University of Idaho - I Banner
A student works at a computer


U of I's web-based retention and advising tool provides an efficient way to guide and support students on their road to graduation. Login to VandalStar.

45.24 - Procedure for University Participation in Prize Competitions


  • Position: Office of Sponsored Programs Director
  • Email:

Last updated: June 01, 2016

Preamble: This procedure is intended to address the legal and administrative concerns of the university associated with participation by university employees in prize competitions.


A. Definitions
B. Procedure
C. Contact Information

A. Definitions.

A-1. Prize Competition. Any competition or challenge, whether sponsored by state or federal government or private parties, in which a prize is offered as an inducement or incentive to encourage participants in the competition to achieve a particular goal.[1] For purposes of this policy, exemplar prizes, i.e. prizes that are given in recognition for past general achievement in a particular field, are excluded from the definition of “prize competition.” Exemplar prizes include, for example, the Nobel Prizes and the MacArthur Fellows Program awards.

A-2. Covered Individual. Any individual subject to the requirements and limitations of this policy, including but not limited to, university employees, emeritus faculty members, visiting faculty and researchers.

A-3. Covered Activity. Participation by Covered Individuals in a Prize Competition that:

  • Contractually binds the University to participation under the terms and conditions of the contest; or
  • Requires or makes use of the resources of the University, other than those available to the general public; or
  • Requires the licensing or assignment of intellectual property owned by or subject to a claim of ownership by the University under the Board of Regents of the University of Idaho intellectual property policies (SBOE Section V, subsection M ( and FSH 5300 and FSH 5400); or
  • May impair the ability of university employees to successfully perform their employment responsibilities or university investigators to satisfy their commitments of effort to university sponsored research activity; or
  • Through participation by a Covered Individual as an agent of a third party, usurps an opportunity that the University has the capacity to undertake, that is consistent with the mission of the University, and that may be of practical advantage to the University.

B. Procedures.

B-1. General. The University of Idaho recognizes that Prize Competitions are a viable method for a competition sponsor to motivate, inspire, and guide: the development of solutions to a particular problem; the identification and promotion of a broad range of promising ideas and practices that might not otherwise attract attention; the strengthening of problem-solving communities; the adoption and enhancement of new skills by competitors; or the stimulation of a new market in order to address market failure. Because these goals are, by and large, consistent with the mission of the University and because the federal government has encouraged the use of Prize Competitions by federal agencies as vehicles to achieve these goals, the University establishes this procedure for participation in Prize Competition by Covered Individuals, while also addressing the legal and administrative concerns of the University.

B-2. Approval of University Participation in Prize Competitions. A Covered Individual may not engage in a Covered Activity on behalf of the University without the approval of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development (VPRED), or his or her designee, and of the cognizant dean or deans. Entry into and participation in Prize Competitions that qualify as Covered Activities shall be in the name of the University of Idaho. Authority to enter a Prize Competition on behalf of the University lies with the VPRED, or his or her designee.

Covered individuals shall propose participation by the University in a Covered Activity and may obtain the necessary approval for participation in such activities through the electronic research administration system maintained by the Office of Sponsored Programs. As part of any such proposal, and prior to any entry into and/or participation in a Prize Competition, the Covered Individual shall supply, at minimum:

  • a budget identifying the anticipated cost of participation by the University in the Prize Competition;
  • identification of the effort to be expended in participation by Covered Individuals who are faculty members also engaged in sponsored research;
  • a brief summary of any compliance obligations to be assumed by the University in connection with its participation in the Prize Competition;
  • a brief summary of the university intellectual property to be used by the Covered Individual in the Prize Competition, of any intellectual property that may reasonably be anticipated to be authored or invented by the Covered Individual during participation in the Prize Competition, and any obligations with respect to the disposition of such intellectual property under the terms and conditions of the Prize Competition; and
  • the terms and conditions associated with the Prize Competition and any other requirements for participation in the Prize Competition.

B-3. Participation by Covered Individuals as Private Individuals. Participation by a Covered Individual, in his or her capacity as a private individual, in a Prize Competition that falls within the definition of a Covered Activity shall be subject to, as appropriate, review and approval under the university consulting and conflict of interest and commitment policies. FSH 3260 and FSH 6240.

No Covered Individual acting in his or her capacity as a private individual may make use of university resources not openly available to the public, without and prior to the execution of a written agreement in which the University expressly approves the use of such resources. University resources not openly available to the public include, but are not limited to: university intellectual property and data, and university offices, laboratories, and equipment.

B-4. Sanctions. Failure to obtain review and approval required under this procedure for participation by a Covered Individual in a Prize Competition shall be considered a violation of university policy and regulations and may result in university sanctions or actions such as, but not limited to, the following:

a. undertaking disciplinary action, up to and including suspension and dismissal;

b. requiring repayment of all financial benefits resulting from such violation;

c. freezing research funds or accounts;

d. rescinding contracts entered in violation of this policy, federal law, or state law;

e. bringing legal action to recover the amount of financial benefit received by an employee as a result of the employee’s violation of this procedure or a related university policy or procedure.

The remedies provided and referenced herein are cumulative and shall be deemed to include any other remedies required or provided by applicable state or federal law.

B-5. Distribution of Prizes. Any monetary or non-monetary prize awarded for participation by a Covered Individual in a Covered Activity shall be the property of the University of Idaho. With respect to prizes awarded for participation by Covered Individuals in a Covered Activity approved by the VPRED, the University may, at its discretion, allot a portion of any monetary prizes for the participating Covered Individual(s), which allotment shall be subject to the approval of the Board of Regents of the University of Idaho. Such allotment, as among participating Covered Individuals, shall generally be made in accordance with the contribution of the participating Covered Individuals. Prior to any such allotment, the University shall deduct direct and indirect costs associated with the participation of the University in the Covered Activity. The indirect cost rate shall be the full indirect cost recovery rate, or facilities and administrative rate, proposed to the federal government at the last rate negotiation. Any remaining funds shall be distributed to support the program or programs of the participating Covered Individual(s) through the dean(s) of their College(s.)

This allocation and distribution procedure shall not apply to monetary prizes awarded at other than the final stage of a Prize Competition. All such monetary prizes shall be used for participation by the Covered Individuals in the final stage of the Competition.

C. Contact Information. For further information regarding this policy, you may contact the Office of Research and Economic Development at or (208) 885-6689.

[1] OMB Memorandum M-10-11, Guidance on the Use of Challenges and Prizes to Promote Open Government, March 8, 2010.

Version History

Campus Locations

Physical Address:
Bruce M. Pitman Center
875 Perimeter Drive MS 4264
Moscow, ID 83844-4264

Phone: 208-885-6111

Fax: 208-885-9119