Princeton is responsible for maintaining the records of the federally-funded research it conducts in accordance with federal regulations. The Office of Research Project Administration (ORPA), Sponsored Research Accounting (SRA) in the Office of Finance and Treasury, and each department conducting sponsored research share the responsibility for maintaining the records in the method and for the amount of time required by the federal government and its research funding agencies.
Princeton retains most sponsored research records for four years from the project end date, with ORPA maintaining pre-award and award management records, SRA maintaining the financial records of the award, and the department maintaining supporting financial documentation and the technical documentation of the research conducted. Certain records are retained beyond the four years following the completion of the research project, including records of real property and equipment acquired with federal funds and certain other financial records retained by SRA for long-term documentation. Another exception to this four-year retention period may exist if the funding agency specifies a different retention. For this reason it is important to check the award contract to determine whether different retention requirements have been specified.
In the event of a federal audit, all destruction plans for the records included in the scope of the audit must be suspended and not resumed until the audit is complete and all related matters have been closed.