Award acceptance and set-up
On receipt of an award letter from a funder, Faculty Research Services teams will review the terms and conditions and advise the PI and Department of any implications for the College and Faculty. If acceptable, the Faculty Research Services team will formally accept the award or sign the contract on behalf of Imperial College London.
If the terms and conditions are unacceptable, the Faculty Research Services teams will liaise with the PI and Department and agree whether to attempt to re-negotiatate with the funder in line with College's Preferred Terms policy.
Before Faculty Research Services teams set up the award, they must be notified that all healthcare governance and ethics approvals are in place. Please see the guidance on additional approvals associated with healthcare research.
Selecting the Correct Funder Group
Research funding is managed within the Oracle Grants system and when setting up the award details a Funder Group must be assigned. Entering the correct Funder Group is essential because it directly affects the proportion of Quality-Related funding received by the College - please see Funder Groups Guidance [pdf] for further information on Funder Group categories and criteria.
Creating Award Numbers
Within Oracle Grants, research projects are administered using an accounting code structure called POETA which includes a:
- Project Number (P)
- Cost Centre (O)
- Analysis Code (E)
- Task (T)
- Award Number (A)
The Award Number
The Award Number will be allocated by the Faculty Research Services team and is a combination of the Cost Centre and the Project Number eg ABCDE_P12345:
- The Cost Centre indicates the Faculty and Department or Division e.g. ABCDE
- The Project Number is generated from the Proposal Number in the Pre-Award system e.g. P12345
Where the budget is divided between different Departments or Faculties, a subproject will be set up for each department. Several subprojects can be linked to an overall Award Number, but the Subproject Number will always be prefixed by PS e.g. PS1234
Expenditure can be charged against Project Numbers and Subprojects Numbers and will be determined by the overall Award Budget.
Once the Project Number is set up, the Faculty Research Services team will then assign a budget as laid out in the Award Letter from the funder. Depending on the individual award, budget values will be allocated against Directly Incurred, Directly Allocated and Indirect Cost codes at project and (where required) at subproject level.
Foreign Currency Projects
Initial GBP budgets will be set up using the same rate as the original application. Where an advance payment is received, income received will be budgeted at the income rate (i.e. the actual conversion rate at time of receipt), whereas the outstanding income will be budgeted using the Exchange Rate Table.
For US Federal awards, e.g. National Institutes of Health, where budgets are awarded annually, each annual budget can be calculated using the current one-year rate from the Exchange Rate Table.
Projects with Research Partners or Professional Fees
When a project is undertaken by a number of institutions and College acts as the lead, the other institutions are defined as research partners. In other cases the College may contract out elements of a project to third party subcontractors.
As part of the award set up process, Faculty Research Services teams are responsible for liaising with research partners and those in receipt of professional fees on any administrative arrangements relating to the financial and contractual relationship including:
- Budget details
- Obligations to the main funder
- Financial reporting
- Contractual terms (if applicable)
Please see the Research Partner and Professional Fees Guidance for further information.
Notifying PIs and Departments
The Faculty Research Services team will send the Principal Investigator (PI) and the Department a notification that outlines the following project information:
- Award letter/funder’s terms and conditions or contract
- Budget breakdown sheet
- Award allocation letter
- Project Number
- Award Number
- Any funder specific requirements/obligations e.g. timesheets
Receipt of this notification means the set-up process is complete, the award and project numbers are activated in the general ledger and the PI can spend against the project number.