Funded Research

Document Currently Under Review

Current Status: Under Review - With Editor 6 September 2017

Post-Award Management of Research Funding Procedure

Policy Code: RS1926

Purpose

To provide a framework outlining the processes involved in accepting and managing designated research funds at Federation University Australia.

Scope

The procedure covers all categories of external research funding, including funding awarded by national and international bodies, such as the ARC and NHMRC and all levels of government, as well as private industry and the community sector. This procedure applies to all those within the University or any controlled entity, applying for research funding, including:

  • All staff, including sessional staff employed by the University;
  • All persons, including Honorary and Adjunct appointees of the University or any controlled entity;
  • Higher Degree by Research students who apply for external research funding or an internal scholarship stipend as part of their studies.

Legislative Context

Definitions

Term Definition
Research: Research is defined as the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies and understandings. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it leads to new and creative outcomes. (2015 HERDC Specifications, Pg 7, Section 3)
Research Funding: Funding awarded to a staff member or Higher Degree by Research student to support their research activities.
Contract Research: Research undertaken with an agreement to provide research services under specific negotiated conditions in exchange for specific deliverables.
Category 1 Income: Australian Competitive Grants

Consists only of income from those research schemes and programs registered on the current Australian Competitive Grants Register (ACGR) http://docs.education.gov.au/node/36801Consists of income received from other government sources, including:

  • Federal Government schemes and business enterprises NOT listed on the ACGR
  • state and local governments and partly government owned or funded bodies
  • research income from CRCs in which the University was not a core participant or signatory
Category 2 Income: Other Public Sector Research Income

Consists of income received from other government sources, including:

  • Federal Government schemes and business enterprises NOT listed on the ACGR
  • state and local governments and partly government owned or funded bodies
  • research income from CRCs in which the University was not a core participant or signatory
Category 3 Income: Industry and Other Research Income

Any research income not meeting the definition of category 1, 2 or 4, such as income from foundations, or international competitive grants.

Any research income not meeting the definition of category 1, 2 or 4.

  • Research grants or contract research with Australian or international industry or non-Australian Government agencies.
  • Funding through donations, bequests and foundations (both Australian and international)
Category 4: CRC Research Income

A Cooperative Research Centre is a created through a Commonwealth Agreement with a higher education provider (HEP).

Category 4 income consists of research income received from a CRC in which they were a core participant (i.e. a signatory to the CRC's Commonwealth Agreement.) 

If the University is hosting the CRC (i.e. a signatory to the CRC’s Commonwealth Agreement), the income is classified as Category 4. Income received from a CRC that is hosted by another institution is classified as Category 2.

ACGR Australian Competitive Grants Register
ARC Australian Research Council
NHMRC National Health and Medical Research Council
Variation Any formal change to a project that is agreed upon by all parties via an approved, signed agreement or correspondence.  This may include changes to project budget, timeframe or milestones.
Carry-Over A request to the Finance Office to retain project funds beyond the original end date of an agreement.  Carry–Over requests must be supported with variation documentation.  This term may also be used to describe the retainment of project funds beyond the current fiscal year.
Research Contract This is an agreement to provide research activities under specified negotiated conditions in exchange for specific deliverables as defined by the HERDC definition of research. For University purposes, research contracts include formal contractual agreements, letters of engagement including terms and conditions, signed by both parties, and including those requiring execution under seal.

Actions

  STEPS WHO IS RESPONSIBLE? COMMENTS
1 Notification of Awarding of Research Funding Funding Body
  • Funding Body notifies the University of the award of the grant.
2 When Awarded Funds Deviate from those Applied for in the Funding Application.

Chief Investigator

Research Services

Finance Office

  • Where the Funding Body awards a lesser amount of funds than the original requested, Research Services with the assistance of Finance works with the Chief Investigator to revise the budget. This may also require a revision to the scope of the work to be undertaken.
  • The revised budget is incorporated into the contract for the project.
3 Funding Contract

Research Services

Legal Office

Funding Body

  • In most cases the funding body will provide the draft contract. In response to notification from the Funding Body, Research Services and the Legal Office may draw up the contract for the project and forward it to the Funding Body.
  • A “Request for Legal Services” form must be completed and forwarded to Research Services, who will then liaise with the Legal Office who will draft a contract.
4 Contract Review

Funding Body

Legal Office

DVC (R&I) or delegate

Chief Investigator

  • Draft contract is reviewed by Funding Body, Legal Office and Chief Investigator.
5 Contract Sign Off

Funding Body

VC or delegate

Research Services

  • After negotiation around specifications of a contract and agreement by all parties, Legal Office approves contract.
  • The Funding Body and VC (or delegate) sign off on the contract as specified in the Delegations – Contract, Financial, Staffing and Tender Policy.
  • In consultation with the Legal Office, Research Services will forward a copy of the fully executed contract to the funding body and Legal Office will retain one copy for central files.  Scanned copies will be retained by Chief Investigator and Research Services.

