AHSC Policy on Management of Research Projects
NHS and Imperial College working principles underlying research contract negotiation and execution.
BIEE Dashboard Reports
Dashboard reporting uses Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) also known as Imperial College Analytics (ICA).
They give detailed information on awards, projects and proposals per faculty. Amongst other things they provide an easy-to-use tool to monitor expenditure against budgets.
List of Projects tab - Transaction Lists can be downloaded from the “List of Projects” report by searching for the Project Number; click on the Project Number in the returned data below and select “Project Transaction Detail”. In the next window, click on Project Number and select “Transaction detail – line by line”.
Exception Reports tab - There are 6 exception reports in this area each monitoring spend for a particular category -
- RCUK Starting Report
- Equipment Budget with no equipment spend
- Equipment Budget greater than £25k spend is less than £20k
- Project >3 months old with staff and/or bursary budget but no spend
- Project end date within 9 months
- Projects not closed after actual end date
Balance Management Report tab - This report shows project budgets, expenditure, commitments and remaining balance in conjunction with the remaining number of months.
Other reports are available in the drop down selections such as “Project Summary”; “Potentially Ineligible Spend”; “%Credit Project” and “Commitment Detail”.
CASE Studentships in Faculty of Medicine
CASE – Cooperative Awards in Science and Technology (formerly known as Collaborative Awards in Science and Engineering).
Each Research Council provides an Industrial CASE studentship and more information about these applications can be found on the relevant research council website from the link provided.
The process for CASE awards in the Faculty of Medicine is as follows:
Proposals should be submitted via the Joint electronic Submission (Je-S) system; however, these DO NOT need to be supported by an InfoEd proposal because CASE studentships DO NOT go through the Joint Research Office (JRO) under the P-code research ledger.
[InfoEd can be used to cost a CASE studentship but SHOULD NOT be submitted for approval by the dept.]
Instead, notification should be sent by email to the department’s relevant finance manager, cc’d to faculty finance (Frank Eagles), at least 5 working days prior to the submission deadline.
Proposals will appear in the JeS submitter pool along with ALL other research proposals administered by the JRO, so it is imperative the department finance manager and faculty finance (Frank Eagles) are notified of this submission.
Once awarded, the department administration will need to request two new GL codes - a G code for the RCUK funding and an N code for the Industrial top-up.
The CASE agreement is negotiated and signed off by the JRO Contracts team (Agreements managed by JRO).
CBS (Central Biomedical Services)
Central Biomedical Services (CBS) provides and operates animal research facilities for the biomedical research community working to 'leading practice' guidelines, recognising that good laboratory animal welfare is an essential component of good laboratory animal technology and science. The multi-campus CBS facilities can accommodate a variety of species at various levels of discipline, including a full barrier unit, containment level 3 suites and quarantine facilities. Skilled and dedicated members of staff are able to provide professional help and advice.
Before commencing work within a CBS facility you must discuss your requirements with the Site Manager at the appropriate campus and be fully conversant with local rules and regulations.
Please click on the Central Biomedical Services (CBS) link to access the CBS Costing Tool and CBS Notification Form.
Charity support from HEFCE (C-Stream Funding)
The Funding Council (HEFCE) provides additional income to support each project funded by a charity that is deemed C-Stream eligible, because charities do not normally pay any overheads.
Clearing balances in FoM research portfolio
As at July 2016, the Faculty of Medicine currently has ~700 awards in the overall research portfolio which remain open and active past their end date. To streamline the process of closing these accounts in the most efficient and effective way possible, the following processes should be followed for clearing surpluses and deficits balances prior to account closure on ICIS. This process was agreed with faculty finance in June 2014.
Commitments at Final Claim (pdf) - The general rule of thumb is not to claim commitments, as claiming commitments which do not materialise is fraudulent, especially if income is received based on actual expenditure. Please view the process.
Clearing Commitments on the Legacy of Awards
- JRO will download the project & award commitments and send a spreadsheet to section admin to ask them to CANCEL the PO and/or requisition, or move to a related research project or dept code.
