Manage Funding

Once all the contractual requirements have been completed and you have access to your research funding, you are responsible for ensuring all conditions of award are met.

The Research Grants and Contracts Office is responsible for corporate reporting back to the funding agencies and for certifying financial and non-financial reports for individual projects.

In addition, the Office is also responsible for negotiating, seeking approval and submission of contract variations. Effective and efficient management of the University’s research income is a primary focus of the Research Grants and Contracts Office.

 

Project Grant (PG)

The PG is a unique account code set up for each project that is managed in the University’s financial system, PeopleSoft (PS). It consists of a 5 digit code identifying the Business Unit (BU) plus an 8 digit project code. External Research PGs are set up in the fund group range of 31xxxxxx to 55xxxxxx

Chief Investigators (CI’s) are required to submit specific PS information (Business Unit number, Manager Name, Report Key and Budget Activity) on their Application Cover Sheet/Acceptance of Offer form. This information is essential for correct set up of your PG and if not provided will delay opening of the account.

Your PG will be created within 10 business days of the agreement/contract being signed by the University and all internal paperwork being lodged. When your PG is open you will receive an email from the Research Finance Officer (RFO) assigned to your grant. This email will include the Grant Finance Schedule, a copy of the signed agreement/contract, the approved project term (as per the agreement/contract) and any other relevant information. CI’s, School Managers and BU finance officers should review this and note milestones.

It is important to note that the end date set on your PG is 3 months after the agreement/contract end date. This allows final expenditure from the last month of the project term to be processed (i.e. travel, credit card reconciliations) and for the CI to review all expenditure is correct. No new expenditure should be occurring after the granting period end date.

Finance Schedule

The finance schedule will set out invoicing timelines, PS budgets, CI progress reporting milestones (to be completed by the CI) and any financial reporting/statements required (to be completed by the RFO). If invoicing is linked to a milestone, the CI should note this and advise the RFO when completed so that the invoice can be raised promptly.

The RFO will send out reminder emails to the CI, School Manager and BU Finance Officer when an invoice is overdue to inquire whether or not the associated milestone has been met. However, the CI should be submitting milestone reports through the Research Grants and Contracts Office which will trigger the raising of the invoice.

Income

Research income is managed by the Research Grants and Contracts Office, who are the invoicing delegates. This ensures the income is correctly coded in the finance system to meet HERDC specifications.

Only the income received from the funding agency as per the agreement/contract, or any variation, should be allocated to your PG. An exception is Fellowship Gap Central Funds (internal funds) which will be allocated directly to eligible research fellowship PGs by the Research Grants and Contracts Office.

Any reimbursements for costs are not to be receipted into research PG’s. Your research funds should not be used to cover costs relating to other activities or those that may ultimately be funded by another source. Other income (non-research) is managed by the BU.

Expenditure

Shared grants, where the University is the Administrator of the grant and a portion of funds will be sent to a collaborating institution, is managed by the Research Grants and Contracts Office. For HERDC purposes, the University can only claim income that is retained here. Any invoices relating to shared grants should be directed for processing to the RFO assigned to your project or emailed to: grant-research@uwa.edu.au

The CI is responsible for the validity of all other expenditure processed on their grant as per the funding rules and/or terms and conditions of the agreement/contract. You’re responsible for ensuring it is processed in a timely manner, correctly coded to the right expense code and accurate. You should check your PG transactions and balance on a regular basis and correct any errors as soon as possible. Your School Manager or Finance Officer can provide transaction reports to review and assist you with any corrections that may be required. This is especially important as the project is nearing the completion date as stated in the agreement/contract.

GST

Research grants received by the University are likely to be considered as taxable supplies and therefore will give rise to GST liability.

This is because the University generally undertakes to provide research in return for the grant money. This is a supply for the purpose of the GST legislation. Further details regarding GST can be found here.

The GST component of income and expenditure will not appear in the PG reports as it is accounted for and reported separately to the ATO.

Exceptions - GST does not apply to contracts signed before 8 July 1999.

In the case where the funding is deemed to be an appropriation from one government agency to another there is no GST. This will be determined by the Research Grants and Contracts Office in consultation with Tax.

Infrastructure

Infrastructure will be applied at time of invoicing by the Research Grants and Contracts Office on a monthly basis.

The formula used to calculate the amount of infrastructure to be charged on an invoice based on a 35% rate is:

Invoice Value$11,000 including GST ($1,000)
Income processed in PG$10,000
Infrastructure Calculated$ 2,592.59
=(10,000*35)/135

Infrastructure Formula

If an invoice is processed in your PG near the end of the month the infrastructure charge won’t be deducted until the end of the following month.

