Office of Sponsored Programs Administration (OSPA) – Realignment
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Published: September 18, 2019


New OSPA Organizational Structure, “Core” Service Delivery Model, and Key Operational Points of Contact

  • What is a core?

 The realigned OSPA will operate with a new service delivery model in which unique functions (e.g., proposal review and submission) are grouped into team based “cores.”

 A core represents a specific functional unit within the OSPA. OSPA support services will be aligned into core functions in order to provide dedicated and focused resources to our research teams across UofL. Aligning support services into these core functions will allow for the development of greater expertise by the OSPA staff, providing a higher level of service to researchers at UofL.

  •  What core functions will OSPA deliver and what does each core do?

OSPA is now comprised of the following core functions:

Proposal Core: Focusing on all administrative activities prior to the receipt of an award from an external sponsor, the Proposal Core will facilitate proposal preparation, review, and submission and additional “pre-award” requests and submissions (e.g., Just-in-Time requests) for the UofL research community.

Award Administration Core: Focusing on projects that are awarded to the University as grants, cooperative agreements, and non-contractual agreements, the Award Administration Core will facilitate timely award establishment and coordinate all project modifications (e.g., budget adjustments, no cost extensions, etc.). Additionally the Award Administration Core will provide focused support for award transfers and relinquishments and will oversee and facilitate all pre-award guarantees.

Negotiation Core: Focusing on projects that are awarded to the University as contractual agreements, the Negotiation Core will negotiate the terms of sponsored agreements (e.g., clinical trial agreements, sponsored research agreements, sponsored service agreements) and will facilitate contract establishment and amendments/modifications.

Nonfinancial Agreements Core: The Nonfinancial Agreements Core will focus on the negotiation of research support agreements that do not include financial consideration (e.g., nondisclosure agreements (NDAs), data use agreements (DUAs), and material transfer agreements (MTAs)).

Compliance Core: The Compliance Core will provide oversight and monitoring of externally sponsored awards in order to ensure compliance with federal regulations and sponsor/University requirements and policies. The Compliance Core will assist with the development of University policy governing sponsored activities and will deliver guidance/educational materials to the UofL research community in order to promote compliance with all federal requirements.

Education, Training, and Communication (ETC) Core: The ETC Core will facilitate training and education opportunities/programs for faculty and staff that are engaged in externally sponsored activities and will act as the conduit for the two-way exchange of information between the OSPA and the UofL research community.

Systems and Operational Support (SOS) Core: The SOS Core will focus on the development, implementation, and integration of information systems (e.g., iRIS, PeopleSoft) that are used at UofL to administer externally sponsored activities and will deliver training and educational opportunities to the UofL research community on the effective use of these systems.

Financial Administration: Also known as Sponsored Programs Financial Administration (SPFA), the SPFA Office will provide effective accounting services (e.g., invoicing, collections, payment application) and, in close collaboration with the UofL research community, will ensure accountability for financial outcomes related to sponsored activities. SPFA will also continue to be responsible for award (financial) activation, expenditure review, financial reports, and the financial closeout of sponsored programs.

Administrative Core: The Administrative Core will provide internal, administrative support to all of OSPA.

  • What is a Core Lead?

Each core has been assigned a ‘Core Lead’ (or OSPA Assistant Director) who will act as the point person for the day-to-day operations within that core. The Core Lead (or OSPA Assistant Director) will serve as the main point of contact for all questions related to the function of each core and will be responsible for the effective delivery of services and support by core personnel. All general questions should be directed to the respective Core Lead or Assistant Director as opposed to office service accounts.

 The Core Leads and Assistant Directors currently established are:

            Proposal Core: Erin Stumler, 502-852-3540 (Email Erin Stumler)

            Award Administration Core: Andrew French, 502-852-5956 (Email Andrew French)

            Negotiation Core: Brennan Cox, JD, LLM, 502-852-8806 (Email Brennan Cox)

            Nonfinancial Agreements Core: Haylee Ralston, JD, 502-852-7247 (Email Haylee Ralston)

            Compliance Core: Brigitte Fasciotto, Ph.D., 502-852-7308 (Email Brigitte Fasciotto)

            Systems and Operational Support Core: Carla Hilse, 502-852-2496 (Email Carla Hilse)

            Administrative Core: Joanne Spoonmore, 502-852-1091 (Email Joanne Spoonmore)

  • Under the new OSPA organizational structure, who will I work with?

