Sponsored Research Policy

Final version amended and approved by the BOD on January 30, 2008
Approved by the University Council on August 7, 2008

Preamble

In conformity with its mission as a non-profit educational institution, Notre Dame University – Louaize has always welcomed an added external support for research activities, projects and/or programs. Such support is essential because it facilitates the students’ and/or faculty’s pursuit of knowledge and its appropriate practical application.

Definition

Sponsored Research’ as used in this policy is a research activity that requires University’s facilities, assistance or budget, and, in general, is a research supported and/or funded in whole or in part by an external or internal source1.

The external source may be:
  • Governmental or non-governmental agencies and/or organizations
  • Business firms
  • Foundations
  • Institutes
  • Private companies
  • Personal donations
  • Fundraising for research
  • Others

The internal source is the University research funds. Based on available funds, NDU partially or fully supports and sponsors competitive research submitted by faculty or students.

General Considerations

1. It is a general and basic policy of NDU to encourage faculty members to engage in fundamental research to further their professional and academic development in serving themselves, the university, and the field of knowledge. However, it is expected that sponsored research be consistent with the academic interests or priorities of the university, or with those of the sponsor of such research.

2. In as much as sponsored research is concerned, faculty members are responsible for the writing of their proposals, and once the approval is granted and an agreement is signed, it is the responsibility of the faculty member to comply with the specific terms and conditions associated with the project, including the provision of progress reports to the funding body and to the VPSRD, and the latter will forward the report(s) to the respective head of unit in the University.

3. Faculty members are expected to maintain budgetary control through the coordination with the University bookkeeping budget, and financial control system.

4. It is the responsibility of the VPSRD’s Office to provide the Business Office with the necessary information about the budget, and request the establishment of a project account number and take whatever administrative steps needed for the proper management throughout the period of the research project.

5. In the course of the project period, the Office of the VPSRD should be notified in case of modification of the terms and/or conditions associated with the interconnected agreement. In case of violations of the contract/agreement, the University has the prerogative to query and investigate the conditions and actions pertaining to these violations, and to settle such cases according to its adopted set of rules and regulations.

6. Upon completion of the project, the Office of the VPSRD is to be notified by the concerned faculty member(s) (or student) to be able to close the file and instruct the Business Office to lock and settle the account.

7. In principle, the University does not set any limitations or restrictions upon the rights of the faculty or student to disseminate or publish the results of sponsored research unless such limitations or restrictions are incorporated into the research agreement. All embracing, faculty and students protect themselves by adhering to all agreements that may carry limitations or restrictions reviewed by the URB. Finally, it is the University policy to embark on research based on ‘best efforts basis’, but professes no guarantee of results.

Research File

With respect to all sponsored research, the file of any research project or program should include the following:

1. A formal research proposal

2. Assistance and/or Budget Justification:
  • A description of the expense or service
  • How it relates to and benefits the project
  • The anticipated cost
  • The time period
  • Any other information that will aid the sponsor in evaluating the proposed cost

3. The written approval of the concerned Chairperson and Dean. In case of proposals involving faculty members from more than one department or faculty, the written approval of the concerned Chairpersons and Deans is required.

Procedure

A. Proposals sponsored by external source(s)

1. Within the Faculty structure:
  • A formal research proposal that requires university facilities, budget and/or assistance must first be submitted to the concerned department (or departments) for initial approval.
  • After departmental approval, the proposal should secure the concerned Dean’s (or Deans’) approval.
  • Once approved, the proposal is forwarded by the concerned Dean to the VPAA.

2. Outside the Faculty structure, i.e. through one of the research centers at NDU or through an academic or administrative unit placed outside the Faculties. These proposals should first secure the initial approval of the concerned Center; then they should be submitted to the URB for review. After, they are forwarded to the VPSRD and President for final approval.

B. Proposals sponsored by NDU

Proposals requesting NDU’s support should secure favorable recommendations from the respective and concerned director(s), Chairperson(s), Dean(s), URB and VPAA before they receive final approval from the President.

Evaluation Criteria

The criteria in evaluating a proposed research project include the following:

A. Evaluation of Proposals sponsored by external source(s) Evaluation of a proposed research project sponsored by an external source should be arranged by: A representative of the sponsoring institution, a specialized faculty member in the concerned Department, and a specialized external scholar, if necessary.

B. Evaluation of Proposals sponsored by NDU Evaluation of a proposed research project sponsored by NDU should be arranged by: A specialized faculty member in the concerned Department, a member of the URB, and a specialized external scholar, if necessary.

C. Responsibility for the project When the evaluation reports are submitted to the concerned Director or Chair, a clear evaluation statement of these reports (and of any other relevant aspect) should be submitted by the Director or Chair to the concerned office (next in line in evaluating the project) as indicated above.

D. University Support A research project that is totally dependent on university support should not involve the University beyond its general capacity.

The following are to be considered:
  • Availability of facilities: Equipment, space, library resources, etc.
  • Volume of research in relationship with: The set budget, the number of personnel to be involved, the faculty/staff work load, the administrative attention, etc.

Extra Compensation

The University faculty or staff members who engage in research activities/projects may be compensated for those services they have rendered or have executed along the way (of research or otherwise), and that fall outside the scope of their basic duties (of teaching or research or committee work etc…) as outlined in their letters of appointments or job descriptions with the university.

Faculty compensation for the previously mentioned extra services, must be acknowledged by the appropriate Dean and the VPAA, and must secure the approval of the president.

Extra compensation (for extra work) for staff members must be approved by the Director of Administration and the President.

Potential Conflicts of Interest

Faculty members are expected to:
  • Refrain from accepting research sponsorship from a company, firm or agency that seems to have contradicting or conflicting values with those of the mission of the university.
  • Maintain professional performance in fulfilling their duties to the University and to their research, i.e. to avoid discrepancy between personal interests and professional services, in order to ensure that the academic interest of both the faculty members and the University are well served.

1Conferences, seminars, workshops, etc. are not included.
NB: This policy will be put in effect as of October 1, 2008.
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