"At William and Mary, teaching, research, and public service are linked through programs designed to preserve, transmit, and expand knowledge. Effective teaching imparts knowledge and encourages the intellectual development of both student and teacher. Quality research supports the educational program by introducing students to the challenge and excitement of original discovery, and is a source of the knowledge and understanding needed for a better society. The university recognizes its special responsibility to the citizens of Virginia through public and community service to the Commonwealth as well as to national and international communities. Teaching, research, and public service are all integral parts of the mission of William and Mary." (Excerpted from the College's Mission Statement)
To further the research mission of the College and help achieve a goal of the Strategic Plan "[t]o encourage the research, scholarly and creative activities of the faculty and increase external funding for research," the Office of Grants and Research Administration (a.k.a., "The Grants Office") has as its mission:
To provide effective and efficient pre- and post-award services to the faculty and staff in the Faculty of Arts & Sciences and Schools of Business, Education, and Law, at the College of William & Mary. We endeavor to foster a supportive environment for those engaging in externally sponsored research and programs by facilitating the pursuit of external funding and the management of awards, and by establishing policies and procedures that minimize administrative burdens while protecting the interests of the College.
The Grants Office performs four basic functions:
- reviewing and approving proposals and awards for sponsored programs,
- serving as the University's negotiating and executing office for sponsored program agreements and relationships,
- interpreting the regulatory and contractual administrative requirements/terms of these relationships; and
- distributing information received concerning external funding availability to appropriate faculty.
A sponsored program is an award from an external source (the "sponsor") for an agreed purpose with sufficient custodial responsibility to warrant unique administrative accountability. It is established by an agreement, usually called a grant or a contract, between W&M and the sponsor. It generally requires that the College do some or all of the following:
- provide a fiscal report subject to audit, which implies formal liability for the College
- return funds/goods not consumed
- perform a defined scope of work
- maintain confidentiality of information
- submit a detailed report of performance
- provide something of value to the sponsor; and
- comply with terms/conditions set by the sponsor.
This differs from a gift which has the characteristics that it is irrevocable, and that W&M has full discretionary control over its use, though the purpose for which it is used may be specified broadly by the donor. Gifts are administered through the Office of University Development. If there is a question as to whether an activity for which external funding is sought constitutes a sponsored activity or a gift, the Grants Office and the Development Office will determine what procedures should apply. More information on the difference between a grant and a gift can be found in our Seeking External Funding Manual.
We hope this handbook will be of benefit to you by providing answers to basic questions regarding seeking, proposing and managing sponsored programs. Our staff is available to assist you anywhere in this process as needed. Good luck and best wishes for success in the future!