Policy Number: 14-001

Classification and Management of External Support

Category: Research

Responsible Executive: Vice President of Research

1.    Policy Statement

The University of Florida (the “University”) strives to maximize its ability to effectively attract, manage, and steward financial and in-kind External Support (as defined below), while ensuring compliance with laws, regulations, rules, University policies and regulations, and specific terms and conditions of the External Support.  The University’s process for approval, negotiation, accounting, budgeting, oversight, and compliance may differ depending on whether External Support is initially determined to be a Gift or a Sponsored Project (both as defined below). This policy is intended to facilitate the appropriate determination.  

2.    Applicability

This policy applies to all University employees and all External Support. 

3.    Definitions

a.    “Donor” means an individual or entity who makes a Gift.
b.    “DSP” means the Division of Sponsored Programs, University Office of Research. 
c.    “External Support” means financial or in-kind support provided to the University by public or private sources and includes Gifts and Sponsored Programs.  This term does not include other University revenues that are neither Gifts nor Sponsored Programs including, but not limited to, contract revenues, special event revenues, and merchandise sales. 
d.    “Gift” means a voluntary financial or in-kind contribution made by an individual or entity for a charitable purpose without an expectation of direct economic benefit or other tangible compensation from the donee commensurate with the value of the contribution. 
e.    “Grant” means either a philanthropic grant (a Gift) or a transactional exchange (Sponsored Program).
f.    “Sponsor” means an entity, governmental or private, who provides External Support in the form of a Sponsored Program.
g.    “Sponsored Program” means an exchange transaction with a specified statement of work, by a private or governmental entity as the sponsor.
h.    “UFF” means University of Florida Foundation, Inc.

4.    Policy Specifics

a.    External Support should not be classified solely on its title or label, including the term Grant.  While the Donor or Sponsor may label or indicate a type of External Support, the classification will be made according to this policy while acknowledging that the intent of the Donor or Sponsor will be considered. 
b.    Many factors may be considered in the classification process, but one factor alone is generally not determinative except for the following Determinative Factors which will be determinative for initial classification for purposes of acceptance.  Some External Support may subsequently be transferred for purposes of management and oversight.

i.    Any External Support with provision for ownership of, control over, or early access to research results, intellectual property, publication, or tangible property shall be classified as a Sponsored Program to be accepted by DSP.
ii.    Any External Support that includes any US governmental entity (federal, state or local) or flow-through of such funds through any other entity generally will be accepted by DSP. 
iii.    Any External Support requiring a 501(c)(3) recipient shall be initially classified as a Gift to be accepted by UFF (unless it includes federal or federal flow-through funds) and then may be transferred to DSP if otherwise appropriate to be managed as a Sponsored Program.
iv.    Any External Support to be held in perpetuity as an endowment shall be held by UFF (unless it includes federal or federal flow-through funds) and spendable income may be transferred to DSP for expenditure if otherwise appropriate to be managed as a Sponsored Program. 

c.    Other factors may indicate whether External Support should be classified as a Gift or Sponsored Program, although no single factor or combination shall be used to overcome any Determinative Factor or the factors inherent in the definitions of Gift or Sponsored Program.  Any of these additional factors may determine where the funds should be managed, even if they do not determine classification. 

These factors may include, but are not limited to the following:
i.    Return of unspent funds
ii.    Donor or Sponsor intent
iii.    Provision of materials, equipment, or design specifications
iv.    Detailed financial reporting
v.    Invoicing for costs incurred
vi.    Publication attribution
vii.    Insurance or indemnification
viii.    RFP process by Donor or Sponsor
ix.    Regulatory compliance including conflicts of interest, human or animal research subjects, export control, licensing, biohazards, radiological materials, and controlled substances

d.    Regardless of whether External Support is classified as a Gift or Sponsored Program, the External Support will be subject to the research review process and the administrative rules and procedures governing all University funds.  Nothing in this policy is intended to supersede the procedures and directives related to the use and definition of University chartfields.
e.    The university will attempt to classify appropriately External Support at the proposal stage, however, it may reclassify the External Support after an award  depending on the conditions set forth in the External Support agreement.

5.    Review and Adjudication

The Vice President for Research and the Vice President for Advancement will confer in the case of inability by DSP and UFF staff to agree on classification of External Support within 30 days after receipt, with the President or designee to serve as the final decision maker. 


Please direct any questions concerning this policy to the University Office of General Counsel general-counsel@ufl.edu


Revision Date  Description
10-5-21 New Policy