About Sponsored Projects Administration

Mission Statement

Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA) serves as a central resource to support the research community at Columbia University by providing guidance and stewardship for the researchers and administrators on all campuses.

Our mission is to provide excellent administrative support to investigators in their pursuit of research and other scholarly activities while ensuring compliance with federal, University and private sponsor regulations, terms and conditions. SPA operates through delegation of authority from the University Board of Trustees as a unit of the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research.


The Project Officer (PO) is responsible for a broad range of pre- and post-award activities that relate to research funding. The PO is expected to interface with faculty and administrative staff to facilitate grants and contracts planning, program and administration, and serve as the single point of contact in this regard. The PO is assigned a group of Departments, Centers, Institutes and Schools. The PO must review all grant proposals for consistency with University and sponsor policies and assure that the information and financial proposals are revised accordingly. In addition, they each are assigned the authority and responsibility as official signatories. They will serve as an Institutional liaison with sponsoring agencies. View our directory to find your assigned Project Officer.

The Financial Analyst is responsible for establishing accounts (account set up) within the University financial system. All awards are carefully reviewed for accuracy and consistency with proposal applications and with sponsor and institutional policies and regulations. Project accounts are set up and maintained in a centralized system called InfoEd. View our directory to find financial analysts.

Subcontract Specialists are responsible for the issuance, negotiation and establishment of subcontract agreements for awards that involve collaborators outside of Columbia University. They serve as the liaison between Columbia University and the sub-recipient sites on resolving language disputes. They monitor the process for each subcontract in order to assure quality control and internal/external audit requirements.

The staff in the Business Systems division of SPA provides a wide array of services and support to the research community. Specifically, they are responsible for data management and quality control, providing training and expertise on the range of electronic systems used in connection with sponsored projects, providing data reports on sponsored project proposals, awards and expenditures, and participating in multiple special projects to enhance and streamline the use of electronic systems within the University.