Sponsored Programs Guidance on Industry Contracts Relating to Oversight Management Plans

Federally-funded Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are designed to stimulate innovations that encourage domestic small businesses to engage in research and development that has the potential for commercialization. SBIRs and STTRs are awarded directly to small businesses which may issue a subcontract to MU. In addition, MU faculty may hold an equity position in the small business.

Contracting with faculty owned start-up companies pose unique challenges to manage conflicts of interest (COI) for our faculty.  In addition, there is increased financial risk anytime MU contracts with a small business. Therefore, additional controls have been implemented to decrease risk for MU and to assist our Faculty in managing SBIR and STTR projects when an equity position is held with the small business.

All sponsors set up in Peoplesoft connected to a COI Oversight Management Plan (OMP) will be identified by a “COI Review” attribute. The Office of Sponsored Programs Administration (OSPA) will work with the COI office to ensure we maintain an updated list of companies connected to an OMP.

OSPA Pre-Award staff will seek approval from the Associate Director or Director of OSPA prior to processing a letter of Intent, proposal, or execute a contract for any sponsor identified with a “COI Review” attribute. The Associate Director will ensure that no outstanding receivables for sponsored agreements or licensing agreements exist. In addition, the Director will confirm that there are not any outstanding conflicts that need to be managed, prior to submission.

Payment terms on sponsored Agreements will be on a fixed payment schedule, requiring a substantial amount of the contract funding when the agreement is executed. In addition, payment terms will specify that payment is due within 30 days.

The Associate Director will monitor a report created to identify invoices outstanding for any sponsor identified with the “COI Review” attribute. If a receivable is outstanding at 30 days, a notification is sent to the PI, Department Chair, Dean and relevant fiscal officer. In addition, the sponsor will be contacted regarding the outstanding invoice.

If a receivable is outstanding for 45 days, OSPA will work with the fiscal officer to close down the project and MoCode to prevent future spending, until payment is received.

OSPA participates in the COI oversight management meetings and will communicate and review payment terms for agreements with MU PIs.
It is the obligation and responsibility of MU faculty, departmental research staff, and OSPA staff to identify problematic situations that they encounter during administration of sponsored project agreements. If there is any situation that stands out as unusual or potentially problematic, the Associate Director or Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs Administration should be consulted.