Office of Sponsored Programs and Research

Red Square Clark University Worcester MA


The Office of Sponsored Programs and Research (OSPR) is the institutional office at Clark University responsible for the review, submission and acceptance of University-based research, educational, training, or technical assistance projects involving funds, materials, or other compensation from outside sources, which include one or more of the following terms and conditions:

  • A line of scholarly or scientific inquiry, specified to a substantial level of detail.
  • A line-item budget that details expenses by activity, function, or project period.
  • Terms that specify deliverables that include technical reports, or performance objectives such as specified tie and place of service delivery or activity milestones.
  • Terms that specify fiduciary commitments such as financial reports, audits, and/or an obligation to return unexpended funds at the conclusion of the project.
  • Terms that provide for the disposition of either or intangible properties, which may result from the project. Tangible properties include equipment, records, technical reports, theses or dissertations. Intangible properties include data, copyrights, or inventions.

Clark University strongly supports and encourages outside grants and contracts for sponsored activity. It will, however, approve only such proposals as:

  1. Conform with the recognized objectives of Clark University and sponsor policies and procedures.
  2. Impose no restriction upon the publication of research results unless a clear national emergency requires such limitation.
  3. Represent genuine research and educational interests of the principal investigator or project director.

The President of Clark University designates the Dean of Research as the authorizing official responsible for implementing the above policy with advice and counsel of the Research Board.

Because external funding imposes certain legal obligations on the university with respect to its use management, and accountability, OSPR works with a range of other university offices, and members of the faculty to insure the effective management of the sponsored programs process.

Submission of grants and contracts

Sponsored programs agreements include grants, subgrants, contracts, subcontracts, and cooperative agreements. A sponsor or funder may be a government entity (international, federal, state, or local), a foundation, a private corporation, or a non-profit organization such as another university or independent research institute. Full grant applications, including the internal grant proposal summary form (DOC) with all necessary signatures, a Financial Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form from each Clark person written into the grant, budget, final (or close to final) narrative, certification pages, and a draft of any required letter of support that must be signed by the Dean, must be received in the OSPR office at least 5 business days before sign-off is needed. Please call the OSPR office when you are planning a submission to discuss the process.

Gifts, contrastingly, do not have a time limit for use, and are for broad purposes, which allow the recipient to exercise wide discretion in the use of funds. In cases, where the source of support is a foundation, corporation, or other legally incorporated entity, the University distinguishes gifts from sponsored awards by the absence of terms and condition detailed above. Until an award document is made, a definitive judgment as to the status of the support, cannot be determined. In general, all contractual agreements, government grants, and the majority of foundation awards have terms and conditions, which meet Clark University's criteria for sponsored programs.

Gift or sponsor project diagram

Frequently Asked Questions

Summary of menu items

About the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research
Information about the mission, services and staff of OSPR.

Proposal Preparation
Policies and procedures for submitting proposals through Clark. Proposal writing articles and grant tip sheets, including a new article on effective NSF grant writing.

Funding Opportunities
Resources to assist faculty, students and staff identify external sponsors in support of research, educational and other projects, which advance Clark's academic mission.

Research Compliance Policies
Policies and resources for sponsored projects at Clark involving such considerations as human subjects, animal use and intellectual property rights.

Forms and Agreements
Clark University and external sponsor forms and agreements used for applications and awards.