Responsibilities of the Project Director or Principal Investigator
- Developing a budget, and if it includes PI and/or Personnel Effort, ensuring that the current institutional base salary is used, and that the effort is a reasonable estimate of effort to be expended in relation to the aim of the project as well as other College or School obligations;
- Participating in Award negotiations and alerting the Grants Office to the negotiations with the Sponsor in order to seek their involvement and assistance in revising the proposal budget. The PI must also ensure that the budgeted funds adequately cover the scope of the project;
- Having thorough knowledge of and abiding by the terms and conditions of the award;
- Having oversight of professional and technical decisions of the research project;
- Having oversight of professional and technical decisions as to personnel and the selection of particular items of equipment, supplies and other items to be purchased;
- Ensuring project’s expenses are as budgeted, complying with sponsor requirements regarding reduction in effort and change in status, and seeking prior approval for any re-budgeting of committed effort. The PI is also responsible for ensuring that the selection of personnel and purchase of equipment and supplies is in accordance with the award budget.
- Monitoring of sub-recipients and contractors, if any;
- Ensuring financial and program records retained are accurate and auditable;
- Ensuring cost share records retained are accurate and auditable;
- Submission of sponsor or University reports and certifications on time and according to the University or sponsor’s requirements; and
- Completion of the formal closeout of the grant program.
CUNY Office of Research
Provides central administration and oversight of sponsored research and sponsored programs. The CUNY Office of Research promotes and supports the research, scholarly, and creative pursuits of the CUNY community, provides assurance to funding agencies and to the public that research at the University is conducted in accordance with the highest ethical standards and in compliance with applicable regulations, laws and University policies, and enhances technology commercialization, entrepreneurship, and economic development activities. The general functions of the Office of Research specifically relating to research and sponsored program administration include:
- Ensuring University compliance with federal, state and local regulations and ethical standards with regard to all aspects pertaining to the responsible conduct of research and the administration of sponsored programs;
- In cooperation with The Research Foundation, assuring compliance with sponsor’s policies, e.g., intellectual property, human and animal subjects, and fiscal management;
- In cooperation with The Research Foundation, formulating grant and contract administration policy and procedures;
- Training of University faculty and staff concerning compliance with federal, state and local regulations and ethical standards with regard to all aspects pertaining to the responsible conduct of research;
- In cooperation with the Grants Offices and The Research Foundation, conducting training concerning compliance with federal, state and local regulations in the administration of research and sponsored programs.
- In cooperation with the President, Provost or their designee, identifying specific internal controls that must be in place at each campus and developing assessment tools; and
- Conducting periodic assessments of internal controls in place at Colleges or Schools.
Research Foundation of CUNY
Provides central administration and oversight of sponsored research and sponsored programs .The Research Foundation is a non-profit education corporation that assists the University in the identification of opportunities, procurement, use and disposition of funds from the federal, state, and municipal government and other sources to support all research and sponsored programs at the University. All grant applications name the Research Foundation and the College concerned as joint grantees. The responsibilities of the Research Foundation have been set forth in an agreement with the University which deals with various aspects of research, training and other projects throughout the colleges. In general, the RF provides administrative functions such as controlling and accounting for expenditures, preparing periodic fiscal reports for Principal Investigators and funding agencies, providing banking services and managing cash flow. All expenditures are monitored for availability of funds and for compliance with the Research Foundation policies and sponsor requirements. Auditable accounts are maintained and periodic expenditure reports and sponsor vouchers are prepared.
The general functions of the Research Foundation include:
- Establishing policies, procedures and controls governing all expenditures;
- Assuring timely receipt of and proper fiscal stewardship for sponsor funds including the PSC-CUNY Faculty Research Program;
- In cooperation with the Colleges, negotiating University-wide F&A costs and employee benefit rates;
- In cooperation with the Colleges, ensuring compliance with federal requirements such as effort reporting, cost sharing and service centers;
- Assistance in Audit compliance and Resolution as well as Closeout Activity.
CUNY Researchers engaged in research utilizing recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules must contact their college Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) for information on local policies and procedures to ensure compliance with NIH Guidelines and all other applicable laws and regulations. Researchers who engage in activities involving infectious agents, other hazardous agents (e.g. carcinogens), radioactive materials, or transgenic animals are required to contact their respective college’s research administration office to obtain information on college-level oversight of such activities.
The United States Government has issued a Dual Use Research of Concern policy that establishes regular reviews of federally funded life sciences research that, based on current understanding, can be reasonably anticipated to provide knowledge, information, products, or technologies that could be directly misapplied to pose a significant threat with broad potential consequences to public health and safety, agricultural crops and other plants, animals, the environment, materiel or national security. Federal regulations require ongoing institutional review and oversight for such research. Each CUNY college administration is responsible for ensuring compliance with this policy, as it pertains to the research being conducted at the respective college. College administration may contact the research compliance staff in the Office of Research for guidance.
CUNY Technology Commercialization Office facilitates transfer of CUNY innovations to industry by nurturing collaboration between academia and industry, by championing sponsored research at various facilities within the University, by licensing of CUNY intellectual property to sponsors and other industry partners, and by supporting formation of new start-up companies.
The President of each CUNY College designates a College Conflict Officer for their campus. Each CCO is in charge of implementing CUNY’s Conflict of Interest policy, for promoting the need to disclose significant financial interests to faculty and staff at their College, and for reviewing all disclosures in accordance to this policy.
The CUNY Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) is responsible for the protection of the rights and welfare of human subjects in research projects conducted at CUNY or by CUNY faculty, staff and students and RF CUNY staff. The program provides oversight, administrative support and educational training to ensure that CUNY research complies with federal and State regulations, University policy and the highest ethical standards. The CUNY HRPP comprises of 5 University Integrated Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) and 19 on-site HRPP offices.
CUNY Office of the General Counsel and Senior Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs (OGC) performs the review, drafting and negotiation of unfunded contracts and other agreements and provides legal advice to the University’s central administration and its constituent colleges.
Each CUNY college has an appointed Export Control Administrator who works in collaboration with the research compliance staff in the Office of Research to ensure compliance with export control regulations.