Research and Development Prizes and Competitions

Guidelines for Use of Funds

I. Intent

Michigan Tech recognizes the importance of our faculty, staff, and students successfully competing on behalf of the University in highly visible national and international research and development competitions. These competitions can result in substantial recognition to the individuals involved and to Michigan Tech; in some cases this recognition may lead to increased funding to support further research and development.  These Guidelines provide information on the appropriate use and management of cash prizes received as a result of participating in such competitions.  It must be recognized in the application of these Guidelines, that given the large span of research and development competitions, flexibility may be needed to appropriately align these Guidelines with the specifics of a given competition.

II. Definition

Some organizations, including federal and state agencies, companies, private individuals, and foundations, offer financial incentives in terms of “prizes” for participation and success in research and development competitions.  These funds are given in recognition of research and development accomplishments that have already been achieved.  These are not personal “prizes” in that they do not recognize individual scholarly achievement, but are designed to reward accomplishments or incent development of a product or a solution to a problem.  These funds share some characteristics with both grant and gift funds, but are different from both. 

III. Ownership

Monetary awards identified as prizes or obtained through a prize competition are the property of Michigan Tech if the members of the team utilize University time or resources in obtaining or competing for the prize.  Any such prize funds awarded will be deposited into a Designated Fund account with the relevant department administrator as the Account Manager.  Any such funds must be used in support of the research and development mission of the University and any such funds must be used under the same restrictions as Institutional Research and Development (IRAD) funds[1], though it is again important to recognize that flexibility may be required given the specifics of a given competition.  To the extent allowable and feasible, the funds should be used to support ongoing efforts within the same general topical area.

After a successful competition and receipt of a prize, Michigan Tech may recognize the special achievement of the individuals involved by allocation a portion of the prize funding to those individuals as a bonus or cash payment.  All normal approval processes for bonuses and cash payments must be followed.