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The recognized educational objectives of Saginaw Valley State University include, as important goals, the dissemination of existing knowledge and the discovery of new knowledge through research. The increasingly complex relationships among colleges and universities, government and industry call for more intensive attention to standards of procedure and conduct in government and industry sponsored research carried on at colleges and universities. Standards must be respectful of the purposes, needs and integrity of the universities and the rightful claims of the public interest; thus it is incumbent upon the academic community to be mindful of conflict-of-interest situations which may arise in these growing involvements of the University.

General Statement Concerning Sponsored Research

Saginaw Valley State University encourages faculty members and students to engage in research, including that sponsored by such outside agencies as foundations, professional associations, government, and private industry. Through continued and expanding research activity the excellence of teaching programs can be maintained and improved, and the function of the University as a contributor to the storehouse of knowledge can be fulfilled. Important reciprocal benefits from sponsored research accrue to the University and to sponsoring agencies if the basic purposes and function of each are respected.

Major Guidelines in Interrelating Sponsored Research Projects and Consulting Relationships to Government and Business

  1. Science advances through the creativity of scholars working either singly or in groups. Research projects proposed and developed by the faculty which are consistent with the goals of the University will be encouraged.
  2. Sponsoring agencies frequently have rather specific purposes, and some may even specify problems for which research support is available. The University, through the Office of Sponsored Programs, will make such opportunities appropriately known within the University community.
  3. Sponsored research should be consistent with policies and plans of the department or school in which the research will be conducted. The research should be directed by faculty or administrative/professional staff within established units of the University. Cooperative programs cutting across academic units are also to be encouraged.
  4. Research projects should be managed to avoid disruption of established research and teaching programs of the institution. For example:
    1. Sponsored research should be accepted only if appropriate space and facilities can be made available; and
    2. Consideration should be given to continuity of support.
  5. Reports to sponsoring agencies should be consistent with the requirements of the project and should be submitted to the sponsoring agency on a timely basis since reimbursement of costs to the University is often contingent upon submission of such reports. Rapidly changing and unforeseen research directions may make more frequent reporting desirable.
  6. In seeking or accepting support for research, care should be exercised to insure compatibility with the goals and objectives of the University.
  7. The University should retain for its scholars the right of first publication. The imposition of restrictions on publication of research results is incompatible with the basic concept of an educational institution. Exigencies of national defense may at times make exceptions to this policy necessary.
  8. No research publication, statement, or activity, either on behalf of the University or by an individual in his official capacity, shall endorse any commercial product, or advocate any specific commercial method or device, either directly or by implication.
  9. The University will make a continuous effort to see that its own members are provided with sufficient information on the overall cost of research and other financial matters concerning grants and contracts.
  10. The entire cost of sponsored research should be carefully determined. If grants or contracts are accepted which do not cover the direct and indirect costs, the institution will recognize that it is making a contribution to the cost of the work. Research proposals should include in their budget provisions for special costs for services such as computer operations, special equipment time, space modification, etc.
  11. Research projects should conform to established University policy on patent rights.
  12. Research involving human subjects will conform to established University policy on human subject research.

General Statement Concerning Consulting Relationships

Through consulting relationships with government, business, and industry the faculty can provide an invaluable resource of expertise and assistance in transfer of technical knowledge and skill. At the same time such relationships serve the interests of research and education at the University. Consulting relationships are desirable, but require cognizance of the basic differences of purposes and functions of sponsoring agencies and the University. Specific policies and requirements, such as the Faculty Collective Bargaining Agreement, are applicable to segments of the academic community and should be consulted as the primary document governing consulting relationships.

General Statement Concerning Private Grants

It has been deemed in the best interest of this University to avoid situations in which one unit of the University competes with another for outside grant support. Such circumstances prompt the grantor to raise questions as to whether the University is clear concerning its own priorities. The prospective grantor may be at a loss to know specifically what is expected and never has sufficient funds or resources to honor the many requests directed to it. For this reason a coordinated approach to prospective grantors, particularly the large foundations and industrial firms, has been deemed in the best interest of the respective units of the University. All requests to outside grantors for support of University-related programs must be coordinated by the Executive Director of Development.

Conflict of Interest

The University endorses the statement on conflict situations published in December 1964 as a joint statement by the Council of the American Association of University Professors and the American Council of Education entitled, "On Preventing Conflicts of Interest in Government Sponsored Research at Universities."



