Office of Reserach Services

Policies & Procedures

The Office of Research Services (ORS) is responsible for facilitating the activities of the faculty and administration in seeking external support for their research and creative activities. The process of proposal preparation, transmittal, and compliance has become increasingly complicated, and because of rapidly expanding body of state and federal rules and regulations, it is extremely important that that all agency guidelines, and university policies are followed in all aspects of securing grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, and other types of awards. If you need additional help, please do not hesitate to contact us by visiting the page CONTACT or by calling the ORS at 615-898-5005.

EXTERNAL FUNDING

External funding of scholarly activities obligates the principal investigator to adhere to a number of regulations. Provided below is a list of policies from the MTSU policy manual that affect the conduct of sponsored activities.

Outside Sponsorship of Scholarly Activities
MTSU encourages its faculty, students, and administrative staff to become involved in obtaining sponsorship from outside agencies through contracts and grants for scholarly activities, and recruits nationally talented and dedicated faculty members committed to teaching and professional service. This policy provides a guideline to obtaining external funding for scholarly activities.

Misconduct in Scholarly Activities and Research
MTSU affirms its adherence to the highest ethical standards of faculty conduct in research, and any misconduct in research or other scholarly activities is prohibited and allegations of such misconduct is investigated thoroughly and resolved promptly.

Ethics and Code of Conduct
This policy was prepared by the University's Fiscal Compliance Officer. This statement sets forth the university's Fiscal Code of Ethics. Accordingly, this policy applies to all employees.

Grants, Contracts and Other Agreements
Grants, Contract and Other Agreements are based on Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) guidelines, and the guidelines contain recommended procedures as well as standard formats of contracts and agreements.

Conflict of Interest for Externally Funded Projects
This Policy is predicated on the expectations that Investigators should conduct their affairs so as to avoid or minimize conflicts of interest, and that they must respond appropriately when conflicts of interest arise. To that end, this Policy informs faculty about situations that generate conflicts of interest related to research, provides mechanisms for Investigators and the Institution to manage those conflicts of interest, and describes situations that are prohibited. Every Investigator has an obligation to become familiar with, and abide by, the provisions of this Policy.  The associated forms are available here: Significant Financial Interest Disclosure Form and SFI Disclosure Attachment.

RESEARCH COMPLIANCE

The Office of Research Compliance is responsible for specific components of research compliance including the Institutional Review Board, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, and Research Integrity. The following policies are to satisfy Federal, State, Local, and Institutional rules and regulations which govern the proper conduct of research. If you need any additional help please do not hesitate to contact Compliance at compliance@mtsu.edu or 615-494-8918.

Protection of Human Subjects in Research
All research projects involving human subjects are reviewed and monitored by the Institutional Review Board (IRB), and MTSU strictly adheres to the Department Of Health and Human Services (DHHS) policy on "Protection of Human Subjects";, in all projects whether funded internally and/or externally.

Animal Care and Use in Research and Teaching
All research and teaching projects involving animals at MTSU are reviewed and monitored by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee in accordance with the Laboratory Animal Welfare Act and the National Institutes of Health guide.

Research Integrity (Misconduct in Scholarly Activities and Research)
MTSU affirms its adherence to the highest ethical standards of faculty conduct in research, and any misconduct in research or other scholarly activities is prohibited and allegations of such misconduct is investigated thoroughly and resolved promptly.

For more information about the Office of Research Compliance at MTSU, please click here: COMPLIANCE

DEPARTMENTAL PROCEDURES

Determining Allowability of Costs on Sponsored Projects
The Policy establishes University guidelines on determining the allowability, allocability, and reasonableness of costs on sponsored projects.

Export Control
It is the intent of Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) to fully comply with federal regulations that control the conditions under which certain information, technologies, and commodities can be transmitted overseas to anyone, including US citizens, or to a foreign national on U.S. soil. This procedure explains three federal regulations that govern export law and establishes University's procedures that will keep research in compliance with these laws.

MTSU Charging Administrative and Clerical Expenses
This policy governs every instance where any portion of the salary of an administrative or clerical employee is to be charged to a Federal grant or contract, whether awarded directly to Middle Tennessee State University as a prime recipient, or indirectly through a sub-agreement from another institution. In this policy, federal grants or contracts also include federal flow through funds awarded by the State.

Policy on Cost Sharing
In regard to cost sharing, the Office of Research Services (ORS) at MTSU is governed by University Policy 1:01:12, Section III D. These procedures supplement that policy.

Time and Effort Reporting and Certification
Middle Tennessee State University's effort certification reporting policy complies with the requirements of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-21, Principles for Determining Costs Applicable to Grants, Contracts, and Other Agreements with Educational Institutions.

Fixed Price Contract Policy
The purpose is to explain the dispensation of residual funds and the responsibility for overages on fixed price contracts. The administration of fixed price contracts is governed by University Policy I:01:12, Section VII. These procedures supplement that policy.

Subawards and Subrecipient Monitoring
This policy applies to all subawards issued under sponsored projects awarded to MTSU without regard to the primary source of funding.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER

The primary responsibility of this initiative to help MTSU faculty and students in patenting their invention(s) and in commercialization of their intellectual property through its sale, and license and/or transfer. If you wish to discuss your discovery or invention, please CONTACT the Staff of the Office of Research Services or send an e-mail at research@mtsu.edu. For more information about Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer at MTSU, please click here: IP and Tech Transfer.

Patents and Copyrights - University Policies & Procedures II:01:08

OTHER RELATED POLICIES

Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, Discrimination, and Nepotism
MTSU promotes and insures equal opportunity for all persons without regard to race, sex, age, color, religion, national origin, and disability status. It is the intent of MTSU that its campus is free of harassment, and it fully complies with the anti- harassment provisions. MTSU also takes affirmative action to ensure that applicants, employees, and students are treated in a nondiscriminatory manner.

Drug Free Workplace
MTSU maintains a Drug Free workplace, and unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession, or use of any controlled substance (including prescription drugs) is banned. This does not include the lawful use of a prescribed drug while under a doctor's care.

Fundraising Policies
The need to generate private funds for MTSU is critical and coordination of efforts to achieve that support is essential to ensure effectiveness. This policy addresses issues related to fundraising at this institution.

Harassment (Sexual or Racial)

Gift vs Grant
These procedures reflect IRS regulations, Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) standards, MTSU policies and other related internal and external requirements. The information covers the vast majority of distinguishing characteristics of gift and grant transactions.

Sam H. Ingram Building
2269 Middle Tennessee Blvd
MTSU Box 124
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
PH: 615-898-5005
FX: 615-898-5028