1. Introduction and Overview

The Office of Research at Benedict College encourages faculty to engage in scholarship and research activities necessary to maintaining academic vitality in their profession and for sustained excellence in instruction and student learning. The primary objective of the Office of Research is to work with faculty and staff to promote the acquisition of external support to strengthen research activities, and infrastructure, and public service consistent with the College's mission. The office provides guidance in a service-oriented environment for faculty and staff, and assists them with the tools necessary to secure and administer external funding. Research programs may vary according to funding sources; types of projects, but all are usually awarded from external sources for specific or broad range of activities. Generally, their application, award, and implementation require the coordinated efforts of the Research Office, and other campus offices for fiscal management and/or programmatic reporting.

General functions of the Office of Research include:

  • Coordination of proposal development, submission and post-award activities
  • Providing oversight on regulatory and compliance issues related to research program activity
  • Providing faculty development in grantsmanship and research capacity building; and
  • Liaison with funding agencies, institutional Accounting Office or other offices to support research and related program activities
  • Build collaboration with other academic institutions, governmental and non-governmental agencies to strengthen faculty research.

Specifically, the Office of Research:

  • Review proposals for consistency with the college's mission and policies
  • Ensure that all special arrangements as specified in the proposal are met, i.e., additional space, facilities and/or services
  • Grant reporting and documentation for Grants Accounting
  • Work with faculty on implementation of grants and contracts consistent with the stated objectives and institutional mission.

2. Types of Grants/Research Programs, Awards and Collaborations

2.1 - Grants
Grants are usually competitive awards to address specific goals/objectives and generally awarded for a specific period, varying from one year or for multi-year project. For multiyear grants, the PI/PD may be required to submit a continuation application or an annual report as each subsequent grant year approaches to report program activity and assure the agency that work is on track with the plan outlined in the original proposal.

2.2 - Contracts
Contracts are commonly used to accomplish specific objectives within a stipulated project period. The measurable objectives of contracts are often tangible items and/or services rather than basic research outcomes. They are often much more formal and specific than grants, may involve competitive negotiations, which are usually engaged by senior administrators with many specify provisions and/or restrictions. Occasionally, the sponsor may actively participate in overseeing the progress and direction of the project.

2.3 - Subcontract
Subcontracts may be in the form of sub-grant or sub-agreement which allows awardees to transfer a portion of the research fund or effort of the project to another institution or organization. Like contracts, subcontracts may be either fixed-fee or cost-reimbursement arrangements. This requires negotiated institutional agreements and a document is often issued under the authority of, and consistent with, the terms and conditions of the award.

2.4 - Cooperative Agreements
Cooperative agreements, usually involve agreements between the sponsor and awardees to work cooperatively for mutual benefit of their institutions and/or organizations. However, the degree of sponsor involvement and the segregation of responsibility require detailed specification between the sponsor and all collaborators.