- Section Admin to cancel the POs and/or requisitions which they can from this list – please refer to Purchase Order Maintenance (click “5 more child pages” for Cancelling a whole or lines of a purchase order).
- For the older commitments which are unable to be cancelled, Section Admin should forward to Systems Accounting explaining which cannot be cancelled, cc-ing respective JRO team member who sent the request and who will then take forward for resolution.
* Alternatively reply to the JRO team member who will take forward with Systems Accounting.
- Systems Accounting will cancel POs and inform respective JRO administrator the PO has now been closed - the commitments will now show as zero on the award/project.
- JRO will balance and close account – as per closing account procedure in the Operations Manual.
N.B. Commitments on old D cost centres no longer need to be cleared.
Costing and Pricing of Industrially Funded Research
Foreign Funders - Application Exchange Rates
For foreign funder applications, the application exchange rate should be used in the month in which the application is submitted for the *duration* of the project, using the FX table on the Exchange Rate website. (Not at the time the application is being costed plus the duration of the project, as this has created inconsistencies between depts and faculties).
The caveat to this approach is if an application has been costed in the previous month and the submission deadline is within the first 5 working days of the new month, then it is not expected for the dept to amend all of the figures on the application or InfoEd, unless they felt there is time-permitting to do so and there was a significant budget increase which they were likely to lose out on.
The lead department submitting the application should make the decision and dictate the exchange rate being used if cross-dept or cross-faculty as early as possible, and include the exchange rate used in the “Administrative notes” at the bottom of the recovery page. Example: Using 1 EUR = 0.76488GBP from Jun 16 exchange rates table = 1.45.
The JRO would only inform the dept of the difference if not choosing to re-cost using the new month’s exchange rate.
The exception to this rule is with CEC submissions:
Often, due to budget limits dictated by the Commission and subsequently the lead partner, we are forced into a position whereby we have to calculate the Sterling budget based on the Euros being presented to Imperial College by the coordinator, i.e. reverse calculating.
The above process still remains; however, some CEC submissions are in two stages:
- At stage 1*, the application rate for the term of the project is used based on the month in which the application is submitted for the duration of the project, using the FX table on the Exchange Rate website.
- If successful to stage 2. During the time elapsed between both stages, the exchange rate will potentially change and could result in less Sterling being made available; also potentially there could be a reduction in budget between stage 1 and stage 2 instigated by the coordinator based on indicative budgets at stage 1. Therefore, there is a potential double loss to the Sterling budget for the academic. In situations like these, the rate at which provides the most Sterling at either stage 1 or stage 2 should be used, but no other exchange rate in between.
*Stage 1 InfoEd approvals are required in Faculty of Medicine to determine success v declined rates for each call.
HRA (Health Research Authority) - Statement of Activities Process (SoA)
All college-sponsored studies funded by a commercial company or other funding organisation with NHS Trust costs will require a Statement of Activities and Schedule of Events. Please click on HRA Schedule of Events and Statement of Activities for HRA Approval for more information. Links to the process and templates can be found on this website.
The internal process for the Statement of Activities and Schedule of Events in the Faculty of Medicine can be found by clicking on the HRA (Health Research Authority) - Statement of Activities Process (SoA)
Please note: Clinical and non-clinical single site studies solely with ICHT costs will be processed by use of an ICHT Funding Letter. The process can be found on this webpage under "ICHT - Non-commercial study costs"
ICHT (Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust) - Non-Commercial Study Costs
ICHT consists of the following hospitals: Charing Cross, Hammersmith, Queen Charlotte & Chelsea, St Mary’s and Western Eye Hospital.
For non-commercial studies, the Trust costs MUST be obtained from the ICH Trust Team using their non-commercial costing tool for all applications. Please email email@example.com to obtain this as early as possible in your application process. (The title of your email should include "non-commercial costing request")
Once the non-commerical costing has been created by one of the ICH Trust Team, it will be approved by the relevant Divisional Research Manager (DRM) for each clinical division and returned to the requestor.
