17. Research Grants and Contracts
17.1.1 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.
17.1.2 The term ‘research grant’ is restricted to research projects funded by the UK research councils, charities and the higher education funding bodies.
17.1.3 All other externally financed research projects are classified as ‘research contracts’.
17.1.4 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 Budget Officer to ensure that the financial implications have been appraised by the Treasurer or her nominee. This will include obtaining a set of grant terms and conditions from each organisation providing funding to enable appropriate monitoring of compliance.
17.1.5 The Treasurer is responsible for documenting a process to ensure that every formal application for grant is examined to ensure that there is adequate provision of resources to meet all commitments. The Treasurer should ensure that the full cost of research contracts is established. The research agreement must be in line with the University’s policy with regard to indirect costs and other expenses and taking account of different procedures for the pricing of research projects depending on the nature of the funding body.
17.1.6 All applications and requests for research grants and contracts must be submitted in the name of the University and authorised prior to submission. Those officers who may authorise applications on behalf of the University are as follows:
- Vice-Chancellor or Deputy Vice-Chancellor;
- Pro-Vice Chancellors
- Treasurer or Deputy Treasurer
- Director of Research
- Director of Business & Innovation Services
17.1.7 The Treasurer shall ensure that all financial records relating to research grants and contracts are maintained in the approved manner and that all claims for reimbursement from sponsoring bodies are initiated by the due date.
17.1.8 Each grant or contract will have a named supervisor or grant holder and will be assigned to a specific budget holder.
17.1.9 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.
17.2 Pricing and recovery of overhead costs
17.3 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 University 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 and to advise the relevant Budget Officer where there is a risk that this may not be the case. Any loss to the University resulting from a failure to meet conditions of funding is the responsibility of the Budget Officer, and will be charged against departmental funds.
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