Contracts and Grants - Negotiation and Acceptance

Effective: Moved to Policy Library from UPM 9.3
Updated/Revised: March 2009
Contact: Office of Sponsored Programs Administration


The terms and conditions for all sponsored projects must be reviewed and accepted by the office of sponsored programs administration (OSPA) prior to the expenditure of funds or the initiation of any sponsored activity. Assurance of acceptable contractual or grant obligations will protect the university and its investigators from potential legal liabilities and assure the university is in compliance with federal, state and university policies.

Policy Statement


Research, training, and fellowship contracts and grants will be accepted by ISU only in fields of activity where the university:

  • Is authorized by the laws of Iowa and policies of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa; and
  • Is competent by reason of qualified staff and facilities to perform the desired work or service.

Fiscal and Legal Matters

Individual staff members must not enter into preliminary negotiations relative to research, training, and fellowship grants or contracts. This policy is not intended to prohibit preliminary discussions, but is intended to apply to all fiscal and legal matters.


Upon authorization by the vice president for research, negotiations may be entered into by designated administrative officials and the director of OSPA with the agency desiring to initiate such a project. Only authorized individuals may represent the university in negotiations.

Reimbursement of Costs

The reimbursement of costs, and methods and terms of payment involved in such contracts, grants, or fellowships, shall be managed by sponsored programs accounting to assure that the university follows a uniform policy with respect to the various agencies.

Patent Rights

The university shall retain patent rights on all patentable materials or processes through the ISU research foundation (ISURF) with all agencies of the United States government and all other outside funding sources. The office of intellectual property and technology transfer (OIPTT) in consultation with the OSPA will manage any negotiation in which patent rights might be relinquished or modified.

Legal Services

Any legal services for negotiations shall be handled through the office of general counsel or its designee.


All contracts, grants, and fellowships between the university and other agencies of the United States operating under transfer of funds shall be administered within the university under procedures established by the president, the senior vice president and provost, and the vice president for research.