Project Management Responsibilities

Adherence to Grant Terms

Principal Investigator Responsibilities

Research Finance Responsibilities


 Adherence to Grant Terms

Once you have been sent your Project Detail Notification (PDN) you will be able to charge costs to your project.

The PDN will identify budgets for Directly Incurred Expenditure, Directly Allocated costs and Indirects.  Generally, only the Directly Incurred Expenditure will be at the discretion of the PI and Department to spend.  Directly Allocated and Indirect Budgets are set at the outset of the project and are unalterable.

Please ensure you carefully observe the following principles when spending against your directly incurred budgets:

  • Only project related expenditure should be incurred on the project account.
  • Expenditure should only be for items as allowed for in the award letter.
  • The investigator must be able to justify all items of expenditure appearing on the account
  • Expenditure must be traceable back to a source document i.e. an original invoice, or payroll transaction (unless the funding body specifically allows otherwise)
  • Expenditure relating to the grant must be charged to the project in a timely manner to allow full recovery of costs.
  • Expenditure should be kept within the limits of each budget heading subject to rules of virement issued by the funding body.
  • All expenditure incurred must be within the start and end date of the project.  (some funding bodies allow expenditure prior to the commencement of the grant – please refer to Research Finance for approval if this is requested)

There is an obligation on you to manage and administer your award within the University's Financial Regulations. 

Any overspend against project budgets or ineligible expenditure will have to be met by the department.


Principal Investigator Responsibilities

Research grants and contracts place definitive requirements on investigators and it is essential that you read and understand the terms and conditions associated with the award.  The delivery of these requirements is ultimately the responsibility of the investigator, who is accountable to both the Head of Department and the University in this respect. Similar obligations arise where you are lead representative in multi-partner awards which are administered through other organisations or universities.

Failure to meet the deliverables within the requirements of the funding body can lead to penalties and affect the relationship with sponsors.  Understanding and meeting the requirements will protect you from potential exploitation by sponsors or collaborators.

The investigator is best placed to manage the overall budget, being the only person able to take a comprehensive overview of the project. Managerial action by other members of staff in the Department will also occur, for example, purchasing may be delegated to a member of support staff; nevertheless, it lies with the investigator to initiate budget actions and consequently to take responsibility for them.  Any overspend or ineligible expenditure will have to be met by the department.

To help Research Finance with post-award administration, please keep them fully informed of:

  • Changes in the use of your awarded funding
  • Delays in starting or during execution of the project
  • Intentions to extend the end date of the project
  • Any absences on the project (eg maternity/adoption leave, or extended sickness) - these costs may not be funded on the grant.
  • Any changes to the status of the Principal Investigator (eg transferring to another University)
  • Any other problems you are experiencing with the award
  • Any correspondence with the funding body

Research Finance Responsibilities

  • Setting up budgets on project accounts
  • Enabling project accounts for charging expenditure
  • Completing quarterly reviews of projects:
      • Completing financial claims/invoices to the funding body
      • Project health check, to review expenditure against budget
      • Processing of Project Overhead Expenditure
  • Advise on eligible expenditure or use of grant money
  • Advise department of approaching end date
  • Closure of accounts
  • Authorise funding of staff posts
  • Debt chasing on outstanding payments from funding bodies
  • Assisting Departments with SAP project reporting
  • Year end and ad-hoc income and expenditure reports
  • Advising on VAT status of projects


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Research Support Services Contact details

Tel - (0116) 252 2437 or (0116) 229 7763

Fax - (0116) 252 2028

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