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Grant Management

Sources of research funding

You will find detailed information on the web pages of the funding bodies:

Additional pointers can be found in the School's intranet.

Application procedure

Portfolio Managers are often asked to help with submission of grant applications at the last minute. Please involve them, or at least inform them, as soon as you know that you intend to submit an application. Our Portfolio Manager (Laura Rich) will always do her best to help, but please note that as she is not employed full-time it is best to plan ahead and avoid last-minute requests to meet imminent deadlines.

For further information you might want to consult Alan Bundy's guide on "Writing a good grant application".

The Portfolio Manager, in collaboration with the ERI, can advise on financial aspects of your grant application including costs of research personnel, support staff, travel, equipment and other costs. She can also help in filling out forms, getting signatures, sending in applications. The later you leave it the more you will have to do the running around yourself!

If you apply for a grant without the help of our Portfolio Manager, please give her a copy of the application so that she will be able to deal properly with future enquiries.

Please also inform the Portfolio Manager when you hear whether the application has been successful or not.

Starting up a grant

If your proposal is successful, there will be some initial paperwork. The Portfolio Manager and the School administration can deal with most of it for you -- just send all the correspondence you receive, making it clear whether or not you have taken any action. If you wish to deal with this paperwork yourself, please pass copies of all correspondence to the Portfolio Managers anyway so that they know what is going on and can take over later if required. Once the initial paperwork has been completed, an account will be opened at Finance Office for your project. We cannot help you unless we have complete pictures of your funding requirements/requests.

Staff

The Portfolio Manager handles all personnel matters on grants. This includes: advertising positions, arranging for contracts, arranging for work permits, extending contracts and work permits, etc. Please tell her exactly what you want and they will make it happen.

Equipment

LFCS has an equipment policy which is difficult to define but it works! The final say is with the PI; s/he can buy small items without prior agreement by their relevant head of insititute; equiment will be ordered by the COs; directors of LFCS are to be consulted on all major equipment issues. Other costs: mainly to support machine infrastructure (maintenance, print server, file server, computer server provision).

Travel

What is there to bear in mind: travel request forms (available from the Level 4 admin staff); tickets; expense claims; payment of conference fees (possibly in a foreign currency).

Grantholders can arrange their own travel without asking for permission. They can sign their own travel request forms or arrange travel themselves as they wish.

RAs have to check with their grantholder that their planned travel is okay (e.g., does the PI want them to go; what is their reason to go). RAs should take the travel request form to the grantholder, the Portfolio Manager, or the Director of Institute for authorisation. The Portfolio Manager will ask whether the grantholder agrees to a trip before signing a travel request form.

PhD students have to get permission for grant-funded travel from the relevant grantholder. For PhD students the procedure is normally to double-check with the grantholder that permission has been granted before signing a travel request form; again, the grantholder, the Portfolio Manager, or the Director of Institute or Ian can also sign travel request forms.

RAs or PhD students who travel without authorization risk having to pay their own travel expenses.

The finance office will sign expense claim forms without asking grantholders as I assume that these expenses have been incurred in connection with a travel request which has been properly authorised.

All travel invoices, including travel not booked through the admin support, should be passed to the Level 4 admin office. Please send all invoices you might receive from travel agents to the admin office. Make sure your RAs do the same. This information is needed for record keeping.

Note that there is limited travel funding available directly from the institutes, apply to the institute director in the first instance.

Finances

The Portfolio Manager compiles periodic spending summaries and discusses them with grantholders to optimise spending and avoid underspending. The grantholder is informed about all matters connected with her/his grant to agree on the suggested financial implementations.

The Portfolio Manager and will compile financial information on all grants held by LFCS and will inform the Director of LFCS as required.

Interim and final reports

Annual reports are required by some funding bodies. The Portfolio Manager will help with financial and other non-scientific aspects of these.

All funding bodies require a final report. Again, financial and other non-scientific aspects of these will be handled by the LFCS Portfolio Manager.

General

The LFCS Portfolio Manager handles all non-scientific issues related to the running of a grant: liaising with grant bodies, liaising with research personnel, liaising with other sites related to the project, transferring money to other sites, sorting out legal matters (if need be!), liaising with the finance office, updating PI on a regular basis about expenditure on the grant, maximising expenditure on grant in the final stages, arranging for PIs to support each other's staff, if possible, when problems arise (e.g., bridging funds for RAs), etc.

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