Proposals will generally originate with the faculty or administrative/professional staff in one of the departments. Compatibility of research proposals with the University's educational goals can generally be best determined within the department itself. The review and approval of proposals by the respective department chairperson, dean, and vice president are to insure conformity with the objectives of the department and school. Equally important, such review will help keep academic administrators apprised of the proposals they are being asked to support. Questions of availability of space and equipment, recruiting of research assistants, and possible adjustments of teaching loads may arise. These frequently require specific administrative actions on the part of academic administrators if proposals are approved.

Projects are to be reviewed for budget construction by the Controller's Office before their transmittal to outside agencies. The Office of the Vice President for Administration and Business Affairs is responsible for resolving complex and knotty problems of institutional financing, accountability of funds received in support of research, and establishment of efficient fiscal methods involved in the execution of research projects. Management of funds consistent with the terms of grants and contracts is a responsibility accepted by the University at the time it accepts a grant and represents a basic commitment with the respective agencies sponsoring projects.

The Office of Sponsored Programs is responsible to the President for developing administrative arrangements which insure the coordination of proposals prior to their transmittal to outside organizations. The President has the final authority for approving the submission of all proposals. The responsibility for administering approved sponsored research projects or programs rests with the appropriate Dean or Director and the corresponding Vice President.

Procedures Prior to Submission of Application to Extramural Organizations

  1. Transmittal Sheet - A Transmittal Sheet has been prepared by the Office of Sponsored Programs and must accompany all proposals. The sheet is self-explanatory and indicates the course of action to be followed internally to secure University approval and commitment.
  2. Number of Copies and Distribution - A copy of each proposal should be prepared for the Office of Sponsored Programs. The Transmittal Sheet should be attached to this copy. After all signatures have been completed on the Transmittal Sheet, the Office of Sponsored Programs will make the appropriate number of copies, insure transmittal to the sponsoring agency and will make appropriate on-campus distribution.
  3. Deadlines - Deadlines, if any, which potential sponsors may have concerning time for processing within the University must be allowed so that a final draft of each proposal will be received by the Office of Sponsored Programs at least seven days in advance of deadlines established by the sponsoring agency. Normally, five days are required in advance of deadlines for mail certified acceptance; a seven day time schedule will allow two days for review by the Office of Sponsored Programs.
  4. Preparation of Proposal - Proposals are generally developed in a department by the faculty or administrative/professional staff and reviewed within the department. It is important to review the budget construction in advance informally with the Office of Sponsored Programs for conformity with policies of sponsoring agencies and the University on such matters as allowable direct cost and indirect costs, etc. If there is something unusual about each proposal, in the sense that a heavy demand on the department's resources and programs may be involved, etc., discussion in advance with the department chairman, director, and/or dean is also helpful and mutually advantageous.
  5. Approval by Department Chairman - The department chairman is asked to make recommendations on proposals originating within the department. Subsequently, the respective dean or director and appropriate vice president will approve the applications. Interdisciplinary groups, established for the purpose of a research program, will generally have one person designated as chairman or leader of the group. This individual will transmit proposals through established administrative channels and notify interested departments and schools of the progress of proposals.
  6. Approval by University Business Office - A proposed budget is reviewed for allowable direct costs, indirect costs, and staff benefits. If the proposal anticipates computer use, this fact should be reflected in the budget proposal.
  7. Review and Approval by Office of Sponsored Programs - Before proposals are transmitted extramurally, they are to be reviewed and approved by the Office of Sponsored Programs. This approval must accompany all applications in addition to any other signatures which may be requested by the potential sponsor.

    Proposals are reviewed for approval by appropriate offices, for conformity with established policies, and for overall congruency with education-research aims of respective units.

    The project leader and other signatories are notified of the completion and execution of the transmittal sheets as soon as this occurs, as well as the time that proposals are mailed to the prospective sponsor. Proposals will be mailed only by the Office of Sponsored Programs. If questions arise concerning the proposal, these will be resolved through the services of the Office of Sponsored Programs prior to transmittal to a sponsoring agency.

  8. Presidential Approval - The President or designee will sign all proposals on behalf of Saginaw Valley State University



Adopted 10/12/81  BC