Roles and Responsibilities Overview

Duke University is committed to the responsible management of research and other sponsored projects.  All individuals in the Duke research community are expected to take personal responsibility for their actions while managing or conducting research. 

Duke Values in Action is a statement of our responsibilities that ensures we perform to the best of our abilities, act with integrity, and comply with applicable laws, rules, regulations, professional and accreditation standards and Duke policies and procedures.

The following Key Oversight Roles provide descriptions of essential individuals or units and their responsibilities within the structures, management and oversight of sponsored research and programs, including the Principal Investigator (PI), Grant Administrator, Department Leadership, School Leadership, Pre-Award Office (ORA, ORS, ORC), and the Central Finance Office (OPAA, PAFM, TBS).

Key Oversight Roles

Role Responsibility

Principal Investigator (PI)

The primary person responsible for the programmatic and financial aspects of a project*

Grant Administrator

The primary person responsible at the Department level for supporting the administrative and financial aspects of research and other sponsored projects, confirming adherence to all applicable policies/regulations and award terms and conditions

Department/Center/Institute Leadership

The primary person with managerial and fiscal responsibility for a particular Department-level business unit with authority to commit the unit in research-related matters

School Leadership

The primary person with managerial and fiscal responsibility for a particular School-level business unit with authority to commit the unit in research-related matters

Management Centers

  • Central Administration Management Center (CAMC)
  • Provost Area Management Center (PAMC)
  • Medicine/Nursing Management Center (MNMC)
Management Centers facilitate and oversee administration at an operational level. Management Center leadership delegates facilitation and oversight of research support activities to central administrative offices (for example: research administration, finance).

Central Research Administration Offices

  • Office of Research Administration (ORA)
  • Office of Research Support (ORS)
  • Office of Contracts (ORC)
The Pre-Award Office is the institutional authority designated by the University responsible for the review and institutional endorsement of proposals for external funding, negotiation and acceptance of contractually-binding agreements related to research, and management of awards in accordance with applicable policies, procedures, terms and conditions

Central Finance Offices

  • Office of Post-Award Administration (OPAA)
  • Post-Award Financial Management (PAFM)
  • Treasury Billing Services (TBS)
The Central Finance Office is the institutional authority responsible for overseeing the financial records and accounts of the University, including interpreting and ensuring compliance with regulations related to allowability and allocability of costs, issuing financial reports and invoices, and monitors awards made to subrecipients

* A project is defined as a research grant, contract, cooperative agreement, training or service project, clinical study or other sponsored project (and associated agreements such as Material Transfer, Data Use, Confidentiality)

Additionally, Duke’s Values in Action presents the principles that guide our work, research, study and volunteer activities on behalf of Duke.  Duke University requires its faculty, staff, clinical staff, and contractors to comply with all applicable federal, state and/or local laws and the related Duke policies and procedures.  Any intentional violation of such laws, policies and procedures will result in corrective action.   

If you witness or are asked to participate in actions that are not consistent with our values, tell someone.  Learn more about Duke’s Speak Up Reporting.


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