External Policies

    • Private Sponsor Policies (please contact your Development officer or OSP)


    Indirect Costs Policies and Rates

      The Office of Naval Research (ONR) is the cognizant agency for SI government indirect cost rates. Two indirect cost rates, the Grants and Contracts Overhead Rate and the General and Administrative Rate are used for all SI-Washington based government grants and contracts.

      Additional, unit-specific, indirect cost rates have been authorized for the National Science Resources Center (NSRC) and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC).

      Government indirect cost rate characteristics and application procedures are in Smithsonian Directives 304 and 318.

      SAO uses an indirect cost rate methodology comparable to that for other units, together with a materials overhead rate. SAO also applies a Central Engineering Overhead Rate to central engineering direct labor and benefit costs.

      The Intermittent and less-than-90-day Appointment Rate is applicable to all such employees. The Business Activity Rate is used for SI Enterprises activities and unit business activities.

      For inquiries regarding the government rates, please contact the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) at 202-633-7110. Contact Goldie Manley in the Office of the Comptroller (OC) at 202-633-7205 for inquiries regarding the other rates.


Budget Policies


Compliance Policies

    Use of Human Subjects in Research *
    • Federal and Smithsonian Institution policy requires formal training in the protection of human subjects for all principal investigators involved in human subject research. This training can be completed in person or online and must be completed before commencing the research project.
    • Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI): Online training for Human Subjects in Research certificate of completion.
    • National Institutes of Health (NIH): Online training for Human Subjects in Research certificate of completion.
    • In addition to completing training, all human subject research must be reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) or determined to be exempt before the research can be commenced.

    Responsible Conduct of Research
    • Federal and Smithsonian Institution policy (SD 607) requires training in the Responsible Conduct of Research for all students, interns, post-doctoral fellows supported by awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH) or Public Health Service (PHS). Principal Investigators receiving a Online training in RCR by discipline, resulting in a certificate of completion, and notification of OSP upon completion. The RCR topic areas include: Research Misconduct, Data Management, Conflict of Interest, Collaborative Science, Responsible Authorship, Mentoring, Peer Review, Lab Animals, Human Subjects.
    • Additional information on RCR:

    Financial Conflict of Interest
    • Federal and Smithsonian Institution policy, SD 608, requires disclosure of significant financial interests by individuals responsible for the design, conduct or reporting of research funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), or Public Health Service (PHS.)
    • National Science Foundation policy
    • Public Health Service and National Institutes of Health policy
    • Contact the Research Compliance Officer for more information.

    Misconduct in Research
    • Federal and Smithsonian Institution policy (SD 604) defines Misconduct in Research as: fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research or in reporting research results.
    • Office of Research Integrity, Department of Health and Human Services
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