Sponsored Programs Policies and Compliance

Mount Mary University’s Development Office and Business Office work together to partner with faculty and staff to provide support, oversight and administration at all stages of sponsored projects while promoting responsible stewardship of funds and sound management practices.  The information outlined here provides guidance regarding federal policies and regulations, as well as Mount Mary University’s pre- and post award policies and regulations.

Federal policies and regulations

Mount Mary University policies and regulations

Federal Policies and Regulations

Federal sponsors, responding to legislative initiatives concerned with issues of social and fiscal accountability, have attached a variety of regulatory requirements to government assistance programs which must be satisfied in advance of, or during, the conduct of a funded project. These requirements usually call for special review processes to ensure compliance with applicable federal, state, and/or institutional regulations, as attested to by the signature of the Principal Investigator and/or the University's authorizing official.

Debarment, Suspension, and Delinquent Debt

The University must certify that it is not delinquent on the repayment of any federal debt before an award can be made. In addition, the Principal Investigator is individually required to certify that s/he is neither debarred nor suspended from doing business with the federal government. Affirmation is made by completing and signing the Mount Mary University Fundraising Initiation Form. Affirmation of nondebarment and nonsuspension for the principals of the University is made by the signature of the University's authorizing official.

Drug-Free Workplace

In compliance with applicable laws and with the Drug Free Workplace Act and the Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, Mount Mary University hereby notifies its employees that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of controlled substances is prohibited in or on Mount Mary University owned or controlled property.  A violation of this policy by a Mount Mary University employee will be reason for mandatory evaluation/treatment for the substance use disorder and/or for disciplinary action up to and including the termination of employment.  Mount Mary University will make a good faith effort to ensure a drug-free workplace.


If any employee is convicted of any criminal drug statute violation that occurred in the workplace, that employee must inform the President's office of the conviction within 5 days under penalty of immediate dismissal.  The University will then take the following actions:

a. In the case of a first conviction, the University reserves the right to suspend or dismiss any employee whose conviction could, in the judgment of the President, cause disruption to the University's operation.

b. Ordinarily in the case of a first conviction, the offender will be required in writing by the President's office to have a medical evaluation of the drug-related condition.  If a drug abuse problem is diagnosed, the employee will be given the choice of participating in an approved treatment program, in a non-pay status and at his or her own expense, or of being dismissed.

c. In the case of a second conviction, the offender's employment will be terminated.


Federal rules prohibit the use of federal funds to influence officials of Congress and Executive Branch agencies in connection with a specific award. Mount Mary University does not participate in, organize, or utilize University funds for lobbying activities.

Civil Rights

Mount Mary University is committed to ensuring that civil rights are not violated either purposefully or inadvertently. This extends to the rights of persons with disabilities, and discrimination based on sex or age. Moreover, it is the responsibility of all University personnel to avoid discrimination and of University management to take appropriate action as an equal opportunity employer.


It is the policy of Mount Mary University to prohibit discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment based on an individual’s race, religion, color, sex, national origin, age, physical or mental disability; status as a disabled veteran, a recently separated veteran, an Armed Forces service medal veteran, another protected veteran; or any other protected group status.

Accordingly, all employment decisions shall be consistent with the principle of Equal Employment Opportunity.  To implement this policy, Mount Mary University will:

  1. Recruit, hire, train and promote qualified persons in all job titles, without regard to race, religion, color, sex, national origin, age, disability, protected veterans’ status or any other protected group status.
  2. Base employment decisions so as to further the principle of Equal Employment Opportunity.
  3. Ensure that employment decisions are in accord with principles of Equal Employment Opportunity by imposing only valid job requirements.
  4. Ensure that all personnel actions such as compensation, benefits, transfers, promotions, University-sponsored training, education, tuition benefits, and social and recreational programs, will be administered without regard to race, religion, color, sex, national origin, age, disability, protected veterans’ status or any other protected group status.

Employees and applicants for employment will not be subjected to harassment, intimidation, threats, coercion or discrimination because they have engaged or may engage in filing a complaint, assisted or participated in an investigation, compliance investigation, hearing, or any other activity related to the administration of this policy, or have otherwise sought to obtain their legal rights under, or opposed any act or practice made unlawful under any federal, state or local employment law.

Overall responsibility for the implementation of this policy is delegated to the Director of Human Resources.

Conflict of Interest

Conflict of interest situations arise when employees or representatives of the University use, or appear to be able to use, their positions for private gain for themselves or others. Mount Mary’s policy is housed in the President’s Office. View the current policy titled Guideline for Business Conduct.

Objectivity in Research (NIH, NSF)

In addition to the Guideline for Business Conduct policy, the Public Health Service (PHS), which includes the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation require applicant organizations to certify that the institution has written and enforced administrative policies for identifying, managing, and reporting the significant outside financial interests of principal project staff. In cases where no significant outside financial interest exists, this certification may be made on the Mount Mary University Fundraising Initiation Form. Where this certification cannot be made, the Principal Investigator and/or other key personnel must complete the Significant Financial Interest Disclosure form. View Mount Mary University’s policy on Objectivity in Research.

