If you are successful in receiving competitive research grant funding, there are several steps required to formally accept the grant.
Managing my grant
The Grants Team are available to assist you with executing funding agreements and contracts, account set-up and the ongoing financial management and progress reporting involved with your successful application.
- Notification of application outcome
- Acceptance of award & execution of funding agreement
- Setting up accounts
- Conditions of grant form
- Research collaboration agreements
- Grant management – your role and responsibilities
- Reporting requirements
- Variations to grants
- More information
The Research Services Office should be listed as the administrative contact for all funded competitive research grants.
Funding agencies will often send a formal letter to advise that a grant application has been successful, along with a Funding Agreement to be executed between them and UOW as the administering organisation. If the Research Services Office receives the award letter and funding agreement in the first instance, then a member of the Grants Team will contact the lead researcher to begin the process of grant acceptance and establishment. Our office will liaise with the funding agency to accept the grant on your behalf.
If a funding agency directly informs you that your research grant application has been successful, all documentation should be forwarded to the Grants Team. In these instances, the Project Leader must inform the funding agency that the Research Services Office will be the administrative contact for the life of the project.
Large funding agencies like ARC or NHMRC will provide outcomes under embargo. Researchers can be informed of the outcomes on the condition that these outcomes will not be publicised. The Research Services Office will provide the outcomes to researchers once released by ARC or NHMRC and accept the grant on your behalf.
It is the responsibility of the Research Services Office to negotiate acceptance of a grant with the funding agency in consultation with the Project Leader and at times, with the Legal Services Unit. Once the terms of the Funding Agreement have been reviewed and negotiated then subsequently deemed acceptable, a member of the Grants Team will ensure that the Funding Agreement is signed by the appropriate person, as per UOW’s Delegation of Authority Policy.
UOW researchers do not possess delegation under this policy to accept offers of research grant funding. To ensure staff, students and researchers remain covered under the University’s insurance policies, researchers must not act independently to negotiate terms or sign funding contracts.
To set up an account associated to your successful grant, the Research Services Office will, at a minimum, require the following documentation:
- UOW External Research Grants Submission form, (signed/approved by your Head of School (HOS) and Faculty Associate Dean Research (ADR))
- A copy of the final application as submitted to the funding agency
- A copy of the award letter/email
- Fully executed funding agreement
- UOW Conditions of Grant (COG) form
Once this documentation is received, the Grants Team will contact UOW Central Finance and ask them to open a research grant account. You will receive an email from them once the account has been established. Finance will then commence invoicing the funding agency for the funds awarded as per the payment schedule in the executed funding agreement.
Most successful grants will also require the completion of a UOW Conditions of Grant form. Known as the “COG”, the main purpose of this form is to internally record your formal acceptance of the grant and to confirm the budget, which is especially important in the case of reduced funding.
The COG must also be completed to show in what budget categories – e.g. Personnel, Equipment, Maintenance, Travel, Fieldwork, Other – the grant funding will be spent. This is important to: (1) ensure funding is being spent in accordance with the application and executed funding agreement, in a manner that clearly demonstrates is essential to achieving the project’s objectives; and (2) help UOW Central Finance to set up your accounts with the appropriate object codes to accurately track project expenditure for future financial acquittals to be submitted back to the funding agency.
Some major funding agencies, e.g. ARC and NHMRC, will also require that a Research Collaboration Agreement is executed between UOW and all other participating Universities, Research Institutes and Industry Partners, before the project may commence and any funding spent.
Furthermore, for UOW to transfer any research grant funding received to an organisation collaborating on the project, a Research Collaboration Agreement must be signed by all parties. At times, negotiation of these agreements will also require the input of UOW’s Legal Services Unit, whom the Grants Team regularly engage to assist with complex contractual matters.
Whichever the case, the Grants Team have vast experience in these contractual requirements and are responsible for assisting researchers to put these agreements in place.
A Lead Chief Investigator takes intellectual, administrative and ethical responsibility for a research project from its conception to finalisation and the communication of outcomes.
