Establish and manage funded projects

We establish and manage externally funded research contracts collaboratively with other organisations.

The steps below will help you:

  • establish a newly funded research project with CSU
  • access a fund code
  • conduct the research
  • meet the contractual obligations
  • close out the grant management at the end of the project
  • Establishing a funded research project

    To establish a funded project you must complete the following steps.

    Obtain an executed research agreement or letter of agreement

    Establishing the financial set-up of a funded research project occurs once a fully executed agreement is available.

    Complete a Budget Approval Form

    The Research Office in conjunction with the Division of Finance are responsible for the establishment of the project within the University Finance systems. The Budget Approval Form facilitates the budget creation for this project in the Banner Finance System. This budget flows directly into Research Master which is then accessible by the lead researcher at all times.

    Obtain an R fund code

    An R fund is a unique account number established to manage project income and expenditure associated with each individual research project. Every project will have its own unique R fund and only expenditure approved within the project agreement should be charged to the relevant R fund.

    If researchers have obtained CSU leverage funding to support the project, you should liaise with the administering unit responsible for the source of internal funding to obtain access to an appropriate code. Internal leverage funding does not flow into an R fund code.

    Familiarise yourself with the contract requirements and budget

    All research income and expenditure occurring at the University is subject to annual audit by the NSW Auditor General's Office. Researchers must ensure all project expenditure is charged to the correct accounts codes as the project happens, and that expenditure is in line with what was approved in the research agreement. Instances where budget commitments change from what was approved in the research agreement should always be confirmed in writing from the funding body to ensure the University can demonstrate the appropriate use of research funding.

  • Managing the project

    The management of contractual milestones, invoicing, payment of third party contract invoices, and all financial acquittals is supported by the Research Office and designated staff within University Schools, Faculties and Research Centres.

    Research Office Responsibilities

    • Invoice funding organisations for project income
    • Approve and pay third party contract payments for collaborating organisation
    • Prepare, obtain approval from a delegated University Financial Officer, and submit all financial statements required as part of a research agreement.

    Where necessary an external auditor may be arranged by the Research Office to undertake an audit of project expenditure.

    Researcher Responsibilities

    • ensuring all funding is expended in line with the contract budget and seeking appropriate approvals prior to expenditure occurring. The delegated signing authority on general contract related project expenditure, for example recruitment or travel, will be the Head of School, Centre Director, or delegated authority aligned with the designated administering org code for the project.
    • seeking assistance with processing project related expenditure, for example assistance purchasing consumables or equipment from their Faculty Operations Team or Centre Business Managers
    • seek advice from CSU Travel for booking project related travel
    • seek advice from the Division of Human Resources for the most appropriate salary levels, and options for employing personnel on research projects.

    Access the CSU Grant Management System

    Research Master is the research management system used by the University to manage project related milestones, documentation and financial details.

    Researchers are encouraged to utilise the information contained in Research Master to:

    • view project income, expenditure and balances associated with the R fund allocated for each individual project.
    • access project related contract documentation
    • view details in relation to key personnel, codes and fund sources

    Project balances can be viewed by logging into Research Master. Researchers who believe project related information contained in Research Master is incorrect, are encouraged to contact the Research Office on extension 32578 to discuss.

  • Completing the project

    Project completion involves finalising all outstanding contractual obligations, including the submission of a Final Report and final project financial statement. The University is under a contractual obligation to expend funding in line with the research agreement. Under the contractual obligations a project will have a start and end date and expenditure should occur within these time-frames.

    Researcher responsibilities

    The chief investigator is responsible for:

    • ensuring all project expenditure is processed in line with the research agreement
    • finalising the payment of any equipment leases
    • personnel paid directly from the project have ceased salary payments
    • the development and submission of the final report to the funding body
    • providing the Research Office with a copy of the final report.

    Research Office responsibilities

    • review final project expenditure, reporting and contractual obligations to ensure all project requirements have been finalised
    • discuss any outstanding obligations directly with the chief investigator
    • ensure records management procedures are followed to appropriately retain project records
    • return unspent funding if required as part of a research agreement
    • obtain written confirmation from the funding body for any expenditure on the project to continue beyond the contract end date.

    The Research Office will review the requirements of each research agreement as it relates to access and retention of remaining project funding and discuss options for accessing this funding with the chief investigator.

    Salary Recovery

    Cost recovery of salary funding is deposited directly into the salary account for the relevant researcher. These accounts are related directly to the administering unit who funds the salary of the researcher. It may be that a school has already paid for a casual academic to do teaching relief for the CSU researcher – in this case the cost recovery is reimbursement. In other cases the school may not have provided teaching relief. If the School decides to allow access to any of these funds in part or whole the decision is made in direct consultation with the Head of School or Dean.

    Surplus Funding

    Under the University's OPA Policy (Part Q-69) residual (surplus) funding on research projects is shared on the following basis:

    • 50% to the appropriate employee(s);
    • 25% to the appropriate Faculty, Division or Centre;
    • 25% to University accounts nominated by the Vice-Chancellor.

    The Faculty, Division or Centre portion of residual income shall be distributed within the Faculty, Division or Centre at the discretion of the relevant Executive Dean, Executive Director or Centre Director.