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 (Simon Passey), 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 (Simon Passey) 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)
Research England provides government funding known as “Quality-Related” (QR) funding which depends on factors such as quality of research and volume of research income. Additional support is also provided via the “Charity Support Fund” for eligible charitable income (referred to as C-stream) and the “Business Support Element” for industry collaborations.
Clinical Data Systems (previously Inform)
The Clinical Data Systems 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 Clinical Data Systems link to go directly to their website.
Please follow the Clinical Data Systems - Word (39k) for the Departments and the JRO to ensure the costs are correctly added to InfoEd at the pre-award stage and the Clinical Data Systems 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 Clinical Data Systems purchases on the subprojects set up.
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
Equipment & Facilities Process
The background to the college’s Research Facilities can be found by accessing the Research Support “Costing” webpage and expanding the section “Directly allocated research facilities”
The Framework for Managing Research Facilities Guidance can be found within the above "Costing" webpage - please read.
- The FEC rate has been calculated for each Facility (per hour). It is the responsibility of the Facility Manager to ensure this rate is quoted to all intended users who are applying for external research funding - the charge-out list of facilities is also published on the "Costing" webpage.
- The Facility Manager should encourage potential users to contact them at the earliest opportunity so they may provide further advice about the availability of their particular Facility and its usage costs to ensure a correct costing rate is applied during the grant application process.
- It is the responsibility of the Section/Dept Administration to include the “Number of Units (Hours)” and “Rate per Hour” in the proposal.
Please follow this guidance for the correct action at Pre and Post award stages - Directly Allocated Research Facilities Process - Nov 17.pdf (446k)
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) - SoECAT and OID
All college-sponsored studies funded by a commercial company or other funding organisation with NHS Trust costs will require a SoECAT (Schedule of Events Cost Attribution Template) and OID (Organisation Information Document) or mNCA (model Non-Commercial Agreement), as laid out in the OID Contracts Flowchart - Oct 2020 PDF 43KB.
The internal process for the SoECAT and OID in the Faculty of Medicine can be found by clicking on:
A SoECAT must be completed if:
- The proposed study is intended for the NIHR CRN portfolio, the route through which support and Excess Treatment Costs are provided in England. This may include studies that will take place in a social care or public health setting.
- The research requires HRA and HCRW Approval in England and/or Wales, and/or studies requiring NHS/HSC Management Permission in Northern Ireland and/or Scotland.
- The research will use NHS resources
SoECATs are required for all funders which will use NHS resources, even if it does not include excess treatment costs (ETCs). This is because an AcoRD Trust specialist at our Trust, or LCRN if multi-site, MUST check for the attribution of costs and confirm whether a full SoECAT is required by completing section 12 on page 1 of the SoECAT.
The applicant should complete as much of the "Study Information" on page 1 before seeking advice from the Trust team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Royal Brompton & Harefield Trust - Internal Review SoECAT Process. Before RBHT authorise SoECATs as single site and where ICL are Sponsor, RBHT require confirmation that the Sponsor has been involved in the completion process as per national guidance:
Please refer to guidance for NIHR - When a SoECAT is required
PLEASE ALLOW 20 DAYS REVIEW TIME FOR APPROVAL AND SIGN OFF
For information about preparation, templates and agreements can be here:
Please note: ICHT Funding Letters are no longer in use and have been replaced by the OID, as per the OID Contracts Flowchart - Oct 2020 PDF 43KB.
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, where the college is using ICHT, 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" and the P-code of the proposal)
Note: underscore between admin and trust in email address above
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.
SoECAT - NHS Trust can sign off as AcoRD specialist, ONLY if the proposal involves a single site and there are no ETCs (Excess Treatment Costs)
Upon receipt of an approved costing, this MUST be attached to InfoEd by the person who is creating and submitting the proposal.
Please view the HRA (Health Research Authority) - SoECAT and OID section above.
Raising Purchase Orders for Subcontractors and Partners (including Trusts)
Raising Purchase Orders
This is the procedure for Raising Purchase Orders for Subcontracts and Partners Oct 20 (pdf) within the Faculty of Medicine.
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, along with your application.
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?
If the answers to the majority of questions are ‘yes’, 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 template downloaded via the RO webpage.
- If not working 100% to H2020 then please ensure all other time is captured on the timesheet.
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 are a requirement of grant funding in accordance with the Whitehouse Office of Management and Budget circular entitled “Cost Principles for Educational Institutions”.
- Timesheets should be completed using the comprehensive excel template 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 note: PI time on NIH awards is allowable but only as a Direct Incurred Cost, i.e. actual salary costs supported by comprehensive timesheets. Previously, 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 - this is NOT correct.
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).
Please be reminded it is the funders who have applied these rules for timesheets as an auditable trail, not the College or Research Office. 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
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.