Service activities are activities performed by university personnel and utilize university facilities, and/or equipment, and/or expertise with excess capacity to perform work similar to tasks done on sponsored research projects, but without the scientific investigation and conclusions.

Service activities are a valuable approach to enhance relationships with external partners, increase research funding and utilize facilities or equipment that have additional capacity. Often these projects lead into larger research opportunities.

Service activities are initiated as either rate-based or sponsored services activities. All service activities with external customers have a legally binding quotation or contract that include standard university requirements and terms and conditions relevant to the work.

Download Service Activities Quick Guide

The following situations are ineligible for services:

  • Contracts under the One-Sixth Rule 
  • Cost share 
  • Research collaborator on SBIR/STTR
  • Federal assistance on private grant programs 

  • Grant subawards 
  • General auxiliary and points of sale 
  • Large auxiliaries (Housing and Dining, Bookstore, UMC)

*If you are an external entity looking for specific University of Colorado Boulder capabilities please contact

What are rate and sponsored service activities?

Sponsored Service Project Activities (SSP)

  • Activity based on a specific scope of work
  • Budget is built to the scope of work
  • Only with external customers

  • Work for Hire or Consulting
  • Analysis and Interpretation
  • Training for External Entities (outside of academic program)

Record Management
  • infoEd

Fund Management
  • 33 (CCO Managed)

Where do I start?
The Office of Contracts and Grants (OCG) is your first stop for Sponsored Service Project Activities. Sponsored Service Project Activities follow a process very similar to sponsored research requiring:

  • Scope of work
  • Budget
  • Contract negotiation with the sponsor
  • Sponsored Project Accounting
  • Closeout

Follow the Prepare & Submit Proposals requirements to begin the process if the project is in the beginning stages.

Submit questions to:
OCG Services Team
Office of Contracts and Grants

Submit financial management or allowability questions to your CCO assigned Area Accountant.

Rate-Based Service Activities (RBSA)


  • Testing (usually standard, repetitive tests)
  • Analysis
  • Equipment Use

Record Management
  • University approved quotations within the department/campus unit
  • infoEd if an agreement is required
  • Transaction files maintained by campus unit

Fund Management
  • 28/29 (Department Managed)

Where do I start?
Budget & Fiscal Planning (BFP) is the first stop with Rate-Based Service Activities. BFP works to coordinate determinations, set rates, assess risk levels and guide you to the next steps depending on whether the customer is internal or external to the university.

Rate-Based Service Activities typically follow an annual cycle with current year detailed information found on the BFP website.

Active / Setup Complete Reference Information

University approved quotation templates may be used for most circumstances with the exception of noted criteria. If a transaction meets one or more of these exceptions, please email to initiate a new agreement.

Submit Fund 28/29 financial questions to your CCO assigned Area Accountant.

Quotation Reporting

Campus units that have completed the external rate-based service activities campus setup process are required to track issued quotations to external customers and report them quarterly using the Rate-Based External Service Activities: Quotation Report Form. If a campus unit uses Stratocore PPMS, it is currently exempt from this requirement.

Please complete the Quotation Report form and attach the unit's quotation log. Spot audits will be conducted by the Campus Controller's Office and the Office of Contracts and Grants. Each unit may be asked to provide the documentation associated with its quotations including, but not limited to, copies of the quotations, rate calculations, approved rate sheets, etc. Campus units are responsible for retaining the appropriate documentation files.

Submission Schedule:
Quarter 1 (Q1): Due October 15th
Quarter 2 (Q2): Due January 15th
Quarter 3 (Q3): Due April 15th
Quarter 4 (Q4): Due July 15th

When submitting the quarterly report, campus units can either use the RBSA-E Quotation Reporting Template to track the issued quotations to external customers or as a reference for the information required from the unit’s existing tracking system.

If you have questions regarding the Quotation Report form, please contact

Service Activity transactions with external customers are often handled through service agreements. To learn more about service agreements, request a new service agreement, or submit a no-cost extension for an active service agreement, visit the Service Agreements page.