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 department, faculty or College. If acceptable, the Faculty Research Services team are authorised to formally accept the award or sign the funding contract on behalf of Imperial College London.
If the terms and conditions are not acceptable, the Faculty Research Services teams will liaise with the PI and department to agree whether to attempt to re-negotiate with the Funder in line with the College's Preferred Terms and Conditions Policy ROP-05 [pdf].
Before Faculty Research Services can set up the award on the finance system, they will also check that all regulatory and ethical approvals are in place (or in progress if appropriate), such as those in relation to research governance for health and social care research.
Selecting the Correct Funder Group
Research funding is managed within the Oracle Grants module (part of the College’s finance system, ICIS) and when setting up the award details the correct Funder Group must be assigned. Entering the correct Funder Group is essential because it directly affects the proportion of Quality-related Research (QR) funding received by the College from Research England. Further information on Funder Group categories and criteria is available in the Funder Groups Guidance [pdf].
Creating Award Numbers
Within the Oracle Grants module, 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 academic department or faculty e.g. ABCDE
- The Project Number is generated from the Proposal Number originally created by the Pre-Award system e.g. P12345
Research income received from the funder will be credited against the Award.
Where the budget for a collaborative award 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
Research expenditure will be charged against Project Numbers and Subproject Numbers in line with the 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.