May 28, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Chapter 7: Research and Sponsored Projects

Last updated August, 2022. 

Office of Sponsored Programs

The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) at Salisbury University is the administrative unit for all matters related to extramural funding, research compliance, intellectual property and technology transfer. All questions and issues related to these topics at Salisbury University should be directed to this office as an initial contact. The OSP will either assist directly with addressing questions and concerns or you will be directed to the most appropriate person or administrative unit for further direction and assistance. Technology Transfer issues are typically administered through the Office of Technology Commercialization at the University of Maryland, College Park. The OSP runs several programs to support research including internal grants and compliance.

Solicitation and Acceptance of Sponsored Projects

BOR IV-2.00

  1. The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) has responsibility for grants administration and works with administrators and faculty interested in securing federal, state or private funds for projects requiring outside support.
  2. Administrators and/or faculty initiate, conceive and develop proposals for prospective grants and awards. All proposals for specific sponsored projects shall be reviewed by institution personnel for consistency with all University System and institutional policies, for appropriateness to the mission of the institution, for liability assessment, and for program conduct and support by relevant department chairs/school directors and deans and the provost. Where grant proposals require University financial or other support, proposal initiators need to secure necessary support from appropriate offices.
  3. Grant applications should be submitted to the OSP at least two (2) weeks before the day of final submission to allow for appropriate review. The office recommends that all who are involved in proposal writing should submit preliminary budgets when they are first developed and well in advance of complete proposal submission. This will ensure assistance from the office in necessary budget review and possible revision.
  4. Each grant application and contract agreement requires a completed Internal Review Form completed electronically via KUALI. Once administrative review and approval for a proposal or contract are complete, the OSP will have the final proposal submitted to the granting agency either via U.S. Mail, other document delivery service, or electronically.
  5. OSP will work with grant and award recipients to help them fulfill administrative requirements and to ensure that the provisions of the grant or contract are completed. The office also notifies the Office of Administration and Finance of grant approval so that accounting and fiscal records can be established, funds augmented to appropriate accounts or expended locally in accordance with current regulations, restrictions and grant agreements.
  6. OSP maintains files of guidelines, general information, application forms and other materials related to grant programs sponsored by many federal, state and local agencies.
  7. OSP annually submits a summary of sponsored project activity to the USM Chancellor. The content and format of the report is determined by the University System of Maryland Office and includes, at a minimum, the number of awards and their dollar value.
  8. The OSP provides a helpful matrix of Roles and Responsibilities related to sponsored projects.
  9. Only the President, Provost, and Vice President of Administration and Finance may sign-off on grant proposals, contracts, memoranda of understanding, agreements, and other legal documents on behalf of the University.
  10. The essential criteria for employee eligibility to serve as a PI are possession of the necessary academic or professional qualifications and the ability to carry out a proposed activity, including the facilities, in full compliance with all applicable federal, state and local regulations. In order to submit a proposal for funding or submit a protocol to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC), an employee must have PI status. PI status is automatically granted to the following: tenured or tenure-track SU faculty, including emeriti; full-time non-tenure track faculty; full-time clinical faculty; senior administrative staff with appointments as director (or equivalent) and responsibility for the direct, independent design and management of projects.

Note: See Appendix J in Faculty Handbook Forms for information regarding Salisbury University Foundation grants.

Establishment and Review of Centers And Institutes

BOR IV-1.00

  1. Centers and institutes at Salisbury University facilitate teaching, research and service and are designed to activate and enhance the mission of the University. Unlike projects and grants, which are more limited in nature, centers and institutes, are generally created with a continuing mission.
  2. Centers and institutes are accountable to the University through the appropriate structures each serves. At the time of initiation, each center or institute provides a mission statement specifying goals, operational structure, financial provisions (budget, sources, management), space needs, and accountability/evaluation plans to appropriate deans or directors who seek the approval of the provost. A copy of the approved mission statement is filed with the provost.
  3. Regular center or institute reports are provided to the dean or director who conducts a periodic review of the center or institute.
  4. Each center and institute must comply with Salisbury University’s policies related to operation, personnel and finances.
  5. Institutes, centers and outreach organizations currently operating at Salisbury University can be found here.

