Quick Start Guide for Researchers

The staff at the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) is proud to partner with researchers as they shepherd research through the typical life cycle of sponsored research projects at UT Austin.

Along the way, researchers will have an opportunity to interact with offices on this campus that support the policies and processes associated with sponsored research at UT Austin. OSP has put together this Quick Start Guide to help identify and contact the appropriate campus research partners. This guide also contains a “Frequently Asked Questions” section that will answer some pressing questions that might arise as you embark on your research program at UT Austin.

Research Partners at UT

Office of Sponsored Projects

The Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) serves as the coordinating office for externally funded research projects submitted by The University of Texas at Austin. The goal of the OSP is to assist faculty and professional research staff in their efforts to secure external funding.

Proposals and Awards

  • Proposal Review, Endorsement and Submission
  • Award Negotiation and Set-Up
  • Account Management
    • Credit
    • Cost Transfers
  • Audit Support
  • Award Closeout

Ancillary Services

  • Export Controls
  • Effort Reporting
  • Subrecipient Monitoring
  • Responsible Conduct of Research


Office of Research Support and Compliance

The Office of Research Support and Compliance (ORSC) consists of four main areas, the Institutional Review Board (IRB), Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), and Conflict of Interest (COI) sections. Their mission is to ensure that all research conducted on campus complies with all applicable laws, regulations, and University policies.


Research Development

The OVPR Research Development team oversees campus-level initiatives that promote collaborative research, including our campus-wide research grand challenges initiative, Bridging Barriers. We also provide competitive intelligence and tactical proposal development support to cross-college teams of researchers pursuing center grants and other major external funding. Research Development works closely with the Vice Provost for Faculty Development to provide faculty development programming with a focus on research collaborations and research leadership. We provide a vast menu of investigator skill building workshops and webinars to prepare UT researchers to be more competitive in their grant seeking, and we manage several key institutional research relationships with external partners.


Discovery to Impact

Discovery to Impact helps University employees protect and commercialize new and useful inventions that are potentially patentable or copyrightable.


Animal Resources Center

The Animal Resources Center (ARC) oversees the care and use of vertebrate animals utilized as part of the research and teaching activities of the University and serves as a source of expertise and support for investigators and the administration on all issues related to laboratory animals.


Environmental Health and Safety

The mission of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) is to promote healthy and safe operations on campus, to protect students, faculty, staff and visitors, and to ensure protection of the environment. Programs include Asbestos; Biological and Laboratory Safety; Chemical Safety and Waste Management; Environmental Health and Industrial Hygiene; Occupational Safety; and Radiation and Laser Safety.


Texas Advanced Computing Center

Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) provides the computational user community access to petascale computing systems, remote and collaborative visualization resources, high-performance global file systems, a data applications facility, and a petascale data archive.


HIstorically Underutilized Businesses and Small Business Office

The Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) program is a State of Texas initiative to increase the opportunities available to businesses owned by minorities and women in the area of state procurement and contracting. The UT Austin HUB/SB Program Office ensures the university’s good faith effort to include HUB businesses in its procurement efforts.

The University of Texas at Austin maintains the commitment to increasing the number of contracts awarded to small businesses, and those owned by women, service disabled veterans, and minorities, by creating a fair and open competitive market and improving community awareness through its Historically Underutilized Business/Small Business (HUB/SB) Program Office.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get Principal Investigator (PI) status?

There are certain titles that confer automatic PI status:

  • Tenure or tenure-track faculty (Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Instructor, Research Professor, Research Associate Professor, Research Assistant Professor); NOTE: Emeritus faculty do not have automatic PI status and must request PI status via their colleges.
  • Directors; Chairs
    NOTE: Associate Directors are not automatically approved.
  • Research Scientist/Engineer and Senior Research Scientist/Engineer
  • Research Associate
    NOTE: The Research Engineering/Scientist Associate (RESA) position does not have automatic PI status and must request PI status via their colleges.
  • PIs must be compliant with institutional policies prior to approval of their PI status:
    1. Acknowledgement that the proposed PI/Co-PI has read and agrees to abide by the Researcher Responsibilities.
    2. Statement that the individual seeking PI status is compliant with the University’s Financial Conflict of Interest policy and has:
      1. Completed Conflict of Interest training.
      2. Submit a Financial Information Disclosure form.

How do I transfer my grant to UT from my former institution?

  • Familiarize yourself with your sponsor’s policies regarding transfers.
    • Grants from the National Institutes of Health require the completion of an NIH Relinquishing Interests Form.
    • Grants from NSF require completion of an NSF Grant Transfer Form.
  • Contact the OSP counterpart at your former institution.
  • Select an appropriate expiration date for your project. This should fall prior to your departure date from your former institution.
  • In order to relinquish the project, the accounting unit must be able to determine the residual funds remaining after all obligations have cleared. It takes at least 30 days after the expiration date to obtain this information.
  • If you purchased equipment and want to bring this equipment with you when you move, you should obtain approval from your Chair, Dean, and the Business Manager's office.
  • You will need to submit non-competing continuations for the next year's funds through UT Austin.
  • Once the grant has been relinquished, the sponsor will re-award the grant to the new institution.

How do I get an NIH/NSF ID?

While PI status is automatic for certain titles, access to OSP’s internal systems and to sponsor systems is not. OSP can help you obtain access to research-related systems on campus and to proprietary sponsor systems. Submit an ERA help ticket to request access..

How do I submit grants to sponsors?

Proposals to external funding sources for sponsored projects must be submitted through OSP and awards received must be processed by OSP when one or more of the following criteria are met.

  • A specific program of work or research is proposed to or required by the sponsor;
  • University of Texas at Austin facilities are needed to conduct the work;
  • The sponsor requires an authorized institutional signature;
  • The sponsor requires or expects one or more progress reports, a final report, financial reports and/or a formal accounting of how the funds were expended; or
  • There are intellectual property, confidentiality and/or publication conditions associated with the receipt of funds.

These proposals mostly involve research projects but any program requesting support by an external sponsor that satisfies these criteria shall be submitted through OSP.

OSP is authorized to submit proposals to many sponsors and will transmit proposals via any system required by a sponsor. For federal submissions, it is OSP’s policy to require submission via UTRMS.

I am coming to UT later this year, can I submit proposals now?

You must work with your prospective College to ensure you have an appropriate Workday appointment that places you in UT’s internal systems. Once that occurs, you can obtain your UT and sponsor credentials from OSP’s Electronic Research Administrator. Once you are established electronically as a researcher, you can then prepare an application that can be routed to OSP for review and endorsement and that can be submitted to a sponsor by UT on your behalf.