Post Award FAQs

 Frequently asked questions

Q. Who should I inform if I am successful in winning a research grant/contract?

 A. If they are not already aware of your success, please inform your DRI pre-award officer.

 Q. Who can sign my contract or other official document on behalf of the University?

 A. Section E.12.4 of the Financial Policies and Procedures details the signatories who are authorised to sign a contract on behalf of the University.

 Q. My new contract has been agreed and is fully signed. How do I obtain a financial code?

 A. The procedure for the issuing of financial codes can be found here [link to doc].

 Q. When can I start spending on my grant?

 A. In most cases (unless given specific permission from the funding body) you must wait until the contract start date (specified in the contract) has passed. However, if your award is from a Research Council , you can incur expenditure before the ‘start date’ as long as it is after the date of the letter awarding you the contract (the award date). For example, equipment can be ordered before the project start date to ensure that it is in place at the start date.

 Q. I want to make an appointment on my project. How do I do this?

 A. Your department / school must complete and submit a form L6666 to the Human Resources department. Further details and relevant contacts can be found on the HR website here. HR will review the form and, if complete, pass it to DRI for approval. DRI will ensure that there are sufficient funds in the project budget to meet the anticipated salary costs. We will also ensure that there is sufficient time remaining on the project to accommodate the appointment. If approved by DRI, HR will guide you through the recruitment process.

 Q. Will the staff employed on my project need to keep timesheets?

 A. If there are any members of staff employed on your project who are also employed on another project or in any other capacity within the University, they will need to complete timesheets. A pro-forma timesheet can be found here [create link].

 Q. Can I purchase equipment/consumables from anyone/anywhere?

 A. No. For most items there are approved University suppliers. Contact your departmental administrator, secretary or the purchasing office for further advice.

 Q. What do I do if I overspend my budget?

A. 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.

Q. What if an Exchange rate fluctuation causes an overspend?

A. This is a potential risk for any project dealing in a foreign currency. The University expects the owning College to fund any overspends. You should contact your College Finance Officer at the earliest opportunity when such an overspend has been identified. DRI will usually assist with an annual budget reconciliation to identify such funding shortfalls.

Q. What happens after the project END date?

A. DRI will contact you within three months of the end date but the level of formal close down procedure will vary. DRI may assist with a full project reconciliation and Final financial summary, ensure any outstanding income is recovered and complete any closing adjustments (journals). When all transactions have been satisfactorily concluded you will receive a closure notification from DRI.

Q. If I have funds remaining at the project end date can I spend them or have them transferred to a D code?

A. You must always comply with the Terms and Conditions relating to the AWARD and these will differ. Underutilised funding from RCUK and Charitable bodies  will nearly always require repayment. Some AWARDING bodies may allow you to keep funds but you will have to transfer these to an appropriate D code.

Q. I need up to date figures on my project expenditure. Where can I get these?

A.  There are a number of sources from which this information can be obtained.

1. Your departmental administrator will have access to the QL financial  system, and will be able to access the transactions on your financial code.

2. A PI Project Account Monitoring System (PIPA) is available for view access to financial transactions and budget summaries.

3. Your post-award officer (contact details) will be able to provide you with an ad-hoc report.

 Q. Who should I talk to about changes to my budget or other contract details during the lifetime of my project?

A. You need to alert your DRI post-award officer if there are any changes to the original contract details (e.g. budget details, start or end dates, investigators etc.). Any such changes must be confirmed in writing (signed) by the sponsor before amendment can be made to the central record.

Q. Can I buy equipment at the end of my project?

A. The UK Research Councils insist that no equipment can be purchased within six months prior to the end of the contract without their specific written approval. Most other sponsors do not have specific rules in connection with this. However, it is prudent to check with the sponsor prior to incurring the expenditure.

Q. What do I need to do / who do I need to speak to if I need to ask for an extension on my grant?

A. In all non-Research Council cases, you will need to contact the funding body and obtain their specific written approval. Once this approval has been obtained, you will need to pass a copy to your DRI post-award officer so that the central record can be amended. If your award is from one of the Research Councils, your request for an extension (or any other amendment to the contract details) must be submitted by your DRI post-award officer via the JeS system.

 Q. Who ensures that funds are claimed on my project?

 A. Further details on claims and invoicing procedures can be found here [link to doc].

  Q. What is ‘JeS’

 A. Details on the JeS system can be found here [link to doc].

 Q. How do I access or spend the overheads (directly allocated and or indirect costs) earned on my project?

A. All overheads are transferred to the owning College business plan on a timely basis throughout the life of the project. You cannot spend directly against the overheads on the AWARD code but there may be certain distributions of overhead income via D codes to PIs. Your College Finance Officer will be able to provide advice on such schemes.

Further information on this can be obtained from the Financial Planning and Support Unit of the Finance Department.