Policies & Procedures
The Keck School adheres to the highest standards of ethical conduct and responsible conduct of research.
Compliance with all federal and state laws, rules, regulations as well as institutional policies and Good Clinical Practices (GCP) is a priority. Guidelines are in place for developing a safety culture and controlling risks for the USC Campuses and surrounding community, review of human subjects and animal research and the ethical conduct of research and reporting misconduct.
USC Research Policy & Guideline Resources
View University policy and procedures for compliance with applicable laws, rules, regulations and adherence to the highest standards of ethical conduct.
Office of Contracts and Grants
View guide for USC researchers in the preparation of proposals and the internal review and approval process.
Office of Environmental Health & Safety
View University policy and procedures for developing a safety culture and controlling risks for the USC Campuses and surrounding community.
Office of Sponsored Projects Accounting
View University policy and procedures for post-award administration of sponsored research and access links to other post-award resources such as Payroll Services, Purchasing Services and Disbursement Control.
View University policy and procedures for review of animal subjects research
View University policy and procedures for review of human subjects research
USC schools, academic departments and other university divisions (units) may establish a recharge center (RC) to provide goods and/or services to university activities, programs and organizations. This policy provides university-wide direction for the financial operations of an RC and establishes principles and procedures to help ensure that RCs are compliant with university policies and government regulations.
Scientific Misconduct Committee
View University policy and procedures for the ethical conduct of research and reporting misconduct.
USC Stevens Institute for Innovation
View University policy and procedures for the formal disclosure of intellectual property including information on patent procedures.
Keck Research Policy & Guideline Resources
The Office of Research Administration Office at the Keck School of Medicine serves as a resource for research faculty and their administrators.
The office oversees grant and contract administration and research compliance to support and facilitate funding and adherence to University and Federal, State and Private Sponsor policies. It serves as the point of contact for KSOM research faculty to obtain Dean’s approval of grant or contract submissions, exceptions to F&A rates, advance funding, preaward costs, cost sharing and transfer of unexpended fixed price contract balances.
The Office of Research Administration provides support to Principal Investigators in the following areas. Additional grant development and management assistance may be provided to Departments with modest annual grant submissions and/or active grants on a regular basis. Advance notice is appreciated when special assistance is requested.
- Grant Budget Development
- Verify salary information for faculty and staff
- Verify fringe benefit rate and indirect cost rates
- Provide assistance with obtaining sub-contract information
- Verify department cost share information
- Assist with data tables as needed (e.g., training grants, equipment grants)
- Assist with assembly and coordination of large/complex grant applications (e.g., Program projects, center grants)
- Grant Forms
- SF424 (grants.gov) form completion
- Proposal Approval Record(PAR)/ePAR/PARiS form completion
- Keck School of Medicine requires Division, Department, and/or Institute approvals. Please use the attached form as an attachment to any PAR form that includes a Keck School of Medicine faculty member. PAR Form, KECK Signature Page, PAR Addendum
- Review and approval of grant submissions on behalf of Keck School of Medicine
- Review and approval of Indirect cost waiver request
- Facilitate institutional support requests
- Facilitate selection of institutionally limited grant proposals
- Review of internal grant budget and Investigator eligibility (e.g., Zumberge Grant applications)
- Overdraft alerts
- Assist with Sponsored Projects Accounting (SPA) expense transfers
- Review progress report submissions including verification of effort
- Assist Principal Investigators with subcontract establishment
- Review and approve requests for advance/pre-award funding
- Financial troubleshooting for grants and closeouts
- Coordinate “Brown Bag” seminars on grants management policies and procedures
- One-on-one training as needed
- Work with USC Office of Compliance to ensure appropriate charges to grants (Faculty effort, administrative support); and Disclosure of Statement of Outside Interests Related to Research
Guide to Research at USC
The Dean and administrative staff of the Keck School of Medicine (KSOM) recognize the critical contribution of sponsored contract and grant funding to the School. They also recognize support to the faculty in the grant and contract proposal process is essential to ensure timely and successful grant and contract submissions. The KSOM Policy on Proposal Review and Approval is designed to communicate and clarify the roles and responsibilities of the Principal Investigators (PIs) and their Departments as well as the roles and responsibilities of KSOM Research Administration and USC Department of Contracts and Grants.
Guide to Research at USC
A comprehensive reference tool that highlights many important USC policies and procedures related to sponsored projects.
Department of Contracts and Grants
Guide for USC researchers in the preparation of government and privately sponsored (non industry) research proposals and the internal review and approval process. Also includes a repository of proposal kits and guidelines for major funding agencies.
Research Procedures & Guidelines
The University and the KSOM acknowledge that there may be occasions when the principal investigator (PI) of an approved sponsored grant or contract desires to begin before an official award notice has been received from the sponsor. The Keck School endeavors to accommodate this situation by approving advance funding under certain terms and conditions.
Cost sharing is those costs of a project not borne by the sponsor. The University and the KSOM acknowledge that there may be occasions when a subsidy of full costs can be justified. The Keck School endeavors to accommodate this situation by approving compellingly justified requests demonstrating available departmental, center or institute funds.
Fixed Price Contract Unexpended Balance Transfers
Unexpended balances occur on fixed price contracts when the actual cost to conduct the research project is less than the amount received from the sponsor. The remaining direct costs after a minimum indirect cost has been earned may be used for future KSOM-based research expenses via transfer to a gift or unrestricted account.
Guidelines on Grants versus Gifts
Is your proposal application a grant or gift? Should I go through Contracts and Grants or Development? Helpful guidelines for distinguishing between the two sources of funding are provided.
Guidelines for Requesting Partial Waivers of IDC
Externally sponsored grants, contracts and subcontracts are charged the full federally negotiated IDC rate unless
(a) the sponsor has published a different rate that can be independently verified or
(b) an exception is request is submitted in writing by the PI and approved the KSOM Research Dean.
These guidelines describe how to a request an exception.