For further information please refer to the University Policy on Indirect Cost Recovery (infrastructure)

Carrying Forward Funds

Generally most funding agencies require approval to carry forward unexpended funds beyond the agreement/contract completion date. By reviewing your PS reports regularly you will be aware of your current balance and can request an extension prior to the completion date.

The process to request carry forwards will vary depending on the funding agency, so check the guidelines and/or your agreement/contract at commencement so you are familiar with what their process is. If it isn’t clear please contact the Research Grants and Contracts Office for clarification.

The ARC has an annual requirement to complete a request to carry forward funds; further information regarding this process can be found in Reporting.

Financial Reporting

The Research Grants and Contracts Office is the delegated authority of ‘Chief Financial Officer’ for the purpose of the certification of research grant financials statements. All financial reporting/statements are prepared by the Research Grants and Contracts Office to ensure consistency and that expenditure is in line with the terms and conditions of the agreement.

The office is the main contact point for funding agencies regarding financial matters of grants that have been awarded to the University

Closing out your Project

Most research PGs are active for an additional 3 months after the agreement/contract end date to allow final expenditure incurred during the agreement term to be processed. As the project is nearing completion, the CI should regularly review all expenditure in the PG and ensure all costs have been processed before the PG end date. No new expenditure should be occurring after the granting period end date.

Once the project is complete, all income has been received and all financial and progress reporting requirements have been met, the PG will need to be closed out.  If there is a surplus balance, the Research Grants and Contracts Office will verify if the funds may be retained and utilised for other research activities or if they need to be returned to the funding agency.

Where there is deficit balance, the CI is required to liaise with the Business Unit to clear the deficit.

Audits

Some projects will require a financial audit. The Research Grants and Contracts Office has a Research Grant Audit Officer that is responsible for the management of all audits relating to research projects. At PG notification you will be informed of any audit requirements.

All US Federal Funded projects are subject to Uniform Guidance/A-133 compliance. On acceptance of funding a meeting will be arranged with the CI and School Manager to advise you of your responsibilities and annual compliance requirements. This is a rigorous audit of the University’s processes which is conducted by an external company on an annual basis.

International Funding

US Federal Funds USFF (including NIH)

It is recommended that advice be sought from the Research Grants and Contracts Office (Manager Research Finance or Manager Research Grants) if considering applying for US Federal Government funding, including from the National Institutes of Health. They have strict compliance obligations and require annual and quarterly reporting to the Research Grants and Contracts Office including effort reports and expenditure certifications.

Funds are audited annually and non-compliance findings risk the University’s eligibility to apply for and manage these funds.

Internal Grants (UWA Funds)

 

Project Grants

Most competitively awarded internally funded research grants such as Research Collaboration Awards will be set up for the start of the calendar year they were awarded for. The grant recipient is required to submit specific financial system information (Business Unit number, Manager Name, Report Key and Budget Activity) on their Acceptance of Offer form. This information is essential for correct set up of the PG and if not provided will delay opening of the account

If any ethics or other approvals are required for your project, these will need to be met and a copy submitted to the Research Grants and Contracts Office before any funding will be transferred

Non-competitive grants such as those from the Research Priority Fund scheme will be set up once all approvals and internal paperwork has been lodged and the funding period has commenced. The grant recipient and Finance staff will be notified of the new PG details and any matching funding requirements once the PG has been created.

It is important to note that PGs are given a clean-up period of up to 3 months after the granting period end date. This allows final expenditure from the granting period to be processed (i.e. travel, credit card reconciliations) and for the CI to review all expenditure is correct. No new expenditure should be occurring after the granting period end date.

Expenditure

The grant recipient is responsible for the validity of all expenditure processed to their PG. Expenditure must be in line with the budget submitted in the grant application and within the conditions of the scheme.  Any significant deviation from the submitted budget requires prior approval from the Research Grants and Contracts Office.

The grant recipient must ensure expenditure is processed in a timely manner, correctly coded to the right expenditure code and accurate. You should check your PG transactions and balance on a regular basis and correct any errors as soon as possible. The School Finance Officer can provide transaction reports to review and assist with any corrections that are required.

Funds must be spent on the approved project within the agreed timeline. If the project is delayed for any reason and the funds are required past the agreed timeline, an extension request must be submitted to the Research Grants and Contracts Office.

Financial Reporting

Most competitively awarded internally funded research grants such as Research Collaboration Awards require an expenditure statement as part of the final report process. The statement should reflect the actual activities in the PG reconciled to the submitted budget and a copy of the PG transaction report should be attached to verify the expenditure.