Classified and Proprietary Work

BOR IV-2.20

In the matter of classified and proprietary work, Salisbury University operates under USM BOR Policy IV-2.20.

Human Subjects Research

BOR IV-2.10

In the matter of research involving human subjects, Salisbury University operates under USM BOR Policy IV-2.10.

Note: Application for review and approval can be obtained from the SU Institutional Review Board.

Intellectual Property

SU/BOR IV-3.20

This policy replaces the Policy on Patents (IV-3.00) and Copyrights (IV-3.10)

In the matter of classified and proprietary work, Salisbury University operates under USM BOR Policy IV-3.20 for intellectual property disclosures made after July 1, 2002.

Technology-Mediated Instructional Material

The section, Intellectual Property, shall apply to any materials that may be considered to be technology-mediated instructional materials.

Misconduct In Scholarly Work

BOR III-1.10

In the matter of misconduct in scholarly work, Salisbury University operates under USM BOR Policy III-1.10.

The inherent requirement for integrity in the quest for knowledge and in the creation of scholarly and artistic works is fundamental to the academic purpose.  Deviations from the proper conduct of scholarly work erode the public’s confidence in science, in scholarship, and in institutions of higher education.  Salisbury University expects that the highest ethical standards, as well as compliance with public laws and regulations, will prevail in the conduct of its activities. The University considers misconduct in scholarly work by any of its employees a breach of contract. 


1.   It is the policy of Salisbury University to maintain high ethical standards in science and other scholarly work, to prevent misconduct where possible, and to promptly and fairly evaluate and resolve instances of alleged or apparent misconduct.

2.   It is the policy of Salisbury University to terminate the employment and/or to take other disciplinary action against any individual found guilty of misconduct.

3.   It is the policy of Salisbury University to award no degree if misconduct in science or other scholarly work contributed to that degree, and when warranted, to revoke such a degree if misconduct is discovered after its award.

This policy is designed to instill and promote the principles of professional integrity, to prevent scholarly misconduct, and to discover and to censure instances of misconduct when they occur. The policy applies primarily to faculty, staff, and student research, scholarly writing, and the creation of works of art.  It is not intended to address issues, such as the conduct of students in examinations and in fulfilling course requirements, which are covered by other policies.

Handling Cases of Misconduct in Scholarly Misconduct

Allegations of faculty scholarly misconduct as described in the Salisbury University Policy on Misconduct in Scholarly Work will be filed in writing with the Academic Policies Committee.  The Academic Policies Committee shall investigate and hear such allegations, make findings of fact based upon the merits of the allegations, and will provide a recommendation to the President as set forth in Chapter 2 of the Faculty Handbook under subheading Provisions Related to Appointment, Promotion, Tenure and Permanent Status subparagraph 7.

Allegations of administrative staff scholarly misconduct as described in the Salisbury University Policy on Misconduct in Scholarly Work will be filed with the Provost. The Provost will investigate and hear such allegations, make findings of fact based upon the merits of the allegations and forward the same to the President for disposition under the Salisbury University Policy on Misconduct in Scholarly Work.


Conflicts of Interest in Research or Development

BOR III-1.11

In the matter of conflicts of interest in research or development, Salisbury University operates under USM BOR Policy III-1.11.

The following is Salisbury University’s procedures on conflicts of interest in research or development per section III.A of BOR Policy III-1.11.

Salisbury University’s Procedures on Conflicts of Interest in Research or Development
I. Definitions

Unit Head: The unit head is the chair of an academic department, school director, or a similar official in a non-academic unit, unless a different individual is designated by proper authority.

