POL 10.00.02 – Research Policy

Authority: Board of Trustees

History: First Issued: April 11, 1987. Last Revised: April 19, 2013.

Additional References:
UNC Code: Appendix I, Section II
UNC Policy Manual Chapter 500 
NCSU Research and Sponsored Activities PRRs

Contact Info: Associate Vice Chancellor, Research Administration (919-513-2148)


1.1  The University is dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and its preservation and propagation, to the search for truth, to a fuller understanding of humankind and the universe in which we live, and to the education and intellectual development of its students and constituents to the end that they may be better informed, better adjusted, and more useful members of the society. The development, protection, encouragement, and promotion of the spirit and of the habits of inquiry and faculty and students lie at the heart of the University’s purpose and vitality.

1.2  As a Land-Grant Institution, this University is charged with a further responsibility of concern for the well-being and economic and cultural improvement of the citizens throughout the State of North Carolina. This concern necessitates development of new and improved technological applications and the utilization of these innovations in agriculture, industry, business, society, and in other areas of local and global need.

1.3  Most importantly, the University must retain the public’s trust by engaging in research activities that are consistent in nature, quality, scope, and importance with its mission, and that are conducted under conditions that ensure its academic integrity

  1.  CRITERIA FOR ACCEPTANCE OF RESEARCH SUPPORT THROUGH CONTRACTS AND GRANTS Any proposed research or service, to merit favorable interest, should be of such nature that its pursuit augments and is compatible with the regular program of research or graduate-undergraduate teaching conducted by the individual or the department.  All tenure-track faculty members may submit proposals for support of research and scholarly projects. All proposals must be approved by a faculty member’s unit or department head and Dean before submission to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Administration for final campus approval. Non-tenure-track faculty members and employees with termed appointments may submit proposals with prior approval of their Dean and the Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Economic Development.

3.1   Faculty and students of the University must have the right to disseminate freely and openly their research findings and research sponsors may not abridge this basic right. However, in certain cases, the sponsor may be in possession of proprietary and confidential information that the institution and the research sponsor must share to conduct the research project.  Any agreement to protect proprietary information must comply with applicable laws.

3.2  Restrictions on publication of the results of sponsored research are incompatible with the basic concept of an educational institution as a source of knowledge. Short-term restrictions, usually up to six months’ duration but not to exceed twelve months may be permitted in the interest of actual or potential patent considerations.  Any agreement that involves the joint use of University facilities for proprietary purposes, or that purports to restrict faculty or students from publishing freely the results of their own work, must first be approved by the Chancellor and  reported in writing to the President prior to its execution. No agreement, however, may interfere with the publication or oral defense of research theses and dissertations of graduate students.


Research conducted under any form of sponsorship must maintain the University’s open teaching and research philosophy and must adhere to a policy that prohibits secrecy in research. However, in cases involving United States government classification which impose actual or potential limitations on publication or dissemination of research findings, or in any other case which clearly involves exceptional circumstances, the Chancellor may waive this requirement if it is in the national, state, or institutional interest to do so. All such agreements must be reported in writing to the President prior to their execution.