Definition of sponsored agreements and gifts 

Grants and contracts (sponsored programs) may be distinguished from gifts as follows:

Sponsored programs are situations where the university agrees to specific conditions and/or to perform a defined scope of work as defined by the sponsor. 

  • An investigator-initiated project that specifies proposals for research, training, and/or service activities to an outside entity.
  • The proposed project binds the University to a specific scope of work.
  • A formal agreement for a specified term is established and signed by an officer of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and the sponsoring agency.
  • The project involves disposition of property, whether tangible or intangible, that may result from the project (e.g. equipment, records, inventions, copyrights, or rights in data).
  • The sponsor requires invoices for cost reimbursement and/or a financial report is required.

Typically sponsored programs include the following conditions:

  • Submission of detailed report of performance and a fiscal report subject to audit
  • Return of funds or goods not consumed
  • Confidentiality of results
  • Delivery of anything of value to the sponsor

Types of sponsored agreements include:

  • Clinical trials: Agreements that provide for the testing of a drug or device on a human subject.
  • Contracts: Financial support for a specific task, with the project usually initiated by the sponsor.  Terms and conditions, specific to the award, generally must be negotiated prior to acceptance of the contract.
  • Cooperative agreement: A financial assistance mechanism used when substantial sponsor involvement with VCU is anticipated during performance of the activities.
  • Grant: A financial assistance mechanism providing money, property, or both to VCU to carry out an approved project or activity.  A grant is used whenever the sponsor anticipates no substantial programmatic involvement with VCU during performance of the financially assisted activities.
  • Industry sponsored agreement: An agreement with VCU that involves interactions with the private sector.