A sponsored research project is an externally-funded activity that is governed by specific terms and conditions. The presence of any one of the following conditions identifies the activity as a sponsored project:
- Any unexpended funds must be returned to the sponsor at the end of the project period. The only exception would be fixed fee-firm price contracts.
- The work commits the University to a specific line of scholarly or scientific inquiry, typically documented in a statement of work and research plan.
- A specific commitment is made regarding the level of personnel effort, deliverables or milestones.
- Project activities are budgeted, and the award includes conditions for specific and formal fiscal and effort reports.
- The agreement with the sponsor provides for the disposition of either tangible properties (e. g., equipment, records, technical reports, theses or dissertations), or intangible properties (e.g., rights in data, copyrights, inventions) which may result from the activity.
- Are typically subject to audit.
- Any sponsored project proposal or solicitation of gifts which support activities involving human subjects.
Sponsored projects are subject to the Senior Associate Dean's approval (acting on behalf of the Dean) and Department Chair prior to submission and subsequent acceptance. These projects are normally submitted through the Electronic Blue Sheet (EBS) system https://ebs.wvu.edu/pls/roadprod/f?p=EBS:HOME with the appropriate reviewers/approvers involved in the process. Projects are undertaken in the name of West Virginia University and use WVU resources including personnel, equipment, offices, databases, computing systems, and other relevant research material.
If none of the other listed characteristics of a sponsored project are present, such awards may be treated as gifts rather than as sponsored projects; however, the final determination is made by the Dean or his designee.