Upon receipt of an approved costing, this MUST be attached to InfoEd and/or sent to the JRO team by email.
At award stage, these costs will form part of the ICHT Funding Letter for single site studies - please see Research Partners and Subcontractors section below.
The ICHT Funding Letter produced by the Grant Manager will send this addressed to the DRM for each clinical division.
For other Trusts which do not form part of ICHT, please view the HRA section above.
The InForm team aims to provide Investigators and Clinical Trial Teams across Imperial College with a comprehensive service to support the collection, management and analysis of data from clinical trials. Please click on The InForm System to go directly to their website.
The Estimation process flowchart (pdf) will show you how the InForm estimation is obtain from the InForm team.
Please follow the InForm Estimation Process Pre and Post Award (pdf) for the Departments and the JRO to ensure the costs are correctly added to InfoEd at the pre-award stage and the InForm costs are correctly transferred at post award stage.
N.B. There is an exception for H2020 projects, and any other funders who also want to see an auditable trail of costs incurred. This is because not all costs under H2020 can be recovered and therefore there needs to be a clear auditable trail of itemised InForm purchases on the subprojects set up.
Raising Purchase Orders (inc ICHT Funding Letter)
Raising Purchase Orders
This is the procedure for Raising Purchase Orders - Oct 17 (pdf) , which also includes the process for creating a funding letter for ICHT non-commercial studies.
ICHT consists of the following hospitals: Charing Cross, Hammersmith, Queen Charlotte & Chelsea, St Mary’s and Western Eye Hospital.
Please download the Word version of the ICHT Funding Letter TEMPLATE v06 (doc).
Research Partners and Subcontractors
At application stage, the JRO will need to see confirmation of any third party costs which relate to research partners and subcontractors. A breakdown of these costs should be attached to InfoEd and/or emailed to a member of the JRO Grants Team.
The departmental administration should be asking the appropriate questions about the third parties included in the application in conjunction with the academic in charge of the project and the JRO from the outset.
- What is the nature of the work being conducted by the third party?
- Academic input – is the third party providing academic and intellectual leadership for their part of the research?
a) Are academics from the third party organisation individually named on the Award documentation?
b) If so, is the academic from the third party organisation:
i) responsible for research input rather than service provision?
ii) directing their part of the research programme?
iii) advancing research knowledge in their own right?
iv) able to publish findings based solely on the results of their own research?
v) able to transfer their share of the funding to another institution if they move?
If the answers to the majority of questions b(i) – (v) are ‘yes’ (in particular questions (iv) and (v)), then there is a strong justification that the third party organisation should be treated as a Research Partner (NOT a Professional Fees/Subcontractor). This would mean that Imperial must exclude any income which relates to work undertaken by the third party.
More importantly it will also help determine whether they should include VAT in their costs on the InfoEd proposal costing.
It is imperative to get this correct from the outset to ensure budgets are correctly allocated on ICIS and VAT does not become an issue when the award is set up which will potentially impinge on the budgets awarded, and inevitably reallocation of budget to account for additional VAT costs.
This will also allow for the correct analysis code to be set up on ICIS. Hence, when the requisition is raised with the correct analysis code and the correct VAT reason is selected, the VAT code will be automatically selected and added to the requisition.
If the above is not obtained at application stage then this does need to be determined as soon as the contract negotiation begins.
There will be a risk to the department by not supplying this information at application stage and could result in a reduction of Imperial’s budget if not substantiated from the outset.
For ICHT costs ONLY, please see the "ICHT non-commercial study costs" section above.
To meet College reporting requirements, all external research partner/collaborator organisations present on an award should be recorded against the project partner budget, as per the Research Partners Budget Form Guidance (pdf). Functionality has been introduced within Oracle Grants to capture the names of our Research Partners (also referred to as Research Collaborators in Grants) at project level.
