Tagged / post-award

New BU guide for managing staff employed on external R&KE applications and awards

We’re pleased to announce a new guide to support BU staff with managing new and existing staff employed on external R&KE awards, as well as staffing information to include on applications for external funding. The ‘BU Guide for managing staff employed on external R&KE applications and awards’ can be found on the intranet here.

A working group led by RDS, and including HR and Faculty Operations Managers, has worked on the guide for the past six months. A team of academics have reviewed the content and provided feedback, which has been incorporated. A big thank you to all those who have contributed to the guide.

The guide aims to provide an overview of, and links to, all the information needed for including staff on external research and knowledge exchange (R&KE) applications (pre-award), and how to recruit and manage those staff if awarded on to a project (post-award). The guide is structured into pre-award and post-award to assist with both the completion of staff sections on an application form and guidance on what to do when your application has been awarded and/or you require support from HR, RDS, or your Faculty Operations team. It also contains FAQs, useful links and contacts. The guide complements and should be used in conjunction with HR guidance available on the staff intranet.

RDS staff will ensure that the guide is disseminated to applicants (upon receipt of an intention to bid form including staff) and award holders (when staff are to be recruited, etc.).

Murphy’s Law – Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

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.