I've got an award what happens now

I've got an award what happens now?

A financial code known as the PROJECT CODE is established and you will be informed of its designation

A budget is assigned to the financial code

DRI establishes a Project file containing the proposal, contract, staff appointment letters, copies of claims and invoices and correspondence.

Some key points to note:

The use of the financial code is strictly time limited in adherence to the contract, i.e. there is a specified start date and an end date.

All expenditure relating to the project must be incurred within the timeframe specified by the contract.

Only income relating to the sponsor should be banked in the project code, i.e. you should not use the code for any other income from another source.

Expenditure must relate to the project purposes, i.e. be eligible according to the specified terms and conditions of the project

You will need to plan for staff recruitment and get DRI involved to approve the budgets for each member of staff

Plan in advance if you need to EXTEND the project and get the written CONSENT from the SPONSOR unless you are certain it is not required (unlikely with most Awarding bodies)

Monitor all transactions (expenditure and income) listed on the PROJECT CODE on a timely basis and take any corrective action if you notice any miscodings or charges that have not been incurred, i.e. Staff salary payments are occurring as planned.

DRI has a monitoring tool called PIPA which will allow you access to view these transactions. You may nominate a delegate(s) to view project codes on your behalf. Please contact DRI to arrange.

 DRI will liaise with you concerning the invoicing of income and the claiming of income. There may be strict timescales specified within the contract. Please ensure that you adhere to these timescales.

Your College will assist you with the purchasing of goods and services but you should familiarise yourself with the relevant procurement guidelines

Please note that DRI is not a processing section so all of the transactions (expenditure items and some cash receipts) that appear on your account code were processed and arranged by other feeder systems. DRI will be glad to assist with any issues regarding the transactions but in most cases will only be able to act as a signposting service to the originating source.

Financial code structure

Guide to terminology

The way the University organises its individual Project financial codes (otherwise known as the ‘coding structure’) is as follows:

 Each financial code has nine digits, three alpha and six numeric. Eg, EGR 100 300

 First 6 characters form the Project code and the last 3 characters are the subjective code defined in a University wide directory (so these vary and act as a description of the nature of the expenditure)

 Sub-code             Narrative

200                         Income

300/400                Staff pay and Student bursaries

500                         Expenditure, i.e. Equipment, Travel, Consumables etc

600                         Overheads earned on the Project

 Characters 1 and 2 (alpha) define the School / Department or Centre. Examples are:

                 EG = Engineering

                PY = Physics

                LA = Law

                GG = Geography

                 These two digits are sometimes referred to as the ‘cost centre code’.

 Character 3 (also alpha) defines the type of funding for the account (i.e. the type of code). The types of codes that DRI help administer are:

 – Research contracts funded by eligible bodies (not subject to VAT), e.g. Research Councils

V – Research contracts funded by ineligible bodies (subject to VAT), e.g. commercial organisations / private or public companies etc.

C – Other services rendered (i.e. non-research) (subject to VAT)

G – Contracts awarded from specific ‘Funds’ by any of the national funding councils (HEFCW, HEFCE etc).

 All other types of codes (D, E etc) are administered by the Finance Department.

 Characters 4 to 6 (numeric) are the unique reference for the code when used in conjunction with digits 1 to 3.

 Characters 1 to 6 are often known as the ‘Nominal code’.

 Characters 7 to 9 (numeric) record the type of expenditure or income.

This is the subjective code, but is more commonly referred to as the ‘sub-code’. For example, expenditure on overseas travel would use the sub-code 585, while the purchase of stationery would use 579. Broadly, income is recorded to 2** codes, salaries related expenditure to 3** codes, and non-salaries related expenditure to 5** codes. A full list of the subjective codes can be found here [link to Finance].

 A full example: When the code EGR 100 570 is used we know that:

 EG – is a code held by the College of Engineering

R – is a research contract (not subject to VAT) awarded to Engineering

100 – is the unique Project reference

570 – the expenditure relates to car hire


 Guide to financial terminology

 Income – the cash received from the sponsoring body

 Direct costs – Expenditure that can be charged to the project and was clearly identified in an expenditure budget category, i.e. Staff, Travel, Equipment, Consumables

Indirect costs – These are typically related to overheads and may be Full Economic costs (Academic time, Estates, Technicians etc). The charges are usually journalled (transferred) to the project account on a timely basis by DRI. The College Business Plans receive the credit for this expenditure.

 Match funding – The time, resources or cash that partners (including Swansea University) contribute to the funding of a project.

  Swansea University contribution  – The University may contribute to an fEC funded project and you will find this as a credit to 655 sub-code. It represents the University contribution to the project. E.g  RCUK  may contribute 80% cash and Swansea 20% cash.

 Budget profile – The spread of income or expenditure over a period of time usually as an aid to cashflow management but can assist with the planning of delivery and ensures milestones are achieved.

 QL acronyms - If you use the QL financial system you may see the following descriptors:

 ACP                        Expenditure items charged by the Finance department

PAY                       Staff payments generated by payroll

GEN                       A journal or transfer to effect an adjustment to the project account

CBK                        Income received as cash

SIV                         Invoices raised to sponsor (effectively cash but remain a debt until paid)


PI and Project Manager responsibilities

You should familiarise yourself with the Financial Procedures here but in particular be aware of your personal responsibility outlined within section E12:

"Responsibilities of PI for project finances

It is the responsibility of the investigator/project manager to monitor the expenditure on the research or project account."

Important Do’s and Don’ts of Award Management


Use your financial code as a Bank – it must be used for the specific purposes of the contract. i.e. you should not use it to fund any expenditure which is not related to the project even if you plan to refund it.

Use the Project code it to hold cash which is not given by the awarding body, i.e. a rainy day fund for Travel, Conferences or to accumulate overhead income. (D codes are used for such purposes)

Forget the end-date is final day for expenditure to be charged or “defrayed” some sponsors will expect this to be evidenced by bank statements. So do not leave any unpaid invoices to the last few days.


Spend your project budget on the SPECIFIC items agreed in the AWARD within the defined time period, i.e. on ELIGIBLE expenditure after the project START date before the project END date.

Familiarise yourself with the Sponsors’ terms and conditions (DRI can assist with guidance and interpretation)

Plan in advance if you need to EXTEND the project and get the written CONSENT from the SPONSOR unless you are certain it is not required (unlikely with most Awarding bodies)

Alert your College if you notice an overspend. If this was unavoidable to deliver the project outputs then you should arrange to transfer the overspend to an appropriate College financial code. You must contact your College Finance Officer to approve any transfers