Running your grant

The award offer

The award offer

The award offer should be accepted as instructed in the sponsor terms and conditions.  This may need to be by both Research Grants and Contracts (RGC), on behalf of the university, and by the PI.  An acceptance form may be included with the award letter, in which case RGC will ensure this is signed and returned to the sponsor.  If the PI sends a letter to the sponsor a copy should be sent to RGC as a file copy.

Common Issues in Managing Research Council Awards

 

Delaying the start date

The process to delay the start date of your grant depends on the funder of your project. Contact the relevant RGC grant coordinator for more information on delaying your start date.

Extensions and leave

Extensions may under some circumstances cover breaks or delays in the appointment of staff, periods of parental leave, or paid sick leave. You may be able to extend your award, depending on the funder of your project. Contact the relevant RGC grant coordinator for more information on extending your award.

As a general guide, we would expect the funder to pay for maternity, paternity or adoption leave, however it may depend on the funder of your project. For example, some smaller charitable organisations and industrial funders may not fund this. It may also depend on the staff member in question, length of service and other factors. Your departmental administrator, Human Resources and the relevant RGC grant coordinator may be able to provide more information on parental leave.

Transferring grants

The terms for transferring grants depends on the funder of your project. As a general guide, the research organisation must notify the funder if the PI intends to transfer to another organisation.  Written agreement is required from both the relinquishing and receiving organisations.  The RGC grant coordinator will liaise with the funder/organisation on the PI’s behalf, as we must have written agreement from the funder. Contact the relevant RGC grant coordinator for more information on transferring grants.

Agresso codes and spending

Agresso codes and spending

All research proposals are given an Agresso R code at application stage to facilitate the tracking of success rates and other processes.  

Understanding agresso reports – an illustrated example (MS Excel , 39kb)

Activation of your R code

At the application stage, the R code is not active and cannot be used for transactions. When a project is awarded, and Research Grants and Contracts (RGC) have received a duly agreed copy of the research contract/award offer and all the budget information, RGC will activate the R code and will inform you near to the start date of the project.

Spending before your start date

If you need to make investments (ie equipment, etc) before your grant begins, you may be allowed to charge it to your grant code prior to your start date. This depends on the funder of your project. Contact the relevant RGC grant coordinator on spending prior to your start date.

Spending after your grant

Any costs charged to the grant after the end date must have been incurred before the end date and be relevant to the grant. Proof of purchase or expense (including dates) should be auditable.  On Agresso, it is the 'expiry date' that controls whether expenditure can be charged to the project.  It is common that expenses incurred near the end of a project’s life actually need to be charged to the project R code after the project end date. Therefore, as standard, expiry dates are set at three months after the project end date.  Contact the relevant RGC grant coordinator if an expiry date needs to be amended.

Surplus funds

In most cases, surplus funds will have to be returned to the funder once your project has finished as the final income received is based on actual expenditure incurred. Should you be allowed to keep the surplus there also may be conditions from the funder concerning its use.  Any unrestricted surplus is first used to offset any University of York/departmental subsidy associated with the directly incurred budget. After this has been recovered, the entirety of the remaining surplus would be transferred to the department's M code.  Contact the relevant RGC grant coordinator for more information on transferring surplus funds.

Overspending

The PI is responsible for the appropriate management of funds associated with a research project. If you think you may overspend please contact the relevant RGC grant coordinator as soon as possible; in rare cases they may be able to request further funds if the request can be fully justified. For the majority of projects, where no further funds are granted or available, the department will have to cover any overspend on your grant. Please contact your departmental administrator or head of department for permission and advice on overspending.

Department overheads

The general principle is that cost recoveries are credited in line with where the original costs were incurred.  Prior to the implementation of Better Management:

  • cost recoveries for overheads, indirect and estate rates are shared between the department and the university.  The department receives exactly the same share of these recoveries for both pre and post fEC awards (i.e. 27.5% of overheads or 27.5% x 46% x the amount of directly incurred salary costs).  Slightly different arrangements apply to some research centres that are responsible for recovering the costs of their staff’s salaries as well as other directly incurred costs.
  • cost recoveries for academic investigator time are not normally credited to departments.

Following the implementation of Better Management, all the cost recoveries from externally funded research projects will be credited to the department.

Sponsor invoices and claims

The RGC grant coordinator who is administering your project will send invoices or make claims to the sponsor at timescales agreed in the contract. Where necessary, the grant coordinator will verify that any due project deliverables have been completed.

External audits

If you require an external audit, please liaise with the relevant RGC grant co-ordinator. The grant coordinator will arrange for the auditors to look at the financial report/statement and provide the audit certificate. This process usually takes 3-4 weeks from when the reports are ready to receiving the audit certificate depending on the availability of the auditors.

Timesheets

Timesheets

Research Council projects

In line with Research Council rules, timesheets must be kept for all staff who are Directly Incurred on a project and for whom their time on the project is less than 100% of their contracted hours.  Timesheets are not required for Directly Allocated Staff.

EC projects

Timesheets need to be completed on EC Framework 7 projects if your salary or any part of your salary is charged to the project. Timesheets need to be completed by all personnel whose salary costs are charged to the project (i.e. principal investigators, researchers, administrative staff, Marie Curie Fellows).

  • FP6 projects
    You should you use your existing methods of time recording for Framework 6 projects, ensuring that they cover all time spent on the project. 
  • FP7 projects
    Timesheets must cover all contracted hours (not just those spent on the project). 

Available timesheets

Je-S

Je-S

Je-S is the tool used to submit proposals electronically to research councils. It is the tool submission system that is most likely to be used by research staff.  The system is used by AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC and STFC (formerly CCLRC and PPARC), as well as the Technology Strategy Board (TSB)  and Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), to provide their communities with electronic grant services.

The system contains the current live proposals available from these research councils with the relevant documentation. Tenders are submitted through this portal. The J-eS tool enable the university to monitor the majority of the calls from research councils. It is also a valuable tool for departments to monitor and co-ordinate applications and to monitor research student details.

Requesting a change in JES (MS Word , 458kb)