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Financial Regulations

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Financial Management and Control

Section 16: Research Grants and Contracts

16.1 General

Research can be defined as original investigation, undertaken to gain new knowledge and understanding, which may be directed towards a specific aim or objective. It can use existing knowledge in experimental development to produce new or substantially improved materials, devices, products and processes including design and construction. It excludes routine testing and analysis of materials, components and processes.

Where approaches are to be made to outside bodies for support for research projects or where contracts are to be undertaken on behalf of such bodies, it is the responsibility of the Head of Department, in conjunction with the Pro-Warden responsible for Research, to ensure that the financial implications have been appraised by the Director of Finance. This will include obtaining a set of grant terms and conditions from each organisation providing funding to enable appropriate monitoring of compliance. The Director of Finance is responsible for examining every formal application for grant and shall ensure that there is adequate provision of resources to meet all commitments. The Director of Finance should ensure that the full cost of research contracts is established. The research agreement must be in line with the College's policy with regard to indirect costs and other expenses and take account of different procedures for the pricing of research projects depending on the nature of the funding body. After financial appraisal by the Director of Finance, the application for funding should be approved by the Pro-Warden (Research and Enterprise).

Research grants and contracts shall be accepted on behalf of the College by the Director of Finance after appropriate approval by the Head of Department or, if required, the Warden, who may refer such matters to the Ethical Committee on the Acceptance of Gifts. The Director of Finance shall maintain all financial records relating to research grants and contracts and shall initiate all claims for reimbursement from sponsoring bodies by the due date. Each grant or contract will have a named supervisor or grant holder and will be assigned to a specific budget holder. Control of pay and non-pay expenditure will be contained within the budget centre. The head of the budget centre may delegate day-to-day control of the account to a supervisor or grant holder, but any overspend or under-recovery of overheads is to be the clear responsibility of the budget centre with any loss being a charge on departmental funds.

16.2 Recovery of Residual Income

A proportion of the residual income recovered is used to contribute to the cost of central services and the balance is credited to the department within which the research is located. The basis for the sharing of the departmental residual income on collaborative projects should be agreed by the relevant Heads of Departments at the grant/contract application stage.

16.3 Costing/Transparency

The College adheres to the principles of the Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC) as adopted by the Higher Education Funding Councils for the United Kingdom. Staff undertaking research activity will maintain the records specified by the Director of Finance to enable compilation of returns to the HEFCE which meet the requirements of the Transparency Review.

16.4 Grant and Contract Conditions

Many grant-awarding bodies and contracting organisations stipulate conditions under which their funding is given. In addition, there are often procedures to be followed regarding the submission of interim or final reports or the provision of other relevant information. Failure to respond to these conditions often means that the College will suffer a significant financial penalty. It is the responsibility of the named supervisor or grant holder to ensure that conditions of funding are met. Any loss to the College resulting from a failure to meet conditions of funding is the responsibility of the budget holder, and will be charged against departmental funds.