The University of Iowa

Contract Metrics

The amount of time it takes to complete a research contract greatly varies. Some contracts are routine; others are complex and may require input from several offices on campus. As important, the amount of time it takes a sponsor to respond to the university’s proposed changes is almost completely beyond our control.

Nevertheless, the Division of Sponsored Programs is able to report on the average amount of time it takes to negotiate several types of contracts. The office captures data on the time it takes to reach certain benchmarks in the process. The following charts show that data and changes to the average numbers over time. Always remember that an average is just that, and may not reflect your individual experience.

Click on the link for a PDF file of the information below: Webpage_Metrics.pdf

Turn-around Time to Significant Process Points

Funded Agreements - Average Weeks

Funded Agreements - Median Weeks

Non-Monetary Agreements - Average Weeks

Non-Monetary Agreements - Median Weeks

The weeks shown on the charts above are calculated from the date that DSP has all the requisite information needed to start processing an agreement.

  • "First Response to Sponsor" encompasses the time DSP needs to review the agreement and formulate a response or, in some cases where the agreement doesn't require a response, finalize the agreement. It can also include time with other campus offices and/or the PI if questions need to be addressed prior to sending a response to the sponsor.
  • "Negotiations Complete" encompasses the time taken to negotiate an agreement including time when the agreement might be with the sponsor and/or the PI.
  • "Awarded" is date at which the agreement is awarded and sent to Grant Accounting. Many factors can influence the time between the completion of negotiations and awarding the agreement including the time needed to gather all signatures to execute the contract to various compliance approvals, such as for human or animal research, that can delay final awarding.
  • The discontinuity in 2016 Q2 is due to a transition between eRA systems. Note that prior to Q2 in 2016, the yellow line showed time to "Ready to Award" whereas after the 2Q of 2016 it shows the time until the contract was awarded.