Where a research project is carried out in collaboration with a number of other researchers named as co-investigators, the lead or first named Chief Investigator is designated as the primary administrative contact and manager of the project.
The Chief Investigator’s responsibilities include:
- Understanding and adhering to all terms and conditions of the funding agreement and conditions of award (the Chief Investigator must retain and read the funding agreement and all necessary documentation regarding the management of the project).
- Ensuring that all project participants are fully informed of relevant University policy and administrative procedures, as well as the granting body’s conditions of award as they relate to the participants. This includes, but is not limited to, intellectual property and confidential information arrangements.
- Obtaining ethical and other clearances from the relevant UOW Ethics Committee. Research cannot commence until Ethics Committee approval is obtained for all research which involves human, animals, genetic manipulation, and/or use of carcinogenic/teratogenic substances or ionising radiation. Information regarding research ethics approval processes can be found on the University's research web page https://www.uow.edu.au/research-and-innovation/researcher-support/ethics/
- Being aware of Work Health and Safety (WHS) standards and ensuring all appropriate control measures are in place if and as required. Information regarding WHS and design, and Risk Assessment and Management can be found on the University's WHS webpage https://www.uow.edu.au/about/services/safe-at-work/
- Acquiring the appropriate permit for your research if you are collaborating with researchers outside of Australia, on any goods, information or technology that are listed on the Defence and Strategic Goods List (DSGL). Violation of Australian Defence Export Controls laws have penalties that apply to the individual researcher. Researchers should refer to UOW's Defence Trade Controls Guideline for further details.
- Ensuring research is conducted in accordance with The Australian Code of the Responsible Conduct of Research. The Code identifies eight clear principles of responsible research and 29 key responsibilities for researchers and institutions, which together characterise an honest, ethical and responsible research culture and provides a framework for responsible research conduct. A failure to adhere to the Code and/or University policy by any Researcher (staff or student), may constitute a breach or, in more serious cases, research misconduct. Please see here for more information.
- Ensuring steady progress is made towards achieving the project’s stated aims, objectives and outcomes; any project milestones listed in the funding agreement are met; and progress and final reports are submitted on time and in the appropriate format.
- Financial management of the project, which includes but is not limited to:
- ensuring that grant funds awarded are spent in accordance with the funding agency’s conditions of award (funding agreement) and UOW policy
- ensuring external partners who are contributing funds to the project are invoiced in a timely manner
- ensuring that funds are expended in a timely manner during the life of the grant
- ensuring expenditure does not exceed the budget awarded
Funding agreements have specific clauses on reporting progress and expenditure. The Research Services Office will record the dates of the milestone in the RIS database and send reminders when they are due. However, upon award, researchers should note these milestones and record them in their own personal calendars. A copy of all progress reports and the final report must be provided to the Research Services Office for our records.
ARC reporting requirements: https://www.arc.gov.au/grants/grant-administration
NHMRC reporting requirements: https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/funding/manage-your-funding/reporting
It is essential for researchers to notify the Research Services Office when there are circumstances that are significantly impacting the progress of their research. Please contact the Grants Team if there is a change in circumstance which adversely affects the execution of your project and requires a deviation from the original project plan to keep the project moving forward.
Based on the circumstances you describe and with reference to the funding agreement, we will be able to advise whether or not a formal variation is required. If so, the Grants Team will contact the funding agency to advise of the situation and provide a justification to support the requested variations to the project.
Once approval from the funding agency is received, the Grants Team will coordinate the execution of the variation and update the details in our RIS database. Any variation may affect reporting requirements, which you will need to note once finalised.
Please Note: Large funding agencies such as the ARC and NHMRC have specific requirements and processes that applicants and Research Offices must follow in order to request variations when major changes to projects are required. These requests to vary ARC or NHMRC projects must be prepared and submitted in consultation with the Research Services Office. Please advise the Grants Team as soon as possible when changes occur so that may inform the relevant funding agency and request a variation.