In the past, you may have worked with a specific person for grants and, for example, another for clinical contracts based upon departmental assignment. The Proposal, Award Administration, and Negotiation cores that handle projects for our research teams are moving towards a workload based assignment model, so that incoming proposals/projects will be assigned to specialists based on current workload. Your primary point of contact for a specific project stage will be the assigned specialist. Under a workload based assignment model, a different individual may be assigned to future stages of a project, even if they are both under the same Core. You will be notified every time a new specialist is involved, and you can always contact a respective Core Lead or Assistant Director with questions.

New OSPA Proposal and Project Submission Processes

  • Will the OSPA realignment affect the processes that I currently use to submit proposals and projects to OIE, CCD, and SPGA for review, approval, and submission to external sponsors?

Yes, effective October 15, 2019 all proposals and projects should be submitted through the University’s electronic research administration platform, iRIS.  After October 15, the legacy service accounts (OIE - engage@louisville.edu, CCD - clincon@louisville.edu, and SPGA - grntmgmt@louisville.edu) will no longer be used for proposal and project submissions. Please see the FAQs on iRIS below for information on the new proposal and project submission process.

  • Between present day and October 15, 2019, what process should I use for proposal and project submission?

Until October 15, you may continue to use the same forms and processes that have been used historically to submit to OIE (engage@louisville.edu), CCD (clincon@louisville.edu), and SPGA (grntmgmt@louisville.edu). However, we encourage you to submit proposals and projects via iRIS as outlined in the FAQs below.

  • Will the OSPA realignment affect the University’s policies and timelines/deadlines for proposal and project submission?

No, the University’s policies and timeline/deadlines for proposal and project submission will not change due to the OSPA realignment. As always, in order to ensure sufficient time to complete proposal review and submission by an authorized official, please submit your proposals and projects to OSPA at least five (5) business days in advance of the sponsor’s submission deadline. 

  • What will happen to the legacy OIE, CCD, and SPGA service accounts?  Will the new OSPA have a primary service account?

The new OSPA service account is OSPA@louisville.edu

Effective October 15, the legacy service accounts of OIE (engage@louisville.edu), CCD (clincon@louisville.edu), and SPGA (grntmgmt@louisville.edu) will no longer be monitored.  These legacy service accounts will all be “forwarded” to the new OSPA service account.

The new OSPA service account will serve as the official email account for the new OSPA and will be used as the e-mail of record on projects processed through OSPA, as well as for sponsors to notify UofL of awards, modification requests, etc. General inquiries regarding projects should be sent to the assigned specialist, or to the Core Leads or Assistant Directors, as opposed to the OSPA service account.

The Sponsored Programs Financial Administration service account remains unchanged. Please continue to use grantfa@louisville.edu for all financial administration matters. Likewise, the OSPA compliance service account remains grntcomp@louisville.edu.    

 Electronic Research Administration Platform: iRIS

  • What is iRIS?

iRIS is UofL’s Integrated Research Information System, an electronic platform for research used by the UofL research community and by the University’s compliance offices and committees (including IRB, IACUC, IBC, and COI). We are currently in the process of enhancing the Sponsored Programs module that will be fully integrated with the new OSPA and used for the electronic administration of all externally sponsored activities. 

  • What is the iRIS Sponsored Programs module?

The iRIS Sponsored Programs module is an electronic research administration module that will facilitate the management of your externally funded activities (grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, etc.). Currently under development, the iRIS Sponsored Programs module will become the electronic interface with the new OSPA, delivering functionality on multiple fronts; electronic proposal submission (including system-to-system submission), electronic award management, and electronic award closeout.

Existing functionality within the Sponsored Programs module includes the eProposal portal (see below), the electronic “short form” submission process (see below), and the ability to submit requests for the negotiation of nonfinancial agreements, including Nondisclosure Agreements (NDAs), Data Use Agreements (DUAs), and Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs).

Future functionality that we will be developing will include the eAward portal (award initiation and management), eModification (management of award administration activities), and eGuarantee (Preaward Guarantee Requests).

  • What is the eProposal portal?

The eProposal portal within the iRIS Sponsored Programs module allows Principal Investigators and research teams to initiate the electronic submission of extramural proposal or project applications to OSPA for institutional review and approval in lieu of using paper Proposal Clearance Forms and email submissions. The eProposal portal also includes the capability for system-to-system submission of federal proposals through grants.gov. Additional functionality is planned for the eProposal portal in the near future, including the ability to route proposal and project submissions electronically for departmental and school/college/unit approval.

