About Us

The mission of the Office of Research Services (ORS) is to provide service to faculty in their pursuit and management of sponsored activities. In support of our mission, we provide the following services:

Identification of Funding Resources

There are a number of ways to identify funding sources. The University subscribes to the Pivot/Commuity of Science (COS) database. Approximately 23,000 different federal, corporate, and foundation funding opportunities can be found here, and approximately 25 of these are dedicated to the humanities and social sciences. Faculty can upload information on themselves to an expertise profile which includes first-person searchable profiles of faculty from member universities.

Next, faculty members should directly contact program officers at various sponsoring organizations. ORS has provided links to many of the Federal agencies' and non-Federal Web sites. If faculty are waiting for a particular U.S. governmenty grant funding announcement, it can be found at Grants.gov.  

Finally, the University's Corporate and Foundation Relations, is also available to help faculty contact foundations and corporations.

Review and Approval of Proposal

Once the faculty member or Principal Investigator (PI) has identified a sponsor and has developed a proposal and budget, he or she must route the proposal through the relevant University signatories (department chair, grants administrator, senior business manager, and relevant school dean) for review and clearance. ORS is available to assist the PI with the development of the budget and budget justification. For additional information on prorpsal preparation, please see Guidelines and Processes.

ORS performs the final review of the proposal to ensure that:

  1. sponsor application forms have been properly completed;
  2. the budget includes all allowable costs, the proper cost of living escalations, fringe benefit and indirect cost rates, and correct arithmetic;
  3. the proper compliance reviews have been performed (human and animal subjects, conflict of interest, export controls, biosafety and radiation safety);
  4. representations and certifications are complete; and
  5. ensures that the proposal is compliant with the sponsor's program announcement as well as University policy.

When the final review is complete, ORS will sign or electronically submit on behalf of the University.

Receipt of Award

If the sponsor selects the proposal for award, it sends the University a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement. ORS reviews the award agreement to ensure that the terms regarding report submission dates, publications, indemnification, intellectual property, termination, dispute resolution, and governing law are compliant with University policy.

ORS then contacts the sponsor to negotiate any necessary changes. After determining that the award is acceptable, ORS signs on behalf of the University. A unique AWD and GR accounts are created in the University's financial system, and the PI and other relevant campus individuals are notified of the account numbers. The PI may then begin to work on the research project.

At this point a complete file is sent to the University's Sponsored Projects Financial Operations (SPFO), and information on private or corporate awards is shared with the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations.

Conduct of Award

The Principal Investigator (PI) must conduct his or her project during the period of performance specified by the sponsor. The PI may charge against the project's AWD and GR accounts all reasonable, allowable and allocable expenses incurred while conducting the project. At any point, if the PI determines that his or her expenditures are differing from those in the original budget, he or she should contact ORS to determine if the sponsor must approve a revised budget. In general, the federal government tends to allow 25% of total costs rebudgeting threshold, but foundation and coporate sponsors tend to allow only a 10% total costs threshold.

During the course of the award, the University is required to submit technical (programmatic) and financial reports in accordance with the schedule indicated by the sponsor. The PI is responsible for preparing and submitting technical reports to the sponsor and must notify ORS when these are submitted.  ORS must record the submission dates into the financial system for audit purposes. The Sponsored Projects Financial Operations (SPFO) prepares a draft of financial worksheets and sends these to the department administrator or grant adnministrator for review and approval. 

If the worksheets acceptable, SPFO submits the financial reports to the sponsor. If the PI requires additional time to complete the original aims of the project, he or she can request a no-cost extension. Requests for no-cost extensions are submitted to ORS by the PI and ORS notifies the sponsor.  Generally, the university is permitted to automatically implement a one-year no-cost extension on federal awards.  Extensions on foundation and corporate awards require the prior written approval of the sponsor.

Closeout of Award

At the completion of the project, final technical/programmatic, patent, property and financial reports must be submitted. ORS will submit the final patent report after confirming with the PI whether any intellectual property was developed. The PI is responsible for submitting the final technical/programmatic report to the sponsor with a copy to ORS.  SPFO will submit the final property and financial reports to the sponsor. If a PI leaves the University prior to the completion of a project, he or she may either transfer the award to the new institution, or designate a new Georgetown PI. The PI should notify ORS before terminating from Georgetown so that the award can be properly closed out, transfered or continued with a new PI.