Sponsored projects are externally-funded activities in which a formal written agreement, i.e., a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement, is entered into by Stanford University and the sponsor. The primary source of information and financial services for sponsored research funds is the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR).

For information about the concept of a fund and all fund types, refer to Fund Types.

All spending of funds is guided by a common set of principles found at Proper Use of Funds. Additional considerations for sponsored research funds are described on this page.

OSR provides pre-award and post-award administrative services for sponsored projects. They collaborate with partner groups in other central and school offices to coordinate research administration services, systems, and processes. They review and endorse sponsored projects proposals, negotiate and accept awards, and issue subawards on behalf of Stanford. In addition, they establish accounts in the financial system and fulfill the sponsor's financial reporting requirements. Refer to Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) on the DoResearch website for more information.

Stanford policy is that revenue recognition needs to be in line with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). For details of how that works for sponsored research revenue, refer to Policy: Revenue Recognition - Sponsored Research.
For policy guidance on the expenditure of restricted funds, which by definition includes sponsored research funding, refer to Administrative Guide Policy 3.2.1: Responsibility for University Funds - Section 4: Expenditures of Restricted Funds.

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