Service Level Agreement


This Service Level Agreement is between the Office of Research and University of Kansas campus partners (e.g., faculty, research scientists, students engaged in research, staff) to create a shared understanding of a) goals, objectives and shared responsibilities of the staff providing services in the areas of research administration, research finance and research integrity and b) individuals receiving service from the Office of Research.

The Office of Research provides a wide variety of services in these areas; services deemed most impactful by the Research Advisory Board are included in this initial agreement. This agreement will evolve as campus needs are assessed and processes are updated to meet those needs.

Roles and responsibilities 

  • All parties commit to engaging in a positive, productive, and professional manner.
  • All parties commit to act in accordance with the roles and responsibilities outlined in this document and the expectations of their KU position.

Office of Research staff:

  • Office of Research staff shall conduct business in a courteous and professional manner.
  • Office of Research staff service goals shall be to meet the service expectation and commitments outlined in the Service Level Agreement.
  • Office of Research will make metrics related to the commitments available to the Office of Research’s experience counsel/advisory board.

Campus partners (faculty, staff, affiliates and students):

  • Campus partners shall use the processes defined in this agreement to request help and service.
  • Campus partners shall respond to inquiries from Office of Research staff regarding questions on service requests.
  • Campus partners shall adhere to and comply with all applicable University of Kansas policies, procedures, and systems for the duration of this SLA.

Service details

Proposal preparation

Pre-Award Services facilitates the proposal process for external research funding at the KU Lawrence campus by providing assistance in preparing competitive proposals to all external sponsors for principal investigators who are not affiliated with a research center or unit that has dedicated proposal support. The Pre-Award Services preparer, working with the PI, will:

  • Analyze the solicitation, complete the representations and certifications, and coordinate the entire proposal.
  • Help prepare the budget, including assist with obtaining commitment letters for required matching funds, services or support.
  • Confirm subrecipient commitments.
  • Facilitate review of contract requirements and submission of exception letters by Contract Negotiations.
  • Assist with online registration and electronic proposal submissions.
  • Prepare agency application forms.
  • Assemble the proposal and review text for compliance issues and agency requirements.
  • All steps included in Proposal Review, Approval & Submission

Service expectation and commitment:

  • PIs must request preparation assistance at least 15 business days prior to the sponsor deadline.

    • Pre-Award will complete the preparation in 10 business days after receiving draft materials/information from PI.
    • Pre-Award will complete proposal review, approval, and submission within 5 business days of budget finalization.

Pre-Award preparation staff member will be assigned within 2 business days of assistance request received at kucrpremgmt@lists.ku.edu.

Proposal review, approval & submission

Pre-Award Services (or a research center with delegated authority) must review and approve all sponsored project proposals prior to submission to sponsor. This review ensures the accuracy and compliance of proposed budgets, the proposed scope of work, and all other submitted materials with applicable federal regulations, university policies and sponsor guidelines. Pre-Award Services reviewers, working with the PI or a designated research center’s proposal preparation staff, will: 

  • Check proposals for compliance with federal, state, university, and agency guidelines.
  • Review budgets for accuracy.
  • Verify commitments for required matching funds, services, or support, including subrecipient commitments.
  • Implement the review and signature process and provide the institutional signature.
  • Provide assistance with online registration and electronic proposal submissions.
  • Facilitate hard-copy submissions when required, including prepare the appropriate number of proposal copies.
  • Assist with after-submission data requests.

Service expectation and commitment:

  • PIs and designated research center proposal staff are requested to submit a request for proposal review 5 business days prior to the deadline with all proposal materials completed for review.

Pre-Award review staff member will be assigned within 2 business days of assistance request received at kucrpremgmt@lists.ku.edu

Negotiating/executing sponsored agreements

Contract Negotiation staff work with sponsor contracting staff and the principal investigator responsible for the scope of work covered by the agreement to negotiate terms benefiting the PI and The University of Kansas.

Service expectation and commitment:

  • Contract officer will contact the principal investigator within 4 business days of receiving notice of agreement to negotiate.
  • Contract officer will provide red line agreement to PI at least 4 business days before negotiating with sponsor and will be available during this period to discuss or answer questions on suggested agreement edits.

The PI is responsible for providing information and or/feedback requested by contract officer to complete agreement negotiation.

Award set-up/sponsor action processing

Research Administration, Research Compliance and Award Processing Services (APS) collaborate to receive all new award actions (Notice of Award, Additional/Reduction in Time and/or Funds, Changes in Award Personnel and/or Terms and Conditions, etc.), ensure compliance approvals are in place, enter the award information in the KU enterprise financial system, and notify campus of the action.

Service expectation and commitment:

  • Award intake staff will ensure PI is alerted of sponsor award notification, if not copied on sponsor notification, within 2 business days of receipt.
  • Award intake and compliance checking will be completed within 5 business days of action notification if all required documentation* is available. Notification will proceed to APS processing queue after intake and compliance checking is complete.
  • APS will process award actions within 15 business days, of receipt of notification their queue, of agency action notification or internal request for financial action, as long as all required documentation* is complete. Principal investigators are responsible for working with KU Research to ensure required documentation is complete.
  • PIs, and their support staff, are responsible for ensuring requirement documentation is available and for alerting Office of Research about award notices they receive directly.

