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EC Research Grants - PI Responsibilities and Guidance Notes

 

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR RESPONSIBILITIES AND GUIDANCE NOTES               

The Principal Investigator is responsible for ensuring the management of their EC-funded projects in accordance with the EC management, financial and ethical rules and University regulations and procedures.               

EC Funding Guide           

Please refer to the following EC Funding Guide for detailed guidance on the terms and conditions for your grant. Guide can be found at the following link:

ftp://ftp.cordis.europa.eu/pub/fp7/docs/financialguide_en.pdf               

               

Brief summary of the main points to consider are listed below:                    

  • Timesheets must be maintained for all staff / students working on the grant including full time staff and casual labour. (See Funding Guide P 55 - 59). The template for timesheets is available here, or from the Research Support Office (RSO). Timesheets should reconcile all hours worked in the day including time spent on other activities, leave, sickness, travel etc. The EC will require hourly rate calculations in the event of an audit.
                   
  • All costs must exclude VAT as this is not an eligible cost. Please exclude all VAT costs from Travel claims.
                   
  • Please maintain extensive documentation for all costs incurred on the project. This will be requested in the event of an audit.  Examples of this include:
  • Transport tickets / receipts (Flight Boarding passes, train / tube tickets).
  • Meeting Agenda’s, report (minutes), attendance certificates.
  • For dissemination activities a log file needs to be kept with sufficient details to demonstrate the relevance to the project. (Click here for Template).
  • Hotel receipts even if hotel booked through University travel operator and paid for in advance.
  • Detailed meal receipts (Credit card receipt only is insufficient).

All travel must be undertaken within the period of the grant i.e. you cannot book and bill flights on an on-going project if the travel is planned to occur after completion of the project.

  • Claims for travel should be on a trip by trip basis. This will ease the audit preparation and review of the Auditor.
  • All travel claims incurred in a Foreign Currency should indicate the exchange rate used. You must use the European Central Bank rates: http://www.ecb.int/stats/exchange/eurofxref/html/index.en.html
     
  • Subcontracting costs must be pre-approved by the EC and RSO.  The eligibility of these costs is subject to very restrictive EC procedures. These costs can generate a significant loss of grant, so you must seek advice from both the RSO and Purchasing Office before incurring such costs. Detailed guidance on subcontracting can be found at the following link: ftp://ftp.cordis.europa.eu/pub/fp7/docs/financialguide_en.pdf
  • Please note University Tuition Fees are not eligible costs on EC funded projects. Therefore they must not be charged to the Project.
                   
  • The Principal Investigator must provide a description and justification for all costs incurred on the project as part of the financial reporting process (Form C and “Explanation of the Use of Resources” section). The Form C financial report provides the EC with a summary of all expenditure incurred on the project in each reporting period. Form C financial reports follow a standard template and are prepared using the EC on-line Participants Portal. The Research Support Office will prepare these statements but will require a justification input from the Principal Investigator.
                   
  • All expenditure must be relevant and necessary to delivering the project objectives. The EC may ask for an explanation of how each item of expenditure relates to the project and why this was necessary. Any expenditure deemed unnecessary, not relevant or of a personal nature by the EC will not be funded. We recommend researchers to record their research activities in a log book. These books will be compared to the timesheets by the EC auditor in the event of an audit. In such circumstances, it will be the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to identify alternative sources to fund such costs. All documentation should be retained for inspection by EC auditors for a period of 5 years after completion of the project.               

Budget               

  • The RSO will establish a project budget based in STG£ using an average exchange rate. The Principal Investigator must ensure that the project remains within this STG£ budget.