Human Subjects

Mount Mary University's Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the Protection of Human Subjects is responsible for reviewing all human subject research studies. The mission of the IRB is to minimize risks and to maximize the potential for benefit from human subjects who participate in research. The IRB’s decisions are based on the Code of Federal Regulations (45 CRF 46), Wisconsin State Laws, and Mount Mary University Policies.  The IRB is a standing committee whose members are approved by the President and is comprised of faculty, staff, and community representatives. The IRB is responsible to the President and submits an annual report and executive summary of its activities. For additional information, please see Chapter 5 of the Faculty Handbook.

Any Mount Mary University student or employee who intends to conduct research involving human subjects for research or instructional purposes must complete and submit the IRB Application for Review. The purpose of the review is to facilitate faculty, staff, and student research projects and to ensure that human subjects are protected from undue risk and fully informed about the process. It is expected that most IRB proposals that are submitted will meet the criteria for exemption from full Board review. 

MMU employee login information is required to access MMU's IRB application and other information.


The Department of Health and Human Services has provided some basic Federal guidelines as to the usage and disclosure of private medical information. In the process of managing grants, principle investigators are made aware of this legislation and its possible impact on their grant project. View the NIH's Booklet for Research regarding HIPAA.


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education, as does Mount Mary University. Principle Investigators are encouraged to read through the synopsis of these guidelines on the U.S. Department of Education's web page and think about how it may apply to how they use or disclose student educational information in the activities of their grant project.

Use of Animals in Research

The University is not authorized to conduct research projects involving animal subjects.

Institutional Integrity (Misconduct in Science)

The University has established procedures for responding to inquiries regarding the conduct of research and for investigating, reporting, and dealing with any such situations which may arise. That policy is procedurally implemented via the Provost for Academic Affairs. View the misconduct in science policy.

US Office of Management and Budget Circulars 

The federal government, through the Office of Management and Budget, has developed a document which streamlines the Federal government's guidance on Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal awards and dictates the manner in which grant and contract funds may be expended by educational institutions. Mount Mary University abides by these regulations and guidelines.

Federal Acquisition Regulations

The Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) governs all federal procurement for goods and services. In some instances, individual agencies have amended the FAR to meet their agency needs.

Export Control

The U.S. government regulates the transfer of information, commodities, technology, and software considered to be strategically important to the U.S. in the interest of national security, economic and/or foreign policy concerns. There is a complicated network of federal agencies and inter-related regulations that govern exports collectively referred to as “Export Controls.” In brief, Export Controls regulate the shipment or transfer, by whatever means, of controlled items, software, technology, or services out of U.S. (termed an “Export”). Perhaps of even more consequence to the University, is that the government also restricts the release of certain information to foreign nationals here in the U.S. (referred to as a “Deemed Export”). Export Controls have the potential to severely limit the research opportunities of University faculty and their students and staff, as well as to prevent international collaboration in certain research areas. Non-compliance with export controls can result in severe monetary and criminal penalties against both an individual as well as the University, and can result in the loss of research contracts, governmental funding, and the ability to export items.

Mount Mary University currently does not participate in sponsored program activities that require export controls. Learn more about export controls and the types of activities that might trigger export control issues.


Copyrights/Publications, Software, Patents, and Inventions

In accordance with the custom of institutions of higher learning, the right of first publication shall be the property of the author unless the copyrightable material resulted from an assisted or assigned project, or unless the terms of the grant or contract specify otherwise.

Discoveries or inventions that, in the judgment of the Principal Investigator, appear to be patentable must be brought to the attention of the University, which will determine whether and to what extent the University has a property interest in the discovery or invention. In addition, federal patent law requires that all employees file with the University an agreement that they will report any inventions made during the course of a federally funded project and assign rights to the institution. View Mount Mary University's copyright policy.

Classified Research

The University does not accept funding of research projects that (1) restrict publication of the results of the project or (2) prohibit the free exchange of ideas. However, it is recognized that contracts and grants may legitimately vest proprietary rights in products or by-products and that the investigator may be required to protect these rights against disclosure.

The practice of many sponsors is to require that results and reports be submitted to the sponsors for their information, review and comment before publication. This practice is viewed by the University as being normal and legitimate provided that such comment time does not prevent publication for more than sixty (60) days. Contractual language that provides for sponsor review and approval shall not be accepted by Mount Mary University.

University Affiliation for Project Director

In view of the substantial responsibility inherent in the Principal Investigator's position, the named Principal Investigator/Project Director should be a full-time member of the faculty or professional staff, or be a full-time administrative officer of the University. In some cases a faculty member under a percentage employment agreement or temporary employee whose appointment is the term of their grant period of performance may be supported in the role of PI/PD as suits the University's mission.

Intergovernmental Personnel Assignment Agreements

Under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) of 1970, University faculty and staff may arrange to work with government agencies for a temporary period, or federal government employees may arrange to work at the University. Since such assignments may incur commitments and liability on the part of the University, IPA's must be signed by an authorized University official.