Relationship: Any interest, activity, service, employment, gift, or other benefit or relationship with an entity not part of State government that would be prohibited by State Ethics Law if not disclosed and approved pursuant to Salisbury University and Board of Regents policy and these procedures. An interest or relationship of the spouse or other relative (e.g., parent, child, or sibling) of an officer or employee is included if it would create restrictions on the officer or employee under the conflict of interest provisions of the State Ethics Law1.

Research or Development: Includes basic or applied research or development, and includes the development or marketing of University-owned technology, the acquisition of services of an official or employee by an entity for research and development purposes, or participation in State economic development programs.


1Among other things, State Ethics Law generally prohibits University employees from having financial interests in or employment relationships (including consulting) with entities under the authority of the University or which have or are negotiating contracts or subcontracts with the University.  Other employment relationships (including consulting) prohibited under State Ethics Law include those which would impair the impartiality or independent judgment of the employee and those involving an entity which is a party to a State contract (greater than $1000) if the employee’s duties include matters which substantially relate to the subject matter of the contract. State Ethics Law also prohibits State employees from:  participating in matters in which they (or certain family members or business entities) have an interest; soliciting and accepting gifts; using the prestige of their office or confidential information for private gain; and representing parties in State matters for contingent compensation.   The conflict of interest provisions of Maryland State Ethics Law are codified in Title 15, Subtitle 5 of the State Government Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

II. Reporting Procedures

All university employees are required to report outside activities and potential conflicts of interest through two means:

  1. They must provide to their unit heads timely disclosure of any commitment that involves a conflict of interest or the perception of a conflict of interest.  This disclosure should be made before any such commitment is finalized.  This mechanism provides a timely opportunity to protect both the University and the individual from adverse consequences that conflicts of interest can produce.
  2. Employees must complete an Annual Report on Outside Professional Activities, which provides appropriate context in which the unit head can address conflict of interest issues, and from which the University can gauge broader trends 
III. Resolving Conflicts of Interest in Research or Development
Activities Related to Research or Development

In recognition of the University’s role in promoting economic and technological development in the State, the University has been given the authority (under State law and BOR policy) to consider and waive certain State Ethics Law conflict of interest constraints in connection with research or development activities.

Thus, certain relationships that would otherwise violate conflict of interest provisions of State Ethics Law (and/or University or federal policies) may be permitted under certain circumstances.  First, they must involve entities engaged in, or having an interest in the outcome of, research or development.  Second, they must have been reported, reviewed, and approved in accordance with the following procedures.

These procedures do not apply to relationships of the President or a Vice-President (or similar official designated by the Board of Regents).  Such relationships must be approved by the Board of Regents in accordance with its Policy on Conflicts of Interest in Research or Development.

Initial Determination by Unit Head

Based upon the disclosure to the unit head, pursuant to Section II, above, of an employee’s intended outside professional activity or situation, and in view of the employee’s existing relation to such activities, if any, the unit head typically will determine whether there are any concerns about possible conflict of interest.

If neither the unit head nor the individual identify a potential conflict of interest, no further action will typically need be taken with regard to the disclosure under these procedures. 

Conflict of Interest Form

If either the unit head or the employee expresses a concern that the activity or relationship may involve a possible conflict of interest, the faculty or staff member must complete a Conflict of Interest (COI) form. The completed COI Form provides information on the nature of the activity or relationship.  Upon completion, the COI Form is submitted to the unit head who forwards it for evaluation, through the appropriate dean or similar official, to the President’s Advisory Committee on Conflict of Interest (“COI Committee”), a group composed of University faculty and administrators that reports to the Provost.

It should be noted that submission of a COI Form may be requested by, or be advisable for the best interests of, the faculty, staff, or other employees concerned, as well as the University.  In an era of increasing levels of outside professional activity and interaction with industry, situations can be complex with regard to possible conflicts.  In some cases, a review of a COI Form may serve to guide and protect the individual faculty, staff, or other employees in pursuing outside interactions and relationships.

