Emory's Office of Sponsored Programs and Office of Grant and Contract Accounting recognize that their role is assisting Emory's researchers in the facilitation of their research. In an effort to communicate the processes and responsibilities related to the administration of sponsored programs in a consolidated location, the Sponsored Projects Handbook is provided.

While the complexity of the agreements received by Emory are diverse and the requirements vary greatly, our systems and processes have been designed with the intent to assist researchers in pursuing the opportunities available while addressing the challenges faced in obtaining and managing sponsored funding. The Sponsored Projects Handbook gathers, in one place, references to existing policies and procedures for the administration of funding directed to research, training, and other sponsored projects at Emory University. It is important for all research investigators and administrators to be aware of these policies and procedures to better meet their individual responsibilities and to permit the University to appropriately manage and monitor its commitments and resources.

We hope the Sponsored Projects Handbook will be of assistance to the faculty and staff in the administration of sponsored research and other projects. Please send your comments and suggestions for change to

Purpose of Sponsored Projects Handbook

All externally sponsored projects for research or other purposes are administered through the Office of Sponsored Programs and the Office of Grants and Contracts Accounting in accordance with established University policies and procedures. This handbook is provided as a guide to those involved in this process.

Faculty and staff members who conduct sponsored projects under University auspices have an important public, as well as personal, responsibility to manage those projects responsibly. The Sponsored Projects Handbook will assist research investigators in fulfilling that responsibility. Its purpose is to acquaint new investigators with the research policies and procedures of the University, to inform them of the various services available to them, serve as a reference for all investigators and administrators, and act as a guide for further information and assistance.

Sponsored Projects Definition

As outlined in Emory Policy 7.22, any project which meets any of the following criteria, is considered to be a sponsored project and shall be administered by the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP).

  • The project commits the University to a specific line of scholarly or scientific inquiry, typically documented by a research plan or statement of work;
  • 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 formal fiscal reports/audits, and/or invoicing;
  • The project requires that unexpended funds be returned to the sponsor at the end of the project period;
  • The agreement provides for the disposition of either tangible property (e.g. equipment, records, technical reports, theses or dissertations) or intangible property (e.g., inventions, copyrights or rights in data) which may result from the project.


As outlined in Emory Policy 7.22, a gift is a contribution with no reciprocal benefit to the donor and an unconditional transfer of assets. In general, the following characteristics describe a gift, which shall be administered by the Office of Development and Alumni Relations.

  • There are no contractual requirements imposed. However, the gift may be accompanied by an agreement that restricts the use of the funds to a particular purpose;
  • The donor expects nothing of value in return other than recognition and adherence to any restrictions;
  • The award is typically irrevocable, with or without an expectation by the donor of the timing of expenditures. There is no formal required fiscal accountability (e.g. audit) beyond periodic progress