To insure accuracy and completeness, all IPA's must be processed and submitted through the Development Office to the appropriate agency. The IPA should be forwarded with a Mount Mary University Fundraising Initiation Form, and be signed by the appropriate department, college, and University officials with an acknowledgment of any cost-sharing commitments that may be required.

Personnel Expenses

As a recipient of federal funds, the University must comply with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (“Uniform Guidance”) as well as other federal requirements for certifying effort expended on sponsored awards. MMU requires all individuals who receive federal sponsored funding to comply with institutional policies and sponsoring agency regulations regarding the proposing, charging, and reporting of effort on those awards. 

MMU faculty and staff are expected to charge their time to sponsored awards commensurate with the committed effort expended on all activities they perform. All individuals who receive any compensation from a federal award or a non-federal award where the non-federal sponsor requires effort reporting (“Sponsored Projects”) are required to certify their effort. This process ensures that salaries and wages are properly expended and that actual effort is consistent with the committed and budgeted effort.

A. Effort reports shall reasonably reflect the percentage distribution of effort expended by MMU employees involved in Sponsored Projects. The Effort Report must represent, in percentages totaling 100%, a reasonable estimate of an employee’s effort for the period being reported. These reports shall reasonably reflect the activity for which the employee is compensated and shall encompass all activities on an integrated basis. “Effort” includes all research, teaching, administration, service, and any other activity for which an individual received compensation from MMU. Note: Section 200.430(c) states, “It is recognized that teaching, research, service, and administration are often inextricably intermingled in an academic setting. When recording salaries and wages charged to Federal awards for IHEs [Institutions of Higher Education], a precise assessment of factors that contribute to costs is therefore not always feasible, nor is it expected.”

B. Each employee whose time is partially or fully committed to a federally Sponsored Project is required to complete reporting forms and provide them to the lead grant coordinator. The coordinator will individually approve each form and submit the completed reporting forms to the Business Office electronically. Depending on the effort of commitment to the project and appointment at MMU, an effort reporting form will be submitted either quarterly or monthly. Reporting is required regardless of whether such time is paid by the sponsor, or is an unpaid contribution, i.e. cost share match. Committed cost sharing must be included in effort reports.

C. Reporting is required regardless of whether such time is paid by the sponsor, or is an unpaid contribution, i.e. cost share match. Committed cost sharing must be included in effort reports.  Faculty and Administration employees are paid on a monthly basis and will be required to complete the Effort Report and certification documentation quarterly.  Students and staff employees are paid on a semi-monthly basis and will also be required to submit Effort reporting documentation quarterly.

D. MMU uses an “after-the-fact” effort reporting system to certify that salaries charged or cost-shared to Sponsored Projects are reasonable and consistent with the work performed. This indicates that the distribution of salaries and wages will be supported by activity reports signed by the employee and certified by a responsible person with suitable means of verification that the work was performed, generally the Principal Investigator (PI), at the end of the specified reporting periods. Effort reports shall be incorporated into the records of MMU and retained in accordance with the sponsor regulations and/or MMU’s Records Retention schedule.  These documents will be filed in the Business Office with the official grant documentation.

E. The federal government can impose severe penalties and funding disallowances as a result of missing, inaccurate, incomplete, or untimely effort reporting. MMU expects that PIs will complete Effort Reports in a timely manner. Consequences to not doing so may include, at the discretion of the administration, withholding submission of a new grant proposal and/or or withholding compensation on effort expended. MMU also reserves the right to charge cost disallowances on Sponsored Projects resulting from the PI’s failure to submit appropriate Effort Reports to the departmental operating account.

Allowable Costs

All expenditures incurred under NSF cost-reimbursable grants are governed by federal regulations and must conform to NSF policies, grant special provisions and grantee internal policies. In general, NSF grantees should ensure that all costs claimed under NSF grants are allowable, allocable, reasonable and necessary, as defined by 2 CFR §200, Subpart E - Cost Principles, NSF policy, and/or the program solicitation. For-profit organizations and small businesses should continue to use the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) Subpart 31.2 to determine the types of costs that may be considered allowable uses of federal grant funds. Both 2 CFR §200.400 and FAR Subpart 31.2 detail the types of costs that cannot be incurred by federal awards, either as direct or indirect costs. A few examples of these costs are alcoholic beverages, certain types of advertising, entertainment/amusement, bad debts, contributions and donations, fines, and penalties.

Participant Support

Participant Mount Mary University (MMU) defines participant support as the cost of transportation, per diem, stipends (scholarships), and other related costs for participants or trainees (but not employees) in association with conferences, meetings, symposia, training activities and workshops. Participant support may not be used by grantees for other categories of expenses without the specific, prior written approval. MMU accounts for participant support costs separately in its accounting system. This is typically accomplished through the use of separate general ledger accounts. MMU will document participant support costs and record these costs separately in its accounting system.

Sponsored Programs

View Mount Mary University's policy on sponsored programs.


Submit the Sponsored Programs Acknowledgement Form

If you are a Principal Investigator or Project Manager for a federal grant, submit the sponsored programs policies and compliance form.