If an activity or relationship is approved as described below, a follow-up report must be submitted in a timely manner whenever circumstances concerning the activity or relationship change significantly, including a final report when the activity or relationship ends.  The University will request annual confirmation of any activity or relationship that remains in place from year to year.

Review of Conflict of Interest Form

1.  General Background

After the COI Form is submitted, the COI review and evaluation process may include further involvement of the faculty or staff member whose activities are being assessed, either by that person’s providing further information or by their assistance in exploring avenues to manage a conflict if one is found to exist.

The COI evaluation process culminates in a written decision of approval or disapproval from the University (the President, upon recommendation from the COI Committee) to the faculty or staff member.  Copies of approvals and supporting documentation are forwarded to the State Ethics Commission.

Because disclosure of a significant new outside professional activity or relationship is expected to be made before commencing the activity, it is important that the unit head (and, if needed, the COI Committee) provide timely feedback and action so as not to excessively delay action by the individual in pursuing the new activity.  It is also important that the faculty or staff member make disclosure in a timely fashion so as to allow sufficient time for consideration by the unit head and, if needed, the COI Committee.

2. Initial Review by Unit Heads

Unit heads are responsible for conducting the initial review of the COI Forms submitted by those within their unit. As part of that initial review, a unit head should attach to a COI Form a “proposed management plan,” including any mechanisms that the unit head considers to be appropriate for managing, reducing, or eliminating real or potential conflicts of interest.  

The unit head shall forward the COI Form, including proposed management plan, through the appropriate dean or similar official, to the COI Administrator.  The COI Administrator is the Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs.

3. Review by COI Committee

The COI Administrator shall forward the COI Form for consideration by the COI Committee.  The COI Committee shall have eight voting members:  six faculty members appointed by the President, one from each School and College and the Library and one of whom shall be appointed by the President to chair the COI Committee; the Associate Provost and the Associate Vice President of Finance.   The COI Committee may require that further information be provided and is encouraged to seek information, advice and input from appropriate University personnel, including unit heads, deans, University Counsel and the faculty, staff, or other employees involved.

4. Recommendation by the COI Committee

The COI Committee shall review the COI Form and recommend to the President whether the disclosed relationship should be approved.  The COI Committee may not recommend approval of any relationship that would:

  • give improper advantage to the entity with whom the employee has a relationship;
  • lead to misuse of institution students or employees for the benefit of such entities;
  • otherwise interfere with the duties and responsibilities of the official, faculty member, or other employee maintaining a relationship;
  • be so influential as to impair impartiality in conducting research, interpreting research results, or determining research or other professional and employment priorities;
  • present an unacceptable conflict of interest; or
  • otherwise constitute a harmful interest or violate state or federal policies, or procedures, or the best interests of the University.

A recommendation for approval indicates the Committee’s conclusion that any conflict or potential conflict is manageable, in accordance with these procedures and any approved management plan.  The COI Committee’s recommendation for approval shall be forwarded, through the Provost, to the President.  A recommendation against approval signifies the Committee’s conclusion that a conflict of interest exists that cannot be properly managed, and that the individual should refrain from participating in the activity or relationship.   In the case of COI Committee recommendation against approval, a faculty member who believes such a recommendation is a violation of their academic freedom shall have 10 business days to notify the Provost of this and to file an appeal to the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee.  If such an appeal is filed, the Provost will not forward the COI Committee’s request to the President until the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee heard the appeal and made its recommendation.  If there is no appeal filed, the COI Committee’s recommendations shall be forwarded, through the Provost, to the President.

