Faculty Consulting

An individual is determined to be working in the capacity of a Professional Consultant when the activity is performed and compensated directly to the individual as a result of their expertise or prominence in his/her field, but not while acting in an official capacity as a Samford University faculty member. These arrangements cannot use Samford resources or students.

Professional consulting agreements for faculty members who provide services as consultants on their own time and for their own account are distinct from Other Sponsored Projects and will be governed by School Deans under Faculty Handbook Outside Responsibilities.

Other Sponsored Projects

Projects under which faculty agree to provide specified services or “deliverables” and that do not fall squarely within the traditional framework of research or teaching activities, but utilize Samford University facilities and resources, incorporate Samford University students, require the participation of the institution due to it’s status as a 501(c)3, or other requirements which prevent the individual from acting outside of their faculty role. While these agreements may have research or scholarly benefits, those are a secondary aspect, not the primary purpose of the activity.

By way of illustration, but without limitation, services that faculty may seek to provide under the auspices of Samford University may include:

  • Performing an evaluation or assessment of an external program, such as an educational program or public health initiative;
  • Establishing rating criteria, such as standards for measuring health or safety outcomes;
  • Providing technical assistance to a foreign government in areas such as social, health or economic services;
  • Assisting a city government in its urban planning.

All projects meeting the definition of Other Sponsored Projects fall under the purview of Office of Sponsored Programs and will be governed by the institutional policies on sponsored programs. Governance of Other Sponsored Projects by the Office of Sponsored Programs ensures that all externally funded projects are treated consistently. As with grant agreements, the terms and conditions contained in Other Sponsored Research agreements must be reviewed and determined to be acceptable to the University and comply with state, federal, sponsor-specific, and University regulations and policies and that the appropriate administrative approvals are obtained. The Office of Sponsored Programs will function as the central repository for all original documentation regarding other sponsored projects. All projects meeting the definition of Other Sponsored Projects will be treated as restricted funding and maintained in a manner consistent with the institutional accounting policies for restricted funds.

Relationship between University Advancement and The Office of Research

There are two departments within Samford University that support programs with external funding, from foundation, government, and corporate sources—University Advancement (UA) and the Office of Research (OR). All proposals to external funding entities must be submitted in partnership with one of these offices, not by individual faculty members. The following guidelines will help determine whether funding, if received, might be considered a gift (to be processed through UA) or a sponsored program (to be processed through OR).

An overarching goal of Samford University is to manage the funds entrusted to us with the most appropriate methods. Regardless of the office initiating the submission, awards made to the University will be reviewed upon receipt and the most appropriate office to service the award will be tasked with the responsibility. The determination will be made by both offices working in close collaboration.

Checklists Depicting Criteria for Gifts (UA) and for Sponsored Programs (OR).

Gift Proposals meet the following guidelines:

  • The donor is providing general financial support, typically from an organization such as a foundation, corporation, or trade association.
  • The funding typically comes due to a relationship rather than a competitive solicitation.
  • The donor is not receiving anything in return for financial support (no quid pro quo or contractual obligations).
  • The University provides stewardship to the donor during the gift period and/or after all funding has been distributed.
  • The University owns any results, research, or intellectual property produced as a result of the funding.

Sponsored Project Proposals conform to the following requirements:

  • All government support is considered a sponsored project.
  • Support that includes a contract or specific deliverable to the funder.
  • Any funding that requires an audit, such as an A133, or government regulation.
  • Proposals submitted in response to a general solicitation that will have a competitive review of the project’s merit.
  • Proposals that include assurances of compliance regarding use of human subjects, animals, biohazards, and other laws and regulations.
  • Projects in which the proprietary results belong to the funder or have a commercial value for the sponsor.