Policies Regarding Externally Funded Research



Financial responsibility of a sponsored project rests with both the principal investigator and the administration. The Project Director/Principal Investigator (PI) should review the program guidelines and policies for cost definitions and cost allowability. The PI should also be aware of required approvals for changes in planned project activity. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs will monitor project activity, review and approve requests, and invoice the sponsor for payment of project costs.

All charges to sponsored projects accounts must be documented and justified with supporting documents. Supplies, equipment, travel, and outside service orders should originate through the University’s Purchase System. Payments to outside vendors for goods and services will be made upon receipt of an invoice once it has cleared the Purchasing Department. Internal charges (i.e. telephone, computer time, photocopying, etc.) must be itemized and coded before expenses will be posted. Requests to reimburse personnel for expenses must include supporting documentation which includes original receipts and invoices. Photocopies of the original documentation will not be approved for processing. All requests and documentation should be submitted to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs for approval and processing. See Post-Award Processing for details.

At the end of each budget period, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs prepares and submits final financial reports and invoices as required by the sponsor which may require additional supporting information from the PI.


A research or special-project proposal soliciting outside funding which requires knowledge beyond that of the principal investigator may include a University of Tulsa faculty or professional staff consultant possessing that required expertise only if the following two conditions are met:

  1. The consulting is inter-college (the only exception in which inter-college consulting will be allowed will be in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, since the Physical Science disciplines would normally not be found in the College of Engineering), or in the case of professional staff, if the proposal originates outside the individual's administrative unit.
  2. The consulting undertaken reflects work in addition to the performance of the individual's normal required duties.

Each request for the inclusion of an internal consultant must receive the approval of the appropriate Dean, the Provost, and the Director of Research. Such requests will only be considered when the above two conditions are clearly met, and when the consulting expertise required is not sufficient to justify at least a 1/8 reduced load, or in the case of professional staff, where the granting of release time may be impossible.

Remuneration shall not exceed the consultant's daily base pay rate. The daily base rate is determined by dividing the twelve month salary by 2,080 hours and multiplying the result by eight.


The faculty salary component of non-federally funded contracts may, with the approval of the Collegiate Dean and Director of Research, contain release time, summer salary, and/or the equivalent of up to one day per week consulting time at the faculty member's normal consulting rate which may occur during the academic year in addition to regular pay. This daily rate shall not exceed 1 1/2% of the faculty member's academic-year salary and, in the event no established rate exists, the rate shall be 1% of academic-year salary. When consulting time is included in a contract, it must represent a time commitment on the part of the faculty member in excess of his or her full-time commitment to the University. The consulting fee will be subject to indirect cost and tax withholding, however, it will not be used for benefits calculation.


Anticipated consultant services should be justified and information furnished on each individual's expertise, primary organizational affiliation, daily compensation rate, and number of days of expected service. Fees charged to a sponsored project must conform to any limitation established by agency guidelines and should be reviewed carefully for other requirements that may apply to areas such as recruitment or travel costs.


The University of Tulsa periodically receives unrestricted Fixed Price funding for projects from external sponsors. It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator (PI) to fulfill commitments stated in the Statement of Work (SOW) and those in the agreement used to award the project. Principal Investigators are provided notices, ninety (90) days prior to the official termination date, as reminders to review their project for closeout requirements placed by the sponsor. This notice will also inform the PI that, upon verification that deliverables have been met and payment has been received from the sponsor, they will have one (1) year from the termination date to use any account balance to support research activity consistent with the original purpose of the award. This time period will also allow the PI to process and complete all appropriate and necessary expenditures in order to finalize all activity on the project. This time period is not, however, a “no cost extension”. If it appears to be impossible to complete the project by the termination date, a justified request for a “no cost extension” must be submitted and approved through the appropriate Chair, Dean, ORSP and the sponsor which is separate and distinct from the TU’s internal one (1) year allowed after the completion of the project. At the end of that year, the project account will be closed. Any residual funds remaining at the end of that one-year will be evenly divided (50/50) and transferred to the appropriate Dean's Office and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.