UVM receives funding in support of research, service, and instructional projects from numerous funders, typically in the form of a sponsored project or a gift. Both sponsored projects and gift-funded activities are externally-supported, with funds typically provided in response to a request or proposal. There are a number of characteristics of a sponsored project and a gift that are similar in nature, including the presence of F&A or indirect costs or use of human subjects, vertebrate animals, or biohazardous materials.

Sponsored Projects are managed thru UVM’s Sponsored Project Administration Office. Gifts are managed thru UVM’s Foundation. Below are some guiding principles to help direct you to the correct office.


If you have questions about which office to work with, please contact Sponsored Project Administration (SPA) at spa@uvm.edu or call 656-3360.

Sponsored Projects

A sponsored project is either a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement, with a formal written agreement between UVM and the sponsor. Sponsored funding may be from a Federal, State, or local government, non-profit organizations, and any number of commercial, industrial, or private entities.  Sponsored Project Administration assists with proposal development, proposal submission, award closeout, and sponsored project compliance activities and manages the award acceptance, financial reporting, billing, and invoicing activities associated with sponsored projects.

Characteristics of a Sponsored Project

Note that the funding need not meet all of the below criteria to be considered a sponsored project.

  • Statement of work
  • Detailed financial accountability
    • Project plan with a line-item budget, including budgetary restrictions at the line item level;
    • Specified period of performance;
    • Cost reimbursable accounting, with the requirement to return any unspent funds at the end of the period of performance;
    • Detailed financial reporting;
    • Accountability under the terms of the Uniform Guidance
    • Effort reporting requirement.
  • Regulatory compliance requirements, including:
  • Restrictive provisions related to intellectual property rights or publications

Gifts

A gift is an item of value given to the University by a donor or donor organization, which expects recognition and disposition of the gift in accordance with the donor’s wishes. A gift may be accompanied by an agreement that restricts funds to a particular purpose but does not impose other contractual requirements beyond proper stewardship. The University of Vermont Foundation is responsible for processing gifts, which are eligible for charitable tax deduction and may have restrictions that are typically general in nature.

Characteristics of a Gift

Note that the funding need not meet all of the below criteria to be considered a gift.

  • Charitable tax deduction, including events marketed as “Proceeds to Benefit _________ ."

  • Typically does not require “deliverables” to the donor, for example, no rights to tangible or intellectual property.

  • Typically does not contain a specified period of performance.

  • May require a financial report but typically does not require formal fiscal accountability beyond periodic progress reports and summary reports of expenditures.

  • Does not require cost reimbursable accounting.

The following characteristics or provisions have no bearing on determining whether funding is a sponsored project or a gift:

  • Presence of a timeline defined and controlled by the University or Foundation.

  • Presence of a budget defined and controlled by the University or Foundation.

  • Presence or absence of F&A costs or gift fees defined by the University or Foundation.

  • Competitive award process.