Process

Initiate grant application

Prior to initiating the proposal for submission to the JRO, all the necessary considerations should have been taken into account in relation to Preparing and Costing a Proposal and with specific criteria to the Funders' Call Conditions. (Specifics to the Faculty of Medicine can be found below)

Notification to the JRO

The PI and Department Administration compiles the information required for the proposal, citing the minimum detail below:

  • InfoEd Proposal Number (P-number)
  • Acronym / Title 
  • Start Date and Duration (9 MONTH MINIMUM LEAD TIME – dependent on call)
  • PI name 
  • Funder / (Originating Funder)
  • Type of Award / Funding Scheme / Call
  • Project Type (e.g. clinical trial, lab based)
  • Funder Deadline for Submission

Log grant request

Upon receipt of the above information, the JRO will log receipt of your proposal, noting the deadline date, the date first informed and the date all relevant information has been submitted for verification against the funder's call conditions and college policies. 

JRO Grants teams will help, support and advise during the application process when they have been informed early and proposals have been submitted in a timely manner at least five days before the submission deadline.

Assign work to grant team

Once logged, the proposal will be assigned to relevant member of the JRO Grants team.

Specific guidance

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.  Where it is anticipated at the time of submission that a period of one year or more will elapse between the submission and award dates, this should be taken into account when selecting the appropriate rate from the table, i.e. the duration from the point of submission until the projected end date of the project.

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.

Research Partners vs Professional Fees (Subcontractors)

Pre-Award

Many research projects will involve working with new and existing external partners who are responsible for delivering aspects of the overall programme.

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.

When defining the project responsibilities of a third party, there is an important difference between a research partner and professional fees which will affect the treatment of payments to them. Categorisation is dependent on the nature of the work being undertaken by the third party organisation - not the type of organisation - please follow the Research Office Guidance for Identifying Partners, which contains:

It is imperative for this to be correct at application stage 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.

Third Party Due Diligence - the Research Office has developed the Research Third Parties: Framework For Managing Due Diligence which outlines the operational process and responsibilities for conducting due diligence checks at both Pre-Award and Post-Award stages. The aim is to identify any potential risks that may impact the College's reputation, financial position, academic standards and research integrity, and to mitigate these during the lifetime of the research project.

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 imperial.admin_trustresearchcontracts@nhs.net 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 note:  The ICHT Funding Letter is no longer in use, as this has been replaced with an OID, as part of the

Please view the HRA (Health Research Authority) - SoECAT section below.

SoECAT - Health Research Authority

All college-sponsored studies funded by a non-commercial organisation with NHS Trust costs will require a SoECAT (Schedule of Events Cost Attribution Template), if their call conditions require this.

An OID (Organisation Information Document) or mNCA (model Non-Commercial Agreement) will be required at post-awardOID and mNCA Contracts Flowchart - Dec 2020 PDF 43KB.  Please review the specific guidance in our post award section.

The internal process for the SoECAT in the Faculty of Medicine can be found by clicking on the SoECAT Process Map.pdf (212KB)

PLEASE ALLOW 20 DAYS REVIEW TIME FOR APPROVAL AND SIGN OFF BY AcoRD SPECIALIST.

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 Health Research Authority (HRA) approval in England.
  • 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 from our JRO Trust team, or LCRN if multi-site, MUST check for the attribution of costs and confirm whether a full SoECAT is required by completing section 12 of the Study Information on page 1 of the SoECAT.

IMPORTANT NOTE - some funders, namely research councils, require the completion of the SoECAT even if there are no NHS costs in the application.  Authorisation is required from an AcoRD specialist in section 12 of the Study Information on page 1 of the SoECAT.

Where there is use of NHS resources, the applicant should complete as much of the "Study Information" on page 1 before seeking advice from the Trust team at imperial.admin_trustresearchcontracts@nhs.net

For ICHT, the completion of the SoECAT by the PI/Study Team will help support and generate the detail for the ICHT non-commercial costing template.

PLEASE NOTE FOR ICHT - the costs to be included in the proposal MUST be taken from the ICHT non-commercial costing template and NOT from the SoECAT.

 

Our 3 main funders of clinical research are:  NIHR (guidance below); MRC guidance in section 3.5.1 and Wellcome Trust

However, the list of funders can be expanded to include any of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) members (such as Alzheimer's Research UK, Alzheimer's Society and British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, etc.)
 
To check if the medical charity you are applying to is a member of the AMRC please check here.
 

Royal Brompton & Harefield Trust - Internal Review SoECAT ProcessBefore 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:

 

NIHR Guidance

Please refer to guidance for NIHR - When a SoECAT is required

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 and mNCA Contracts Flowchart - Dec 2020 PDF 43KB

 

Worktribe

The InfoEd costing created by the PI/Dept must show each of the NHS Trust costs under Professional Fees and subsequently set up under 162132 or 162137 on ICIS dependent on whether VAT should be included in their costs.

For guidance on Research Partner and Professional Fees – please click on this link.

A detailed breakdown of Trust costs must be attached to Worktribe for record, along with a completed SoECAT.

 

Guidance and Training for SoECATs can be found on the JRO webpage

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

Pre-Award Process

  • 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)

Central Biomedical Services (CBS)

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.

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 - PDF (140k) guidance, as this applies to the Departments and 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.

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.

Funder Group Guidance and C-Stream eligibility can be found in the Application Process on the Research Office webpage.

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).