Office of the Provost

Records Retention

Research data must be archived at SUU for a minimum of three years after the final project close-out, with original data retained wherever possible. Some sponsors require a longer period of retention. Some circumstances may require a longer period of retention such as:

  • Data that must be kept for as long as necessary to protect intellectual property and complete patenting and licensing procedures for inventions resulting from the work;
  • If any charges regarding the research arise, such as allegations of scientific misconduct, conflict of interest, or allocable and allowable costs, data must be retained until such charges are fully resolved;
  • If a student is involved in the research, data must be retained at least until the student's degree is awarded or it is clear that the student has abandoned work on the project.

Access to Records

Records will normally be retained in the department where they are produced. Research records must be retained on the Southern Utah University campus. The PI should develop appropriate procedures for proper archiving and tracking of research data. Sewn or otherwise permanently bound laboratory books are required for pursuit of patents.

Where necessary to assure needed and appropriate access, the University has the option to take custody of the data in a manner specified by University policy.

Transfer of Data or Records when a Research Leaves the University

When individuals involved in research projects at the Southern Utah University leave the University, they may take copies of research data for projects on which they have worked unless a sponsor has retained the rights to such data, or the data or records are proprietary and/or confidential in nature. The PI must retain all original records at the Southern Utah University.

If a PI leaves the University, and the research project is going to be transferred to another institution, ownership of the data may be transferred with the approval of the Sponsor and the Provost. The PI's SUU department should retain a copy of all records regarding the research completed at The University in the event an audit or other request occurs after the PI has left the University. The PI's new institution must accept and agree to take custodial responsibilities for the transferred data and must grant the Southern Utah University access to the original data should that become necessary.

If a PI leaves the University and the research project will remain at the Southern Utah University, a new PI will be assigned to take responsibility for all original records retained at the University.

Roles & Responsibilities, Project Closure or Transfer

Principal Investigator

  • The PI assists with the orderly termination of the award by submitting final technical and administrative reports as required by the sponsor;
  • The PI also ensures that project costs have been encumbered and paid in a timely manner so that the final financial report is accurate and complete. This includes communicating with any subrecipients to ensure that subrecipients produce a timely final accounting of their expenditures. Consequently, the PI is responsible for reviewing the final project statement prepared by the Accounting Office, ensuring it is accurate, includes all expenditures incurred on behalf of the project, and not overdrawn;
  • The PI is responsible for the maintenance and retention of scientific and technical records as required by the sponsor;
  • The PI is responsible for the maintenance and retention of employment records for grant funded graduate students, undergraduate students, and part-time staff (e.g., part-time technicians).

Accounting Office

  • Using the final project statement as the basis for its final financial report, the Accounting Office prepares and transmits the same to the sponsor in the sponsor's required format.

Department Chair

  • The department chair is responsible for the retention of scientific or technical records as required by the sponsor in cases where the PI is unable to do so (e.g., the PI leaves the University);
  • The department chair is responsible for the retention of employment records for grant-funded graduate students, undergraduate students, and part-time staff in cases where the PI is unable to do so (e.g., the PI leaves the University).

In cases where a faculty member accepts a position at another institution and intends to relocate during the period of the award, SPARC works with Accounting Office and the PI to comply with the sponsor's requirements regarding transfer requests.