Record Retention

Princeton is responsible for maintaining the records of the funded research it conducts in accordance with University policy and sponsor regulations.


Financial records, supporting documentation, statistical records, and all other non-federal entity records pertinent to a federal award must be retained for a period of four years after the award end date. The only exception are the following:

  • If any litigation, claim, or audit is started before the expiration of the 4-year period, the records must be retained until all litigation, claims, or audit findings involving the records have been resolved and final action taken.

  • When the non-federal entity is notified in writing by the federal awarding agency, cognizant agency for indirect costs, or pass-through entity to extend the retention period.

  • Records for real property and equipment acquired with federal funds must be retained for 3 years after final disposition.

  • Sponsors who require a different retention period per the award agreement.

  • Certain records in which a central administrative office is the official office of record, such as export control and PO invoices and vouchers. See the Responsible Offices section below.

Annual Notification and Action

SRA will provide academic departments an annual notice with a list of awards that have met their record retention requirements so that timely action can be taken to destroy all supporting documents maintained in departments files.   

Responsible Offices

(and the records they are responsible for retaining and discarding at expiration)