Research Foundation Information

What is the Research Foundation?

The Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit educational corporation whose primary responsibility is the administration of externally funded contracts and grants for and on behalf of SUNY. Since being chartered in 1951, the RF has facilitated research, education and public service at 30 state-operated SUNY locations.

The RF carries out its primary responsibilities pursuant to an agreement entered into in 1977 with SUNY. Rather than directly contract with a principal investigator or with SUNY, sponsors contract directly with the RF for all sponsored grants, contracts and agreements for sponsored research and training programs.

Why a Research Foundation?

The Research Foundation provides the independence and administrative flexibility to respond quickly to the special demands of sponsored programs in a manner that facilitates their scientific or technical execution. Sponsored programs typically operate on short time frames and require needs which could not be as easily accommodated through state processes including:

  • prefunding of expenditures prior to sponsor reimbursement
  • flexibility to hire project staff upon the project start date and terminate them upon project completion 
  • timely purchase of supplies, equipment, and reimbursement of travel costs within project time frames 
  • ability to subcontract to third parties to conduct a portion of the program
  • timely billing of sponsors for payment, including drawing down from federal letters of credit
  • timely submission of sponsor and government required financial reports.

Separate Status

The foundation is separate from the University and does not receive services provided to New York State agencies or state appropriation to support corporate functions. The foundation is responsible for its own financial, legal and business systems, its personnel policies and employee fringe benefits program and its payroll services. Employees of the foundation are not indemnified under the New York State Public Officers Law, are not entitled to representation by the New York State attorney general and do not participate in the state’s retirement and fringe benefits program.

Campus Operations

Sponsored program functions delegated to the campuses by the Research Foundation are conducted under the supervision of Campus Operations Managers.


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