Research Administration at UAA
The University of Alaska Anchorage provides administrative support to research and sponsored activities through multiple offices. In general, administrative support to researchers is available through colleges, institutes, departments or other units and through central administration.
The Office of the Vice Provost of Research and the Graduate School oversees and is an advocate for the research mission at UAA.
Central administrative support to sponsored activities is divided among two offices along the lines of pre- and post-award activities. Advice and assistance with proposals and grant applications is available through the Office of Sponsored Programs. Once a grant, contract, or other award has been made to the University, administrative support is provided through the Office of Grants and Contracts. These two offices work closely together to provide the necessary institutional support to sponsored research and other sponsored activities.
The administrative support for sponsored programs is generally the role of the Department, College, or Institute staff. This unit level of support provides assistance with proposal preparation and budget. After an award is made, the unit support provides the Principal Investigator (PI) or Program Director (PD) with management reports, Banner support including ordering and tracking purchases, and reconciling accounts, generating Travel Authorizations, timesheets, etc. The project administrator forms an important link between the PI and many of the general support services. Direct management of a sponsored project or program is the primary role of the PI or PD. This includes the day-to-day decisions regarding project execution, expenditures, ethical conduct, personnel directly responsible for the project and accountability for policies of the sponsor and institution. The duties of the PI or PD also include the completion and delivery of programmatic reports as required by the sponsoring agency.
Funds received from sponsors in support of programs are generally divided between two categories of expense, referred to as direct and indirect costs. Direct costs pay for expenses most easily accounted for, including salaries, equipment purchases, rentals, consumable supplies, etc. Other costs such as parking, janitorial services, payroll, lab construction, major equipment, etc. are covered by the institution and considered indirect costs. To recover these costs, sponsors allow the University to collect an averaged cost calculated across all sponsored activities and collected as a percentage of the direct costs minus certain categories. This is called the Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC). The University engages with the Office of Naval Research to negotiate a percentage of this cost that reflects its expenditures in support of sponsored programs. The percentage is called the F&A rate, the overhead rate, or the indirect rate. A reduced indirect rate on a project reduces the University's ability to recover costs of research support, and feeds back as reduced research infrastructure. For a listing of the most current rates, please review our Facilities and Administrative Rates page.
The institutional capacity to provide equipment and facilities in support of sponsored programs is divided between general capacities and specific program needs. General support includes providing and maintaining general infrastructure, buildings, parking, research labs, equipment, library resources, etc. Specific program needs may include specialized equipment modifications to existing spaces, facilities, or equipment. Responsibility for providing general capacities usually rests with Administrative Services, while specific program needs may be met from commitments by any administrative component or by the project or program itself.
All research conducted at the University, whether it is extramurally funded or not, is subject to the policies of the institution and may also be subject to federal regulations.
Issues of research integrity, including the ethical conduct of research, research involving human subjects or animals, chemicals, radioisotopes, and certain biological materials, are generally subject to the oversight of various committees and are considered to be within the administrative functions of the Office of the Vice Provost of Research. Click here to view information regarding Research Integrity and Compliance.