Confidentiality of Proposals and Awards
To describe relevant procedures for requesting access to copies of proposals submitted to external funding agencies and any corresponding award documents.
Any person internal or external to KU requesting copies of unfunded or funded proposals or corresponding award documents.
Proposals submitted to external funding agencies may sometimes include proprietary or confidential information. Sponsors generally require panel reviewers for proposals submitted to federal sponsors to sign confidentiality agreements preventing the unapproved disclosure of any material included in a proposal submitted for their review. The Office of Research also understands the potential confidentiality of the information that may be included in any proposal reviewed through normal channels at the University. As a result, this policy will provide guidance for sharing any portion of an unfunded proposal or funded proposal and corresponding award information held in this office.
The scientific justification section of unfunded proposals is presumed to be confidential. Therefore, the Office of Research will only provide access to unfunded proposals to KU administrators with a legitimate need to review the proposal and to individuals named in the proposal who are deemed essential to the project. These would include (1) any named Principal Investigator (PI), (2) Project Director (PD), (3) Co-Principal Investigator/Project Director (Co-PI or Co-PD), or (4) any faculty or faculty-equivalent named on the proposal with effort devoted (paid or cost-shared) to the project. The Office of Research will grant these individuals electronic access to the Proposal Review Sheet and to the final proposal itself.
In general the Office of Research will not release proposals to individuals not named on the project in question as described in the above paragraph. If someone not named on the project requests access to an unfunded proposal, and Office of Research personnel determine that that individual has a valid reason to request such access, they will first notify the Primary Principal Investigator of the request to ascertain whether there are any confidentiality issues which should be considered prior to releasing a copy of the proposal. The Vice Chancellor for Research retains the final authority to determine whether some or all of a proposal may be released.
Proposals that have been awarded and any corresponding award documents may also be provided to KU administrators with a legitimate need to review the proposal and to individuals named in the proposal who are deemed essential to the project as described above. If someone else requests access to a funded proposal, and Office of Research personnel determine that that individual has a valid reason to request such access, they will first notify the Primary Principal Investigator of the request to ascertain whether there are any confidentiality issues which should be considered prior to releasing a copy of the proposal. Any proprietary or confidential information will be redacted prior to releasing the proposal or any portion thereof.
In some cases the Office of Research may require a formal Kansas Open Records Act request submitted through proper channels. All requests submitted under the Kansas Open Records Act will be complied with according to the University of Kansas Policy for Open Records Requests.
Assistant Vice Chancellor, Office of Research
Director, Research Administration
208 Youngberg Hall
2385 Irving Hill Road
Principal Investigators/Project Directors, Co-Principal Investigators/Co-Project Directors, and other persons participating in sponsored projects at KU or KUCR will be given access to the proposal and/or an award document on which they have been named in order to verify their responsibilities on the proposed and/or awarded project.
01/12/2018: Updated contact information.
10/16/2015: Updated PI Acknowledgment of Responsibilities form.
02/11/2015: Added Research category.
01/23/2015: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).
06/18/2014: Updated title for 'Office of Research' and minor formatting updates.