, in most cases, Center directors will submit grants through their Centers.

2. What are the financial arrangements when another faculty runs project through a Center?

a.       The proportion of F&A generated by the project that is allocated to the College will be apportioned to the Center on the same basis as F&A is allocated to departments; that is, of the F&A generated, 30% of the College’s allocation will be retained by the College, and 70% will be distributed to the Center. In no case will the College negotiate a split in the F&A between a Center and the researcher’s home department. PIs should work carefully with the CHASS Research Office, the Center, and their home department to ensure that this and all other aspects of this policy are clearly understood.

b.      Academic Year Salary will pay to the researcher’s home department, to compensate for release time or other time taken on the project.

3.   What are research oversight responsibilities of Center if a grant is managed by a Center?

The Center will assume all financial oversight responsibilities that would be otherwise held by the department, with support from the Research Office. However, responsibility for research compliance matters, such as conflicts of interest and human subjects review, will be the joint responsibility of the researcher, the department, and the Center. The routing of a grant through a Center does not change PIs’ supervisory relationships with their department heads.

4.   Who carries financial risk (overspent accounts, unallowable charges, etc.)?

When a faculty member runs a grant through a Center, the Center, not the researcher’s home department, nor the Research Office, bears all financial risks and responsibilities. Center staff should work with Research Office staff to ensure that they comply with all current rules and procedures regarding spending.

5.  Should faculty use Center staff for things such as purchasing, travel reimbursements, HR actions, etc.?

Yes. In recognition of the fact that F&A would accrue to the Center, these services should be provided by the Center in cooperation with the Department.

6.  Which OUC should be used for project ID? Who will determine who has access for Marketplace orders and similar transactions?

The Center. Faculty running grants through the Center should also manage all aspects of the project through the Center.

7. Who is responsible for the allocation of space for research?

Departments are expected to provide office space to meet the needs of their faculty members; Centers, in collaboration with other units (including departments and the college), should provide any additional space needed to support research projects put through the Center. Departments and Centers are reminded that, in signing a PINS record, they have identified and certify that space is available for the researcher’s project. The College will work with Centers and departments to address space needs, but cannot provide space for research projects without advance notice of the grant proposal, and some documentation of plans for use of the existing space.