Financial management of awards
The primary resource for details of the processes and responsibilities associated with the financial management of research awards is the Managing Research Awards and Projects webpages on the Finance website. Some supplementary information is set out below.
Managing activity on the award
Cost allocation should be regularly monitored to ensure that terms and expectations can be met and that costs have been captured in the correct award.
Project deliverables such as formal progress reports and work packages must be submitted in line with agreed timescales. At all times it is essential that sponsor terms and conditions are strictly adhered to.
Oracle Financials reports are available to support the financial management of research awards.
Some funders require time-records for staff effort. More information can be found on the other key funder requirements page.
If at any stage you become aware of potential threats to the project's successful completion, or believe the funder may be in financial difficulties, please advise the Research Accounts Operations Manager or Head of Research Accounts immediately.
Please see the Manage Award section of MRAP for more details.
If there are any changes to the award such as extensions or supplements, then (except as noted below) Research Services should be notified and an RPF2 form will be created. Research Accounts will amend the award on Oracle on the basis of the information provided on the RPF2.
Please see the Amend Award section of MRAP for more details.
For award date changes, Departments can use the Request for Award Date Change form (40kb), which should be sent to Research Services together with supporting documentation from the funder.
There are certain amendments to awards where departments can ask Research Accounts to make changes to the budgets on Oracle without reference to Research Services or the need for an RPF2. This includes:
- European Commission awards: adjustments to the sterling budget where these will ensure the full value of the award’s Euro budget is made available for research;
- Awards where the funder will meet cost of living awards;
- Awards where the funder prescribes a fixed or minimum bursary payment which differs from the amount originally budgeted for;
- Additional budget made available for running expenses on Royal Society Fellowship awards;
- Annual/period-specific budgets: cases where a funder allows unspent balances from one funding period to be carried forward to the next.
Full details are set out in the document: Budget Amendments which do not require an RPF2 (Research Accounts Policy 2).
Managing claims and invoices
All project billing, statements and claims are managed by, and authorised by, Research Accounts. All claims or invoices for research activity must be raised by Research Accounts: departments should never raise claims or invoices for research.
Please see the Manage Claims and Invoices section of MRAP for more details.
Reconcile and close award
Periodic and Final Expenditure Reports are all submitted (and signed off) by Research Accounts. Final Statements of Expenditure (FSEs) are sent to departments for review prior to submission. It is important to respond promptly to any queries raised by Research Accounts to ensure timely submission.
Financial sanctions apply for late submission on Research Council FSEs (20% of the award value). Other funders may withhold payment if claims are not received within the prescribed time scale.
Please see the Reconcile and Close Award section of MRAP for more details.