Closing out your Project

Once the project completion date has passed, the PG will need to be closed out during the PG clean-up period.  Any surplus balance will be recouped to central and any deficit will need to be addressed by the CI.

Researchers may be required to complete progress, milestone or final reports according to conditions in the award. Details of reporting requirements are usually found within schedules attached to the award agreement or in the funding rules. All reports should be submitted through the Research Grants and Contracts Office.

In most cases, the financial reporting requirements will be met by the Research Grants and Cntracts Office. In some instances, however, the Research Grants and Contracts Office may contact the researcher directly if they require additional information to complete a report. If a researcher receives a request from a funding body for a financial statement, it should be directed to the Research Grants and Contracts Office in the first instance.

The report will be forwarded to the funding agency on behalf of the researcher, and a copy will be placed on file to become part of the project’s records.

If you are in doubt about the timing of reports or any other reporting matter, please contact the Research Grants and Contracts Office.

ARC

End of Year Reporting

An End of Year (EOY) and Progress Reporting is required to be submitted for each ARC funded Project that was still active during the previous year.

The purpose of the EOY Report is to collect information regarding the financial activity relating to ARC funding received during the previous calendar year, and reconcile it against the ARC’s records.

The purpose of the Progress Report is to collect information regarding any significant issues affecting the progress of a Project during the 2015 calendar year, from an administrative perspective.

It is the responsibility of each Administering Organisation to ensure that all of the information contained in the Reports is accurate and that all required fields are completed as comprehensively as possible.

Each year a pro forma will be available to request a carryover on ARC awards and report any progress issues. This pro forma is available from the forms section of this site and should be submitted to the Research Finance Team in December each year. Reminders will be sent via the Research Announcement mailing list.

The final reports will be completed on behalf of the researcher by the Research Grants Office and submitted to the ARC.


Final

Final reports on ARC research projects must be submitted online via RMS (ARC Research Management System).

If you wish to submit a final report on an ARC project please access RMS

A step-by-step guide on how to submit an ARC final report is available on the ARC website.

In general ARC Final Reports must be submitted within twelve months of final ARC payment.

For most projects, this is usually the 31st of December following the end date of the research project or fellowship.

Please inform the UWA Research Grants Office once you have submitted a final report online, via email to reporting-research@uwa.edu.au. Your report requires certification from the Research Grants Office prior to it being reviewed by the ARC.

 

NHMRC

A Final Report must be completed within six months of completion of the Funding Period or termination of the award. The report includes:

  • the completion of Final Report - Achievements and Expected Future Outcomes Summary within RGMS; and
  • updating the RGMS CV by linking the relevant research outputs and outcomes to grant(s)

Chief Investigators and Fellows are encouraged to keep their RGMS CV up-to-date even after the Final Report is submitted. This enables NHMRC to evaluate long-term scientific, health and economic impacts of funded research. Grant applicants can also use this information to demonstrate research outcomes from their previously held NHMRC grants.

Research Fellowship grants which include either a Support Enhancement Option, a Trans-Tasman Joint Initiative Award or a Translation Advancement Incentive have an additional requirement to provide a one page report at the conclusion of the Fellowship by email to postaward.management@nhmrc.gov.au.

The RGMS User Guide – Grant Administration is available to assist with meeting scientific reporting requirement through RGMS. The user guide is located at RGMS Training Program.

 

Internal

Final reports are required for a number of the UWA internally funded research awards. Report templates are available from the forms section.

Reporting requirements for the most recent rounds of funding:

  • RCA – within 3 months of project completion
  • RIG – no later than 18 months from allocation of funds
  • UWA Fellowship Support Scheme - within three months of the conclusion of the fellowship

Reporting requirements can vary between rounds of funding, for round specific information please refer to the Guidelines and Conditions document for the scheme and round in which funding was awarded. Alternatively contact the Research Grants office.

 

Other

If you are unsure of the reporting requirements for your award and it is not specifically listed above, there are a number of sources of information that may be helpful:

  • Guidelines and Condition documents for the scheme in which funding was awarded
  • Letter of award
  • Funding agreement

Alternatively, you can contact the Research Grants Office and we can provide/obtain the relevant information.

 

Variations

Over the duration of a project changes in circumstances may necessitate a Variation of the Funding Agreement.

Variation requests must be submitted to the funding body by the Research Grants Office and approved by the funding agency prior to any changes occurring.

If you wish to request a variation to your project please contact the Research Grants Office in the first instance.

Funding body specific information can be obtained via the following links:

 

Research Finance Best Practice

It is important to ensure that the funds you receive to conduct research are spent in accordance with the agreement and/or guidelines.

To assist we have put together A Guide to Appropriate Transactions in Research Project Grants (PGs).