Faculty Handbook

Gifts to the University support broad faculty activities. Three general features of a gift include:

  •   no deliverables are required from the activities supported
  •   no formal technical reports are required
  •   no formal financial reports are required

Grants are made to the University on behalf of faculty to perform a specific project. The sponsor generally supports the project outlined in a proposal. Grants characteristics include:

  •   project usually has stated goals and objectives
  •   the sponsor has expectations about how the funds will be spent
  •   grant deliverables may include formal project reports
  •   a financial report is required


Contracts are the most formal type of award made to the University. Under a contract, the sponsor supports clearly defined activities such as specific deliverables, sponsor monitoring, technical reports, and/or detailed financial reports.

  • Contract Process
  • Contract Resources
    • Pre-award issues
      The Office of Technology Development (OTD) provides on-site administrative services to researchers in order to complete and execute Confidentiality and Material Transfer Agreements. The OTD also serves as a resource for intellectual property matters, and assists in the development of commercialization opportunities for University inventions and intellectual property.

      The Clinical Trials Office (CTO) provides an array of services to investigators and researchers such as clinical protocol review and evaluation, budget feasibility and preparation, regulatory submission and processing, and recruitment or advertising assistance for clinical trials. The CTO also maintains extensive educational information and resources to enhance the likelihood of successful clinical trial outcomes.
    • Compliance
      The Human Subjects Protection Office (HSPO) administers the Institutional Review Board (IRB), which is charged to protect individuals who participate in research. HSPO staff provides guidance to Investigators in the proposal process, the conduct of the research, and in the review of research to ensure compliance with applicable standards and laws.

      The Department of Comparative Medicine provides the husbandry and veterinary care for laboratory animals used in research projects, and administers the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) (internal use only) which must approve the protocol for the use, maintenance, and euthanasia of animals used in any research project.

      The Department of Safety (internal use only) is responsible for the training and guidelines implemented to ensure the safe acquisition, use, storage, and disposal of biohazardous materials used in research and instruction. It also provides resources for chemical use safety, fire control, and waste disposal.
    • Partners
      The General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) provides a research infrastructure including nursing, facilities, and labs to Investigators who conduct research with human subjects. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the facility allows Investigators to carry out studies which can include clinical trials for the cause, prevention, progression, and cure for various diseases.

      Core Endocrine Laboratory (CEL) is a certified and accredited reference laboratory that specializes in the quantitative analysis of hormones, hormone receptors, cytokines, and growth factors in blood, tissue, urine and culture media from both human subjects and experimental animals. Tests are performed for both diagnostic and investigational research purposes.

      Lab Core Facilities are accessible to all investigators at subsidized fee levels in order to provide shared consolidated technologies and state-of-the-art tools and equipment for research purposes. Various core areas of support include Macromolecular, Cell Science/Flow Cytometry, Transgenic, Molecular Genetics, Microscopy Imaging, Proteomics/Mass Spectrometry, MRI, and Tumor Bank.

      The Office of Research Development will assist researchers with the identification and coordination of sponsored research funding available from federal, state, foundational, and commercial non-profit sources. Investigators can receive assistance to improve the competitiveness of proposals and increase collaboration efforts among other science research at all Penn State campuses.
    • Post-award
      The Institutional Review Board (IRB) offers continued review and approval for multi-year studies. Refer to the Human Subject Protection Office site and IRB guidelines.

      The Office of Research Affairs (ORA) will help with extensions for on-going clinical studies. Refer to the Office of Research Affairs site for information regarding amendments, extension format, and budgetary/regulatory considerations.

      The Clinical Trials Office (CTO) will assist with managing on-going budgets. Refer to the Clinical Trials Office site for information on trial procedures changes and pricing due to revisions in the protocol or additional patient care.

      For study close-out or transfer of study refer to the Office of Research Affairs site for guidance and instructions.

      Regarding inventions, patents, and commercialization of research related discoveries, refer to Office of Technology Development site for assistance.