The Research Foundation of The City University of New York (RFCUNY) was established as a not-for-profit educational corporation chartered by the State of New York in 1963. RFCUNY supports CUNY faculty and staff in identifying and obtaining external support (pre-award) from government and private sponsors and is responsible for the administration of all such funded programs (post-award).
RFCUNY stands between CUNY’s principal investigators (PIs) and the sponsors who support them and strives to fulfill its essential responsibilities to both groups. Working closely with individual PIs and Grants Officers on the campuses, RFCUNY oversees employment, accounting, audit, reporting, purchasing, and special responsibilities that include management of a planned giving program; liaison with governmental agencies and foundations; negotiation of agreements; facility construction and renovation; protection and commercialization of intellectual property; and compliance with applicable standards in research involving human subjects, animal care, environmental and radiological safety, and conflicts of interest.
APPS advances CUNY’s sponsored program enterprise by helping CUNY faculty and students identify and obtain extramural funding to support their research, education, training, curriculum development, and other related activities. APPS supports and advances CUNY’s mission by working closely with the faculty and campus administration to encourage and provide faculty and students with resources to write successful proposals, assist grant administrators in developing a standardized set of metrics to monitor proposal success rates across CUNY, and provide leadership expertise in the creation of a University-wide sponsored program development strategy.
The Communications office is responsible for composing, reviewing, and editing internal and external messages and written content directed to central office and field employees, the CUNY community, and other constituents. Communications conceptualizes, develops, and distributes the Foundation’s Annual Report and works closely with Systems and Information Services to develop and publish the online version of each of the Foundation’s publications. Communications assigns roles for posting website content, manages and edits all website content, and approves all website content for publishing. Communications also creates and posts informational training videos, sponsored research video profiles, and social media content.
Finance oversees the finances of RFCUNY and its subsidiaries. Finance department staff prepare consolidated financial statements, maintain general ledgers, oversee all financial transactions, and generate various reports for management. The department manages all investments, corporate payroll functions, insurance, accounts receivable, and handles the issuance of all RFCUNY payments. Finance contributes directly to campus finances by calculating and negotiating Facilities & Administrative (F&A) rates.
Grants & Contracts is responsible for managing nearly 4,000 active sponsored projects on behalf of CUNY colleges and professional schools. Grants & Contracts manages all projects from inception to completion. The department shares responsibility for engaging in numerous program and financial audits that emerge. Staff is organized in teams, each consisting of a project administrator (PA) and an assistant PA. Each team is responsible for overseeing every facet of a portfolio that averages 200 projects. Grants & Contracts works closely with campus grants officers to develop automated reports that will benefit the colleges in their reporting and oversight requirements.
Human Resources is responsible for all employee-related matters, both at the central office and for all 13,000 annual Full-time and Part-time field staff. Responsibilities include wages and fringe benefits (pension, health insurance, etc.), leaves management, recruitment and orientation, discipline, investigations, visas, affirmative action, retirement, background checks, enforcement of labor law, union negotiations and contract management, and more.
Internal Audit is responsible for scheduling and conducting audits based on an annual risk assessment plan. Audits may be financial, operational, technological, or compliance and are conducted to test controls that ensure efficiency, effectiveness, and adherence to established rules and regulations. Internal Audit is also responsible for conducting investigations into alleged financial irregularities and for monitoring RFCUNY’s Whistleblower Hotline. Internal Audit coordinates all sponsor financial external audit activity, which includes reviews conducted by federal, state, city, and private agencies. Internal Audit functions as an internal consultant, leading and assisting in Foundation-wide efforts to improve and safeguard operations.
Legal Affairs oversees the creation, negotiation, and amendment of all legal agreements. Legal Affairs protects field staff, CUNY colleges, and RFCUNY from legal, ethical, and other risks associated with entering into sponsored agreements. Legal Affairs staff review a principal investigator’s (PIs) sponsored award, ensure due diligence in protecting the college's interest, and retain favorable contract terms and conditions. Legal Affairs identifies risks associated with performance-based awards, difficult populations, high risk activities, time constraints, and unconventional payment structures and works to minimize those risks. Legal Affairs ensures that CUNY retains ownership of copyright and patent rights for any work its researchers have created and that a PI is able to disseminate their findings through publication. Legal Affairs also reviews requests for Independent Contractor and Subrecipient/Subcontractor agreements.
Procurement & Payables is responsible for payments of all goods and services principal investigators (PIs) need to carry out the purposes of their sponsored research awards including supplies, equipment, travel, facility rental, student stipends, honoraria, and more. Among the functions of Procurement & Payables includes generating and submitting purchase orders to vendors ($5,000 and above), executing Memoranda of Understanding agreements (under $5,000), executing lease agreements for real estate and personal property, and drafting and executing small construction contracts ($100,000 and below).
Systems and Information Services (SIS) is a full service technology group that provides support to the functional departments of the central office by exploring and defining new projects and then designing, developing, and implementing those electronic systems that will deliver the best service to the field. SIS has specialized functional teams responsible for gathering user requirements, designing solutions, programming applications, providing technical testing and support, and maintaining the hardware and software in the latest reliable iterations to support these systems. SIS uses the latest advances in business intelligence and analytics to sift through large amounts of raw data and provide high quality, actionable information.