  • When must I begin to use iRIS for the submission of proposals and projects for OSPA review?

Effective October 15, OSPA is requesting that all proposals and projects be submitted through iRIS using the Sponsored Programs module. Proposals and projects may be submitted using the eProposal portal or using the “short form” submission process (see next question for details).

  •   How will this work?

Effective October 15, the legacy service accounts for OIE, CCD, and SPGA will no longer be used for proposal and project submissions. In order to facilitate the transition from these legacy proposal/project submission processes into iRIS, OSPA has created a simple, “short form” submission process in the iRIS Sponsored Programs module. The research community will continue to use the standard University submission forms (e.g., PCF, TRIA, etc.) as usual, but instead of submitting these forms and the proposal/project documents using the legacy service accounts, these materials will need to be submitted through iRIS. Please see the following FAQ for instructions on the iRIS “short form” proposal/project submission process.

  • How do I submit a new proposal/project using the iRIS “short form” submission process?

Instructions for submitting a proposal/project via the iRIS “short form” submission process can be found at https://louisville.edu/research/common/iris-user-shortform-manual.  Please note that you will need to continue to complete the standard University forms (e.g., PCF, TRIA, etc.) prior to uploading in iRIS. 

  • Are there alternatives to the use of the “short form” proposal/project submission process?

Yes. OSPA has developed a fully electronic proposal/project submission process in iRIS called eProposal, which can be used in lieu of the PCF/TRIA “short form” process. Instructions for the eProposal process can be found at https://louisville.edu/research/common/iris-user-manual.

  • Is training on the use of iRIS available?

Yes.  Training sessions are held periodically and are communicated through “UofL Today” and iRIS broadcast.  Departmental or individual training sessions may be scheduled by contacting Aiyana Lyninger or Carla Hilse.

  • How can I obtain institutional base salary information for the preparation of proposal/project budgets?

Anyone with UofL credentials and Active Directory permissions can access institutional base salary information by logging into the BI reporting system at https://bi.louisville.edu. Please navigate to “Public Reports” - “iRIS Reports” - “Institutional Base Salary Report.”

  • Who do I contact for more information on iRIS and/or for more information on the OSPA Systems and Operational Support (SOS) Core?

Carla Hilse
Assistant Director, Office of Sponsored Programs Administration
Phone: 502-852-2496
Email Carla Hilse

 OSPA Education, Training, and Communication (ETC) Core

  • What does the OSPA ETC Core plan to accomplish?

The ETC Core is a new initiative that is being developed under the new OSPA in order to enhance the understanding of the management of sponsored programs at UofL. Drawing from existing OSPA resources, the ETC Core will facilitate training and education on sponsored programs for the UofL research community. The ETC Core will also be responsible for distributing official communications from the OSPA to the UofL research community via the Sponsored Programs ETC listserv.

  • How do I join the Sponsored Programs ETC Listserv?

Please Email Ryann Gilmore and request to be added to the listserve.

  • Meet OSPA staff during an Open Office Hours (OOH!) series event.

In order to enhance bidirectional communication within the UofL research community, the ETC core will be facilitating “pop-up” OSPA open office hours on both Belknap and HSC campuses throughout the year. This is an informal outreach series in which you can meet representatives from OSPA, who will be available to answer any questions you may have regarding the administration of sponsored programs and external funding. Details on the date/time, location, and OSPA representatives available at future Open Office Hours series events will be advertised via the Sponsored Programs ETC listserv and in UofL Today. No RSVP or appointment necessary.

  • I am interested in training opportunities on the management of sponsored programs. Who do I contact for more information on the OSPA ETC Core?

Ryann Gilmore, MA
Proposal and Award Administration Specialist, Sr.
Phone: 502-852-2593
Email Ryann Gilmore

OSPA Compliance Core

  • Why is a Compliance Core needed within the Office of Sponsored Programs Administration?

As a recipient of external funding, including funding from the federal government, the University is required to follow the regulations, policies, and requirements put forth by our sponsors.  Examples of these regulations include 2 CFR 200 (aka Uniform Guidance) which governs all funding received from the federal government. These rules and requirements are often expansive and complex and at times can be challenging to follow.

The OSPA Compliance Core will facilitate compliance with sponsor requirements and University policy and will partner with the UofL research community to assure the proper stewardship of external funding. In doing so, the Compliance Core will help to protect the fiscal integrity and reputation of the UofL research enterprise.

  • What does the OSPA Compliance Core plan to accomplish?

