Record Retention

The University follows the Montana University System General Record Retention Schedule for Grants and Research Records.   

When destroyed at the conclusion of the retention period, records will be shredded.  

Unfunded Proposals

Unfunded proposals are retained in the research office for two years after submission.  

Funded Projects

For sponsored activities, the University retains all research records while the project is active and for ten (10) years following the project end date, unless a longer period is specified by the sponsor.  (Prior to January 1, 2017, record retention was 5 years.) If legal or audit issues are raised, records will be retained for three years following resolution of such issues.

Such records include all original documents that pertain to grant funds, such as invoices, ProCard receipts, purchasing documents, student payroll documentation, travel, work orders, and charges for services such as the mailroom, motor pool, bookstore, Chem Stores, and networking. For items purchased through GrizMart, the history documentation available within the system will suffice as originals for audit purposes.  

The PI and department are responsible for physically storing records for all indexes associated with the project.  If the sponsor requires a longer retention period and storage becomes problematic after five years, the department may contact ORSP to make alternate arrangements.  At that time, records must be stored in small banker boxes (16 L x 12 W x 10-1/2 H) and clearly labeled (i.e., department name and time frame).

Additional Information

The Council on Governmental Relations (COGR) has a variety of Research Administration Publications available, including Access to, Sharing and Retention of Research Data.