*Require documentation: completed Pre-Award review and approval (Streamlyne record) including an approved budget that matches agency document, fully executed agreement or modification (if applicable) and completed compliance requirements/approvals.

Sponsor invoicing

The Post-Award Services Invoicing Team processes all accounts payable invoices for sponsored projects based on costs processed in the financial system and the award terms for invoice issuance. The Invoicing Team also follows up on outstanding open invoices to ensure prompt sponsor payment.

Service expectation and commitment:

  • The Invoicing Team will issue system-generated invoices for all quarterly and monthly cost reimbursable awards in the month specified by the award document (unless no costs have posted in the system).
  • The Invoicing Team will issue system-generated invoices for all fixed price and milestone agreements that have an invoice due based on date or milestone completion in the month required by the award document.
  • The Invoicing Team will follow up during monthly billing process with sponsor on any invoice 60 calendar days past invoice issuance date for which payment has not been received from sponsor.

Accounts payable

Audit and approve contract and noncontract AP invoices and non-PO invoices for payment ensuring allowability, exception resolution, document matching, withholding, and reporting.

Service expectation and commitment:

  • Audit and approve all AP invoices within *5-7 business days of receipt. 
  • Audit and approve all travel expense reports within business *5-7 days receipt.
  • Audit and approve cash advance requests within *1-2 days of receipt.
  • Audit and approve all p-card expense reports within business *5-7 days of receipt.
  • Resolve validation issues within *10 business days of receipt.

*Service level expectations are based on the day that all complete and accurate documentation is provided. These are the timelines for the Office of Research staff, not including processing time in other offices, such as the Finance SSC or research centers.

P-card management

Manage new p-card applications, increase credit and transaction limits, international purchases, monitor fraud activity, close p-cards.

Service expectation and commitment:

  • Approve p-card requests 2 business days.
  • Submit p-card request to bank 1 business day.
  • Contact cardholder for mailing new cards and place in mail 3 business days.
  • Modification (credit limits, transaction limits and international purchase) to cards as requested 1 business day.
  • Amber Road reports as needed.
  • Process renewal cards-contact cardholders for mailing addresses, set up pick up times 3 days.

Reconcile statement/monthly balance to payments issued to bank 1-3 days from month end.

Subcontract invoice payment

Invoices relating to work performed by an entity who is a subrecipient on a project. Before payment, it is required that there is a subrecipient contract, funds have been encumbered and the PI has reviewed and approved the invoice.

Service expectation and commitment:

  • Paid within *30 calendar days of receipt.

*Service level expectations require a signed contract, funding availability, and PI approval.

Requisition/PO

Audit and approve requisition by accounting services staff

Service and expectation commitment:

  • Requisition/POs are audited for allowability.
  • Requisition/POs are audited for funding.
  • Requisition/POs are audited for required documentation.
  • Requisition/POs are audited for amount.
  • Requisition/POs are audited for asset.
  • Approvals are processed within *1-2 days.

*Service level expectations are based on the day that all complete and accurate documentation is provided from SSC.

Conflict of interest management

Implement management plans for identified conflicts.

  • Gather information from discloser to draft an appropriate plan.
  • Review proposed project at time of submission; if related to disclosures send proposal to plan monitor to approve a plan amendment if the award is received. Convey review result to Pre-Award to enter in Streamlyne.
  • Ensure management plan is in place to mitigate a conflict prior to release of award funds.
  • Report conflicts as required to sponsors.

Service expectation and commitment:

  • If no plan is in place and if award is imminent or has been received, implement interim management plan within *5 business days of identification.
  • COI committee will review permanent plan, agreed to by discloser and plan monitor, within 60 days (by regulation); report to sponsor, as necessary.
  • Add a new conflicting research project to MP within *5 business days, report to sponsor, as necessary.

*5-day timeline is for interim plans and straightforward amendments. Complex situations requiring a change such as finalizing a business service agreement or a previously undisclosed conflicts may take longer.

Human subjects (HRPP) approval

Approval of human research protocol submissions

  • Review according to regulations and determine appropriate level of review, including whether full board review is required.
  • Ensure study team have completed required training.
  • Communicate clarifications or modifications required to obtain approval.
  • Provide approval notification and stamped consent forms.

Service expectation and commitment:

  • Initial review of application and response to investigator within *5-7 business days of submission
  • Approval processed within *1-2 business days after application is complete and all clarifications are satisfactory.

*Total time from submission to approval depends on completeness of the application (number of clarifications to be resolved) and whether full board review is required.

Information resources

Human Subjects (HRPP), Conflict of Interest, Animal Care and Use, Research restrictions, Responsible Conduct of Research

Guidance on requirements and topical presentations

Service expectation and commitment:

  • Respond within *1 business day on phone and email inquiries.
  • Accommodate requests to make class or group presentations on compliance areas as available.

*1 business day is for an initial response. Inquiries that require research may take longer to resolve.

Restricted research (RR) applications for exemption

Facilitate RR application workflow and track applications and determinations.

  • Process and post materials for RR committee review.
  • Check on progress of review. Provide or obtain additional information, as necessary. Prompt committee for determination.
  • Provide committee’s determination to investigator, contracts.  Report to University Governance.

Service expectation and commitment:

  • Post materials for review within 1-2 business days of receipt.
  • As necessary, prompt committee to make a determination within the policy timeline of 2 weeks.
  • Notify individuals of approval within 1 day of committee finalizing the approval document.