The OSPA Compliance Core provides operational oversight and monitoring of externally sponsored awards in order to ensure compliance with federal regulations, sponsor and University requirements and policies. The Compliance Core also provides guidance and support on compliance matters to all OPSA cores and to the UofL research community.

Compliance Core activities will include:

-        Review of federal and federal flow through awards prior to award establishment;

-        Negotiation and execution of subaward agreements and oversight of the University’s subrecipient monitoring program;

-        Monitoring of personnel and expenditures for compliance during the life of an award;

-        Oversight of the University’s effort reporting/certification program;

-        Monitoring and facilitating the timely submission of all required sponsored program reports (e.g., RPPR, FFR, etc.);  

-        Review and assistance with the development and/or revision of University policies and procedures related to compliance on sponsored programs; and

-        Development of compliance guidance materials for the UofL research community.

  • Who do I contact for more information on the OSPA Compliance Core?

Brigitte H. Fasciotto, Ph.D.
Assistant Director, Office of Sponsored Programs Administration, Compliance
Phone: 502-852-7308
Email Brigitte Fasciotto

Miscellaneous Questions from the UofL Research Community (Additional FAQs will be added based upon your feedback)

  • Will my existing Chartfield and Speedtypes change? How will new Chartfields and Speedtypes be designated?

 Your existing Chartfield and Speedtypes will remain the same. 

 During the initial rollout of the OSPA realignment, all new sponsored projects will be assigned an OGMB/N Chartfield and GB/GN Speedtype. As the new OSPA takes shape, we will revisit Chartfield and Speedtype nomenclature for future projects. Stay tuned!

 How Do I Contact the New OSPA?

  • OSPA Contact Information

All OSPA offices and cores are located at: 

Office of Sponsored Programs Administration
J.D. Nichols Campus for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
300 E Market Street
Suite 300
Louisville, KY 40202-1959
Phone: 502-852-3788

Email Office of Sponsored Programs Administration
Email Sponsored Programs Financial Administration

  • OSPA Leadership Contacts

Kevyn E. Merten, PhD
Associate Vice President for Research and Innovation
Phone: 502-852-1637
Email Kevyn.Merten

Judy L. Bristow
Senior Director, Office of Sponsored Programs Administration
Cores: Proposal; Award Administration; Education, Training, and Communication (ETC); Systems and Operational Support (SOS)
Phone: 502-852-8934
Email Judy Bristow

Matthew J. Hawthorne, JD, MBA
Director, Office of Sponsored Programs Administration
Cores: Negotiation, Non-financial Agreements
Phone: 502-852-3156
Email Matthew Hawthorne

Glen A. Jones, MBA
Director, Office of Sponsored Programs Administration
Office: Sponsored Programs Financial Administration
Phone: 502-852-2592
Email Glen Jones

About the Office of Sponsored Programs Administration (OSPA)

  • What is OSPA?

OSPA is the University’s central hub for the administration of all externally funded/sponsored activities.

  • What does OSPA do?

OSPA is responsible for the review, institutional approval, submission, negotiation, administration, and financial management of externally funded activities, whether funded by governmental entities, private non-profit organizations, or for-profit/industry sponsors. OSPA is also responsible for facilitating compliance with award terms and conditions and with federal and State laws and guidelines governing research at the University.

  • How does OSPA support the UofL research mission?

OSPA is a dedicated partner with UofL faculty, departmental research administrators and offices, and with external sponsors. OSPA is committed to providing high-quality support to the sustainability and growth of research programs across the University, and strives to provide the highest level of professionalism and expertise in order to support and promote a world-class research environment. OSPA strives to foster a culture of research and innovation, and to use a customer-centric and service-oriented approach in its efforts to support the University’s status as a Carnegie Research 1 (Very High Research Activity) institution. OSPA is devoted to promoting collaborations that advance academic and economic innovation while cultivating diverse partnerships within the university, community, and beyond.

  • What is this size of the OSPA?

OSPA is staffed by ≈40 individuals with diverse educational and career experience. Many OSPA staff developed their careers within the UofL research community or came to UofL with substantial experience from other institutions, with backgrounds in research, law, accounting, and business. The names, positions, and educational backgrounds of OSPA staff can be found at  OSPA staff (Excel).

  • How much volume does OSPA handle?

In Fiscal Year 2019, OSPA handled 950 awards, up from 914 in FY2018. OSPA also handles well over 1000 proposals per fiscal year, and several hundred nonfinancial agreements per fiscal year. Detailed numbers can be found here: Metrics & Awards.