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Securing External Support for Projects in Research, Instruction, and Public Service

Scope:  Employees and Students are covered by this policy.


Securing External Support for Projects in Research, Instruction, and Public Service


Categories of External Support

The University encourages faculty, staff, and students to pursue external support in the form of contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, and gifts.  Contracts and grants are formal agreements requiring the University to carry out a set of specific tasks.  A grant is somewhat less specific than a contract in that the specific project schedule is less detailed and the final result less certain. A cooperative agreement requires that the University interact on a continuing basis throughout a project with an external agent. A gift is an allocation of funds from an external source that does not require the University to carry out a specific task. Gifts, which may be unrestricted or restricted, may carry a general designation for use, such as scholarships.

Proposals seeking support in the form of a contract, grant, or cooperative agreement, whether from a public or private funding source, must be cleared through the approval process which is managed by the Office for the Advancement of Research and Scholarship (OARS).  These proposals must be submitted to the Office for the Advancement of Research and Scholarship in sufficient time to permit appropriate internal review and also meet the submission deadlines of external funding agencies.

All proposals submitted by Miami University must be signed by an OARS staff member who is designated as an authorized University official. Plans to submit such proposals to a private funding source, such as a foundation or corporation, need to be discussed with the Office for the Advancement of Research and Scholarship well in advance of proposal deadlines so that the solicitation efforts may be coordinated with the Office of Development.  Proposals or other plans for seeking support in the form of a gift must be

Conditions for University Approval

  1. Miami University must approve a proposal before it is submitted to an external source if any of the following conditions exist:
  2. The project will involve Miami University students, either as research subjects or as project participants.
  3. any facilities of the University are to be used
  4. the University is expected to manage project funds
  5. The University is expected to share some costs for the project by providing faculty and staff time or facilities.
  6. The name of the University will be associated publicly with the project in some way.
  7. The signature of the authorizing official of the University is required.
  8. Specifically included are the following:
  9. Research projects submitted by faculty, students, and staff for activities associated with the University.
  10. Instructional proposals, including those for equipment, academically based student support, workshops, computer and library acquisitions, or the development of curricular materials or other instructional devices.
  11. Public service projects including seminars, short courses, conferences, and special projects involving the University and its faculty, staff, and students with private businesses or nonprofit organizations.
  12. The acquisition of books, manuscripts, or objects of art, or the sponsorship of a musical, cultural, or artistic event.
  13. Applications for individual fellowship or study, unless the University is clearly not involved.
  14. Preliminary proposals where such proposals are required as part of the external source’s procedures, where University approval is required, or where the preliminary proposal is likely to evolve into a final proposal with little change.

Agreements that faculty and staff enter into on a private basis such as authorships for textbooks, journal publications, and research monographs for which the author may receive royalties or stipends are not considered to be sponsored programs of the University and do not require approval by the University in the manner described above.

The University does require that consultantship agreements entered into on an individual basis be reported to and approved by the Office of the Provost annually as specified in the policy “Outside Employment.”

Activities to Secure External Support in the Form of Gifts

Plans to undertake fundraising for gifts should be submitted to the Office of Development for review, coordination, and counsel.

Related Form(s)

Not applicable.

Additional Resources and Procedures

Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Policy Administration

Next Review Date


Responsible Officers

  • Vice President for Research and Innovation
  • Office of the Provost

Legal Reference

Not Applicable.

Compliance Policy


Recent Revision History


Reference ID(s)

  • MUPIM 15.3
  • OAC 3339-15-03


  • Miami University Senate
  • Vice President for Research and Innovation
  • Office of the Provost