5. Final action by the President

The President shall review the recommendations of the COI Committee and make a written determination.  Approval may be subject to such conditions or restrictions as the President requires.  The President’s determination is final.  Notice of the President’s decision will be provided in writing to the faculty or staff member(s), unit heads and deans or similar officials involved.  Among other things, any notice of approval should inform faculty, staff, or other employees of their continuing obligations to:

  • ensure that their activities, statements, evaluations, recommendations, and judgments do not improperly give advantage to an outside entity;
  • ensure that unauthorized statistics, documents, reports, comparison information, and other data are not disclosed that would improperly give advantage to an outside entity;
  • be aware that legal restrictions regarding misusing their position for personal gain or gain of another, soliciting or accepting improper gifts, and representing a party before the Board of Regents or the Board of Public Works, or other State or local agency for a contingent fee, continue to apply notwithstanding any approval under these procedures;
  • continue to adhere to other University policies and procedures, including those concerning conflicts of commitment and professional commitment of faculty.

Approval may be withdrawn if it is determined that an official, faculty member, or other employee misrepresented the nature of their interest in an entity, or if circumstances change in such a way as to create an unacceptable conflict of interest or a violation of University policy or applicable legal requirements.

Effect of Non-Compliance on Sponsored Projects

Non-compliance with the conflict of interest policy or these procedures may result in the suspension or termination of a sponsored project.  Non-compliance could also result in restrictions on faculty, staff, or other employees with respect to future proposal submissions as well as other sanctions in accordance with University policies, State Ethics Law, or other applicable State or federal laws and regulations.

If the failure of an investigator to comply with conflict of interest policies or procedures has biased the design, conduct, or reporting of Public Health Service (PHS) funded research, the University must promptly notify the PHS Awarding Component of the corrective action taken or to be taken.  The PHS Awarding Component will consider the situation and may take, or refer the matter to PHS for, further action, which may include directions to the University on how to maintain appropriate objectivity in the funded project.

External Reporting Procedures and Record Retention

The COI Administrator shall submit quarterly reports of all approvals granted under these procedures involving State Ethics Law to the Chancellor of the University System of Maryland.  The COI Administrator shall assist the University System, as requested, in providing supplemental information or developing additional reports or analyses needed for compliance with the reporting requirements of State Ethics Law.

Upon completion of the process, copies of all COI Forms submitted in connection with research and development relationships that are approved shall be filed with the State Ethics Commission.  The University, through the COI Administrator, will develop and maintain a file, available for public review that will contain all approved relationships with applicable COI Forms.

The Office of Sponsored Programs is responsible for providing the appropriate written notice to the awarding agency in those cases involving sponsored projects.  As required by agency regulations, information regarding all conflicts of interest identified by Salisbury University will be made available to NSF or HHS upon request. Conflicts that cannot be satisfactorily resolved must be disclosed to NSF and PHS.  In the case of PHS awards, notice must be given for all conflict of interest.

The Office of Sponsored Programs will maintain records of all financial disclosures and of all actions taken to resolve actual or potential conflicts of interest at least three (3) years after termination or completion of the sponsored project or after resolution of any government action involving those records, or as required by applicable state and federal regulations whichever is longer.

Note: See specific procedures for faculty reporting of outside professional consulting and external professional services in Chapter 4: Faculty Compensation, Workload, Benefits, Awards and Personnel and Other Policies      

Standards for the Conduct of Scientific Research (SU) 

It is the policy of SU that each individual faculty, staff member, and student is expected to maintain high ethical standards in the conduct and reporting of their research or other scholarly activities.  The maintenance of public trust in these standards is the responsibility of all members of the university community.  Faculty, staff, and students have responsibilities for ethical conduct not only to SU, but also to the community at large, to the academic community, and to private and public institutions sponsoring the scholarly activities. 

Misconduct in research or other scholarly activity is prohibited and allegations of such misconduct shall be investigated thoroughly and resolved promptly.  Should alleged incidents of misconduct in scholarly activity occur, reporting of such possible violations is a shared responsibility, and it is the duty of the faculty, staff members, and students to resolve issues arising from such alleged misconduct. 

Salisbury University provides training in the Responsible Conduct of Research through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI).  A link to training courses can be found on the Office of Sponsored Programs webpage.




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