All awards are issued to the Board of Regents, NSHE on behalf of the University of Nevada, Reno as the legal fiduciary responsible for the conduct and commitments under the award. OSP has been delegated certain levels of signature authority on behalf of UNR and the NSHE. Currently, constitutional and statutory authority to sign proposal, grants, and contracts rests in the NSHE Board of Regents. (See Board of Regent’s bylaws Article III, Section I.) Limited signature authority is granted to the University via Chancellor policy. Subject to this , the University of policy Nevada Reno President has delegated signature authority, in writing, to the Director of Sponsored Projects. While this policy does not preclude PIs, Department Chairs, Deans, and other individuals from signing internal processing documents, the Director must sign all sponsored project proposals, contracts, and grants on behalf of the University before they are submitted to any third party.
Before an agreement can be enforced against a state entity, it must be signed by a person with specific statutory authority to sign on behalf of the state. Authority must be ACTUAL authority and cannot be delegated unless a state's statute or constitution allows such delegation. Delegation must be made as prescribed in the statute. As described above, for research grants and contracts, this authority has been delegated to the Director of Sponsored Projects as limited by Chancellor’s memo. Therefore, if a sponsored project proposal or award is NOT signed by the Director of Sponsored Projects, the Vice President for Research (VPR), the Chancellor, or Board of Regents, the contract or grant is void and unenforceable against the University.
It is the combined responsibility of the PI, and OSP to insure that the award document does not contain terms and special conditions to which the University cannot comply. When an award is received, a Sponsored Project administrator will review the terms and conditions of the award prior to director signature. If necessary, the administrator will negotiate changes to the terms and conditions. If there are terms and conditions regarding confidentiality, publication or other items that may impact individuals working on the project, the PI will be contacted and consulted prior to signing the award document. If the scope of work and budget in the award appear to be substantially the same as what was proposed by the PI, OSP will move forward with signature and send a fully executed agreement to the PI. If the award significantly changes any budgetary or scope of work provisions, the PI must concur with the new terms prior to signature.
SP will monitor for sponsored project rules, regulations, guidelines, and policies. When needed, SP will obtain clarification or interpretation of the sponsor requirements to serve as the source of information to other University offices and personnel involved with OSP.