        

6 Research Project Code

Research Services

Finance Office

  • In conjunction with the contract sign off, Research Services arrange for funding body to complete and return a Creditor Form
  • Following sign off, Research Services request Finance Office to create a research project code. Once created expenditure against the grant can commence

Managing a Research Grant

Actions

  STEPS WHO IS RESPONSIBLE? COMMENTS
1 Expenditure of Project Funds

Chief Investigator

Research Services

Finance Office

Faculty

  • Research Services, in consultation with the Finance Office and/or Faculty/Centre, will liaise with the Chief Investigator to develop a plan for expenditure, set milestones and management of project funds. 
  • All research project funds expenditure must comply with the Delegations – Contract, Financial, Staffing and Tender Policy.
  • Chief Investigator continues to liaise with Research Services to advise of progress and any potential issues affecting the continuation of the project as agreed to in the contract, including expenditure and reporting deadlines.
  • Chief Investigator produces milestone reports, as required.
  • Research Services liaise with the Finance Office to provide financial reports as required by the Funding Body.
2 Completion of Project

Chief Investigator

Research Services

  • Where required, Chief Investigator produces a final report, and forwards it to Research Services and/or the funding body as per the funding agreement. No transactions against the research project code can take place after the contract end date.
3 Acquittal and Final Report

Research Services

Finance Office

Chief Investigator

  • Working with the Finance Office Research Services coordinates the financial acquittal of the project, as required.
  • The Final Report and financial statement are forwarded to the Funding Body by the Chief Investigator, Finance Office or Research Services as appropriate to the funding agreement.
4 Project Completion Research Services
  • Research Services requests for the research project code to be closed. Finance then closes the project.

 Variations, Extensions and Carry-Overs

 Actions

  STEPS WHO IS RESPONSIBLE? COMMENTS
1 Notification of Grant Amendment/variation

Chief Investigator

Research Services

  • Chief Investigator discusses circumstances of project with Research Services.
2 Variation

Research Services

Legal Office

Funding Body

Chief Investigator

  • Research Services liaises with the Chief Investigator, the funding body and the Legal Office to organise a contract variation or a new agreement negotiation, as appropriate.
3 Revised Agreement Sign Off

Research Services

Funding Body

VC or Delegate

  • Research Services coordinates the sign off on the revised contract/agreement between the Funding Body and the University.
4 Funds Carry Over

Research Services

Finance Office

Faculty

Chief Investigator

  • Research Services or Faculty prepare a request for funds carry-over and forwards this to Finance Office.
  • Finance Office arranges for funds carry over under the terms of a revised contract/agreement.
5 Continuation of Project Expenditure

Chief Investigator

Research Services

  • Once project variations have been approved transactions against the project can continue to the revised completion date.
6. Unspent Funds

Chief Investigator

Faculty

Research Services

Finance Office

  • In some cases unspent research funds, by agreement with the funding body, are to remain with the University. The Chief Investigator should liaise with their Faculty, Research Services and the Finance Office to arrange transfer of funds to an appropriate account.

Supporting Documents

  • Research Funding Policy
  • Applying for Research Funding Procedure
  • Delegations – Contract, Financial, Staffing and Tender Policy
  • Delegations – Contract, Financial, Staffing and Tender Procedure
  • Research Development and Grant Manual (a modern, renamed version of this existing document).
  • NHMRC Funding Rules for the relevant schemes and programs
  • ARC Funding Rules for the relevant schemes and programs
  • Request for Legal Services form

Responsibility

Chief Investigator

  • Will monitor all expenditure against approved research project budgets/accounts to ensure expenditure is compliant with contracts/agreements;
  • Will notify Research Services of any proposed changes to the agreed contract, including, but not limited to, expenditure of funds, project extensions, etc.
  • Will submit milestone reports and final project reports to the funding body as outlined in the funding agreement.
  • Will submit copies of milestone reports, final reports and other relevant paperwork to Research Services for record keeping and reporting purposes.

Research Services

  • Coordinates all Category 1,2,3 and 4 research contracts and partner agreements;
  • Liaises with the Finance Office and the Legal Office as required;
  • Liaises with the Finance Office to set up research project codes;
  • Liaising with the Finance Office will monitor expenditure against approved research project budgets/accounts to ensure expenditure is compliant with contracts and funding guidelines;
  • Works with the Finance Office to ensure that financial reporting is submitted as specified in the contract;
  • Coordinates negotiations pertaining to variations, extensions and carry-overs;
  • Provides oversight and support for final reporting, including acquittals;
  • Will work with the Finance Office to produce ad hoc financial reports for internal and/or Chief Investigator requirements.

 Finance Office

  • Processes requests from Research Services to set up research project codes;
  • On request from Research Services, monitors all expenditure against approved research project budgets/accounts to ensure expenditure is compliant with contracts; Ensures that financial reporting is submitted as specified in the contract;
  • Produce financial acquittals and ad hoc financial reports: and
  • Will work with Research Services to produce ad hoc financial reports.

Vice Chancellor (or delegate)

  • The Vice Chancellor or delegate (as per Delegations – Contract, Financial, Staffing and Tender Policy) is responsible to signing off on research funding agreements and related variations.

Promulgation

The "Management of Research Funds" Procedure is to be implemented throughout the University in the form of notices via:

  1. An announcement on the FedNews webpage;
  2. The 'What's New' page on the Policy Central Website;
  3. Inclusion in the University's Policy Library;
  4. Advice to Faculty Boards.

Implementation

Records Management

Title Location Responsible Officer Minimum Retention Period
  Research Services Director, Research Services 7 years
  Research Services Director, Research Services 7 years
  Research Services Director, Research Services 7 years