Other key funder requirements

Principal Investigators are responsible to their Head of department for ensuring that research projects are conducted in accordance with the terms and conditions of any funding or other agreements relevant to the project. The responsibility of Departments relating to the financial management of research awards are set out in the Accepting awards and starting projects and the Financial management of awards pages.

This page highlights some further common funder requirements, however, each individual research award must be reviewed carefully to ensure that all requirements are complied with.

Completion of Timesheets

Both the European Commission and the Research Councils require timesheets to be completed by staff working on projects.

EC projects

Timesheet requirements for staff working on EC projects (Oxford Gateway to Europe).

Research Council projects

For Research Council projects, Directly Incurred staff must use timesheets so that their actual time is recorded against a project. However where a person is contracted to work 100% of their time on a single project (whether they are working full time or part time), they have accepted that timesheets are not necessary as their costs can only be charged to that activity. In all other cases timesheets or project time records are required.

Recent changes to TRAC FEC guidance (effective December 2010) set out a series of additional requirements regarding time recording on Research Council projects (although the category of staff who must complete timesheets is unchanged). These changes are set out below:

  • Timesheets must be completed on a monthly basis (previous guidance was quarterly)

  • Timesheets to be signed by the employee and approved by their manager

  • Timesheet must show actual (or 'productive') hours worked by the individual across a range of activities, not just those hours spent on Research Council projects

  • Range of activities to be categorised as follows:

    1. A separate row for actual productive hours spent on each RC project

    2. On non-Research Council funded activities, actual productive hours to be shown against the categories of 'Teaching/Research/Other'

    3. Productive time spent on support activities to be shown separately

See a Sample RCUK compliant timesheet (79kb).

Publications, presentations and acknowledging research funders

Most major research funders include in their terms and conditions of award to grant-holders a requirement for researchers to acknowledge in any publication the support received from the funder in question.

The Research Information Network has produced Guidance on the Acknowledgement of Funders in Scholarly Journal Articles. The Guidance has been endorsed by the Research Councils, the Wellcome Trust, and the Association of Medical Research Charities, as well as by the Publishers Association and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers.

Further information about specific sponsors can also be found on our Major Sponsors pages.

Depositing research data and/or publications in accessible repositories

University Policy asks researchers to upload full text of their publications to the Oxford Research Arhive (ORA). These will be stored and preserved and, copyright permitting, made freely accessible by the Bodleian Libraries. Authors will be asked to provide details of the funder(s) and of the source of data for publicly-funded work (as required by the Research Councils UK from April 2013).

An increasing number of funding bodies require that publications, resulting from the funded research are made available to other researchers and the wider world at the earliest possible date. For further information see the Open Access Oxford site.

Funding organisations are also increasingly requiring grantees to deposit their raw research data in appropriate public archives or stores, in order to facilitate the validation of results and further work by other researchers. For further information and resources please visit the Research Data Management website.

Academic Reporting to Funders

Most funders require periodic (e.g. annual) and final academic reports to be submitted to them describing activity on the funded project. Some funders will require these to be 'signed off' by the University before submission and this can be arranged via Research Services.

A number of sponsors, especially the Research Councils, are introducing conditions that require grant holders to report on the outputs, outcomes and impacts of their funded research, both during the lifetime of the awards and afterwards.

What to do when the other party even hints at terminating a research agreement

On occasions, a University PI or an administrator may pick up hints or rumours that a research agreement might be terminated by the other party. Our very firm advice would be to act then and now - to follow up with the other party and see if there is an issue. The rumour might be unfounded. But there may be a problem to be addressed; for example, the other party may be unhappy about some aspect of the project. Or it might be nothing to do with the project as such but rather a change in circumstances, such as a 'new boss' reviewing commitments, or a company being in financial difficulties or being sold or taken over, or a change in direction for a government entity.

If a research agreement is in jeopardy or the other party is looking to reduce the size or duration of its investment, please let Research Services and Research Accounts know immediately. Termination clauses may need to be invoked and negotiations undertaken. If the funding is to be reduced, the project budget will need to be revised and an RPF2 issued.