The good news is that some changes to a project are commonly accepted by many sponsors and funders, providing that they don’t breach a signed contract and, most importantly, are communicated in good time. Last minute notifications can damage your and the University’s reputation, and compromise your project.
Most changes will fall under one of the following categories: contracts, staffing, expenditure and budgets. Below you will find a list of common changes you should anticipate and communicate to your project and Research & Knowledge Transfer Operations (RKE Ops) teams as soon as they occur:
- A project team member (Administrator, Researcher Assistant, PI, Co-I or external consultant) stops working on the project, leaves the university, is off on long term sick leave or on maternity leave;
- A new team member joins the project;
- The sponsor or funder asks or grants an extension to the current contract;
- A collaborative project lead partner asks for reports or other kind of information not covered on the main contract or not requested by the sponsor or funder;
- The sponsor or funder objects to you publishing a piece of work, and you notice that Intellectual Property issues haven’t been covered in the main contract;
- If a contract is terminated for any reason before the end date;
- If there are delays of any sort, for example, submission of reports, delivery of services or consultancy work;
- You need to spend time or money on some item or service which hasn’t been budgeted for;
- You notice that the sponsor or funder has been inappropriately invoiced, or not invoiced at all;
- Your know that there have been changes to the claims schedule;
- Your project is completed before the planned end date.
These are only some examples of common changes that may affect your research or enterprise project and you will probably encounter many others. Make sure you maintain good communication with your project team and seek advice from the Research & Knowledge Transfer Operations team (RKE Ops) as soon as something unexpected happens. Anything that can go wrong in a project generally does go wrong sooner or later. However, it can be put right if anticipated and properly dealt with.