Roles in Research Administration

Principal Investigator – The primary person responsible for the technical and financial aspects of a research grant, cooperative agreement, training or service project, clinical study, contract, other sponsored project or material transfer agreement.

Department Administrator/Faculty Service Representative (FSR) – An employee responsible for providing administrative support for one or more sponsored projects.

Unit Head/Unit Approver – A University official with managerial and fiscal responsibilities for a designated area, such as department chair, center director, institute director.

Dean – A University official with managerial and fiscal responsibilities. Each school, division, or college is administered by a dean under the supervision of the Provost of the University.

Central Offices

Office of the Provost – The chief academic and administrative officer for all academic units, including the college, the divisions, schools and centers. The Provost oversees the University’s compliance with all academic research policies.

Vice President for Research and National Laboratories – Principal responsibility for oversight and management of Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory for the Department of Energy (DOE) through the UChicago Argonne, LLC and the Fermi Research Alliance, LLC. Oversees the office of University Research Administration (URA)

University Research Administration – Office designated by the University with the responsibility to review and provide institutional endorsement for all proposals to Federal and other external sponsors (excluding gifts), assuring compliance with University policies and sponsor terms and conditions. URA is the institutional authority for the negotiation and acceptance of financial support or other contractually-binding obligations in the form of a contract, grant, or agreement, including material transfer agreements and clinical trials. URA is the authorized institutional official for post-award actions necessitating agency approvals: change in P.I., rebudgeting, no-cost extension, progress reports, etc.

URA has supervision over the financial records and accounts of the University. The Associate Vice President is responsible for keeping proper books of accounts adequately setting forth the financial condition and transactions of the University and shall devise proper methods of accounting and internal controls for all departments of the University.

Office of Legal Counsel – Provides guidance pertaining to compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including export controls and trade sanctions. Must review and approve any request for indemnification by the University.