Skip to Main Content
iun sponsored research


Due to the varied but sometimes overlapping paths by which funding for sponsored projects and corporate and foundation giving are solicited, it can be unclear to those involved whether the awarded funds fall under the purview of the Indiana University Foundation or the research offices of Indiana University. The intended purpose of this policy is to provide guidance in defining sponsored projects as well as provide a review process for those cases that may seem unclear in the face of this guidance.

Most importantly, it should be noted that neither the process by which funds are acquired, nor the source of the external funds, nor the term "gift" or "grant" determine how the funds should be administered. The proper administration of funds is generally based upon the terms and conditions that are a requirement of the awarded funds.

The presence of any one of the following conditions shall necessitate that the funds be treated as a sponsored project and routed to and signed by the Office of Research Administration. However, the absence of any of these conditions shall not necessarily constitute a determinant as to how the awarded funds should be administered.

  • The proposed work requires a specific line of scholarly inquiry such as a work statement, testing of a hypothesis, a model project, or a defined set of deliverables. Deliverables may include programmatic, technical, and detailed financial reports during or at the conclusion of the project.
  • The sponsor requires a specific time period for conducting the project.
  • The sponsor imposes restrictions on the publication or dissemination of results of the project.
  • The line of inquiry involves testing proprietary products or intellectual property rights, or the sponsor requests options on the results or product.
  • The funds are awarded following a competitive application or bid process.
  • Funding is awarded based on specific budget categories, and permission must be sought from the sponsor to change the budget.
  • Federal, state, or other governmental fiscal compliance policy governs the project.
  • Funding is awarded based on specific budget categories, and permission must be sought from the sponsor to change the budget.
  • The project includes funds for facilities and administration (also called indirect costs or overhead).
  • The award is revocable, or unexpended funds must be returned to the sponsor at a certain point.

There are requirements for audits by or on behalf of the funding source.