Record Retention

Retaining sponsored projects records

Access to any documents, papers, or other records pertaining to activity of an award must be preserved for authorized representatives. To ensure compliance, the Office of Research Administration (ORA) requires all financial records, supporting documents, statistical records, and other records related to sponsored projects to follow IU’s record retention schedule or the sponsor’s retention schedule, whichever is longer. Copies of these documents may be scanned to reduce the need to physically store documentation. Review the award terms and conditions for sponsor requirements or contact ORA for specific retention guidance.

Special considerations

There are some circumstances in which records related to sponsored projects should be retained longer than what has been identified in the university's schedule. Records should be retained longer when:

  • required by the specific award agreement or sponsor guidelines.
  • any litigation, claim, or audit is started prior to the expiration of the retention period. The records must be retained until all litigation, claims, or audit findings involving the records have been resolved and final action taken.
  • the university is notified in writing by the federal awarding agency, cognizant agency for audit, oversight agency for audit, cognizant agency for indirect costs, or pass-through entity to extend the retention period.