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last updated 12/02/10
Recognizing Northwestern's growing interest in international projects
and the importance of such projects for achieving institutional goals,
yet needing to respond to the complex issues that arise, policies and
guiding principles have been devised. For purposes of this policy statement,
an international project is one that is sponsored by a foreign government
or by a private entity based in a foreign nation, irrespective of where
the work is to be performed.
As it does for other sponsored projects, the Office for Sponsored Research (OSR) serves as the point of contact for faculty interested in submitting a proposal to an international sponsor. OSR's initial role is to determine the feasibility of moving ahead with proposal development. Risk Management, the Office of General Counsel, the Controller, and other University offices may be asked to participate in this process. Sufficient time should be provided to allow for the necessary internal analysis. OSR should be provided with a rationale for the activity and a budget outline. Please note: in order to allow sufficient time for the review and endorsement process of international projects, the internal proposal submission deadline is 10 business days prior to the sponsor deadline.
OSR will then prepare a project assessment for the Vice President for
Research. The Vice President may gather such other information as is deemed
relevant to protect the originating unit, individual interests, or the
University. Once approved, the proposal will be processed through OSR
in accordance with established procedures and should include the written
endorsement of the chairperson and dean or center director on the OSR-1
form, Statement of Commitments and Endorsement of a Proposal for a Sponsored
Project. OSR will provide guidance on the preparation of the budget. The
nonfederal indirect cost rate should be used. If an off-campus component
is contemplated, the budget should clearly identify the on- and off-campus
costs, and the correct indirect cost rate should be applied to each. If
a foreign sponsor declines to pay full overhead on this basis, any shortfall
should normally be included as a direct cost to the sponsor in the form
of rent, services, or project administration and will be recovered internally
in the same manner as indirect cost. An authorized institutional signature
by a designated OSR official or the Vice President for Research must be
obtained before the proposal is submitted to the sponsor.
OSR is the only institutional office authorized to negotiate with the foreign sponsor on behalf of the University. The following terms will be included in agreements with foreign sponsors:
When an international agreement is negotiated successfully, a University account will be established with the following conditions:
Proposals involving projects to be completed outside the United States should be developed with a clear understanding of the cultural setting of the country in which the project is to be undertaken. Because the financial and legal exposures in undertaking international projects may be significant, OSR will make every effort to assist the project director in understanding and reducing the financial and other risks that may be identified.
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