Sponsored Programs and Regulatory Compliance Services (SPARCS) facilitates the submission of proposals, negotiation of agreements, the administration of internally and externally funded projects, and the administration of subagreements that provide funding to NC State University. This includes all aspects of externally sponsored research and scholarship, from pre-award management to non-fiscal post-award management.

All administrative bodies at the university that oversee grants and contracts or matters of regulatory compliance are responsible for seeking guidance from SPARCS to provide optimal stewardship of external funds and regulated research subjects. An Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Administration leads the team, which includes an Associate and an Assistant Director and a team of EPA professionals. This team negotiates and accepts legal terms and conditions for conducting externally sponsored research, and manages compliance, meeting a myriad of federal and state regulations.

External sponsors include federal, state, local governments and private enterprise. They provide funding via grants, cooperative agreements or contracts where deliverables are identified and progress reporting is expected. The office enjoys a robust and close relationship with the development arm of the institution. Both entities foster excellent coordination in determining the best fit between opportunities and sponsorship. Additionally, SPARCS partners with the Office of Research Commercialization to ensure that NC State University remains in the best possible position to execute licensing agreements for intellectual property disclosed and ready for commercial application by our federal, state and industrial partners.

SPARCS also maintains primary regulatory compliance responsibilities, including human and animal subjects, conflicts of interest and commitment management, export controls, facility security matters, and research integrity. Our goal is to provide stellar continuing education necessary to facilitate the understanding of these critical areas of compliance as we endeavor to reduce the overall regulatory burden on the institution’s faculty and staff. This goal extends throughout the SPARCS’ organization and is illustrated in its motto to Achieve:

This pledge extends to the sponsors who enable research and scholarly productivity, as well as to the faculty and staff who create and transfer the knowledge and scholarship that epitomizes the very core of our great institution.