Please note that only HEI Research Partners need to be entered on awards if relevant. Industrial and other non-HEI Research Partners may be added for clarity, but HEI Research Partners are the primary information requirement.
Please ensure you use the appropriate Research Partner code [191104 - UK HEIs; 191106 - CEC Partners; 191110 - Other Collaborators (commercial or other)]. As a clarification to that guidance, these research partner/collaborator names should also be added even when they hold no partner budget.
Please note all of this information is also provided on the RO webpage.
European Commission e.g. FP7 and Horizon 2020
- Timesheets should be completed using the comprehensive and / or the project level excel template downloaded via the RO webpage.
- A project level template is a requirement for Horizon 2020 up to May 2016, after this date comprehensive timesheets are only required.
- If all of an employee’s time is charged to a single H2020 project (100%) then the project level timesheet will suffice on its own, up to May 2016, then comprehensive timesheets only thereafter.
- If not working 100% to H2020 then a comprehensive AND project level timesheet will be required, up to May 16, then comprehensive timesheets only thereafter.
- However, the recommended best practice is for all employees to complete a comprehensive record, supplemented by a H2020 record if required.
For CEC FP7 & H2020 Projects - please see EU Projects.
For all other funders who require timesheets – please see Grants (post award).
US Federal Agencies e.g. National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) etc.
- Timesheets or effort statements are a requirement of grant funding in accordance with the Whitehouse Office of Management and Budget circular entitled “Cost Principles for Educational Institutions” (2 CFR Parts 215 and 220, previously OMB Circular A–21).
- Timesheets should be completed using the comprehensive excel template or effort statement template both downloaded via the RO webpage.
- Timesheets are however not required if all of an employee's time (100%) is charged to a single project (this includes part-time staff) – please read more about this on the “Comprehensive and Project-Level Timesheets Table” under Grants (post award).
Please note: PI time on NIH awards is allowable but only as a Direct Cost, i.e. actual salary costs supported by time/effort records (timesheets). What seems to happen, however, is that during proposal development on InfoEd, PI time is calculated using directly allocated time and when awarded the costs are transferred by journal under analysis code 181104 to the dept 541104.
The initiation of the A-133 audit by NIH means this practice is no longer valid and going forward charging must instead be initiated via contract change requests (preferred method) or by HR18 transfer (exceptional circumstances). However, the NIH have strict T&Cs around cost transfers which must be completed within 90 days of the error occurring. For staff costs, this is no different; therefore, getting into good practice whereby staff are assigned to projects using contract request or contractual change forms will certainly eliminate this issue. Obviously sometimes delays in receiving the award means using HR18’s is necessary and this would be considered OK and due to exceptional circumstances.
Research Councils (RCUK) e.g. MRC, BBSRC etc.
- Timesheets are a requirement of RCUK grant funding (also a requirement of FEC).
- Timesheets should be completed using the comprehensive excel template downloaded via the RO webpage.
- Timesheets are however not required if all of an employees’ time (100%) is charged to a single project (this includes part-time staff).
There may be some complex scenarios where an employee is funded across multiple awards with differing timesheet requirements; therefore, please read more about this on the “Comprehensive and Project-Level Timesheets Table” under Grants (post award).
It must be pointed out it is the funders who have applied these rules for timesheets as an auditable trail, not the College or Research Office. Please see page 2 of the “Comprehensive and Project-Level Timesheets Table” under Grants (post award). The timesheet methodology applied to these projects is the most sustainable and risk-averse way of recording time, which will correctly charge costs to each individual project. Therefore, failure to complete timesheets, or effort statements, may result in the department having to cover these costs if disallowed by the funder.
Where to send your timesheets
As shown in the “Comprehensive and Project-Level Timesheets Table”, if only working on NIH and RCUK then timesheets need only go to your respective Senior Grants Administrator (SGA) in the JRO Grants team to your section/division. If working only on EU projects then this must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org – please follow the process shown under the Timesheets and EU JRO mailbox section.