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Research Operations Office


Published on 4 December 2020

New Swift CDA Service

The new swift service for CDAs (Confidential Disclosure Agreement) is available for PIs to use with one external party. We strongly recommend the preparation of a CDA with a potential collaborator before discussions take place and the new swift service will help you to do this. Benefits include using a standard fixed CDA template, having an automated process with tracking and a quick turnaround time. Further details are available at the Contracts Services Section of the Research Grant Administration SharePoint Site.


Research Consumables

Whether there is a Brexit Deal or no deal, customs procedures and physical checks at borders will change. The UK’s reasonable worst-case scenario planning highlights that the flow rate at the Channel short straits (Calais/Dunkirk/Coquelles and Dover/Folkestone) could reduce to 60%-80% after the transition period, with the most significant disruption seen Jan-Mar 2021. Following some funders’ guidance, this may have implications for research consumables and medical supplies and departments are therefore advised to plan accordingly. 


X5 Unavailable Thursday 10th December, 7am – 8:30am

On Thursday 10th December, the updated NHS and new Cost Of Living Allowance date of Aug 20 will be imported into X5. This means that X5 will be unavailable between 7am and 8:30am. Once the new rates are in X5, to apply them to existing costings, go to the rates table and update the out of date files.


Using Nurse Grades in X5

Please note the following guidance to ensure that applications are costed correctly -

  • NHS 6, NHS 7 and NHS 8a should be used for non-research posts. These grades will not attract Full Economic Costs (fEC). The role type that should be used is NRSE.
  • NURRS 7 and NURRS 8 should be used for research related posts. These grades will attract Full Economic Costs (fEC). The role type that should be used is RESNRSE.

If you have any queries related to this post – please contact your Research Development Team at the Research Operations Office.


Symplectic Elements Link to Researchfish until Friday 15th January

The annual submission period for UKRI, NIHR, BHF and other funders is 1st February to 11th March 2021 during which time PIs need to use their Researchfish account to submit a return on their research outputs. To help with this process, links from grants to research outputs can be entered into Symplectic Elements until Friday 15th January 2021, after which there will be a bulk uploaded to Researchfish. 

From 15th January, Symplectic Elements will not be linked to Researchfish and any additional links, and the outputs themselves, will need to be made into Researchfish directly during the submission period. Therefore please encourage PIs to include their research outputs in Symplectic Elements by 15th January, as this will help them during the submission period as their data will have been preloaded into Researchfish when they have to submit their return. Details about how to link grants with publications can be found on the Moodle site.

Note that the research outputs being uploaded from Symplectic Elements to Researchfish are journal articles, conference proceedings and data sets where they have a unique identifier (i.e. DOI). Links established during the Open Access process are now passed to Researchfish continuously through the year and will be prepopulated already in Researchfish for PIs.


Research Grants User Group Meeting

Thanks to everyone who joined the Live Meeting Event on Thursday 3rd December. The slides are now available on the Research Operations Office website.


Reminder - Christmas and New Year Deadlines for Applications and Expenditure

Due to the Christmas vacation the Research Operations Office (ROO) will close from 5pm on Wednesday 23rd December 2020 and will re-open on Monday 4th January 2021. Therefore please be aware of the following deadlines and let your researchers know of these arrangements.

Please ensure that expenditure for EC grants due for reporting are posted on CUFS by the GL closing date of Tuesday 8th December 2020. This is to allow statements to be submitted to the funder, prior to the Christmas closure.


If you have a funder deadline between Wednesday 23rd December 2020 – Monday 4th January 2021, applications should reach the ROO by -

7 Working days deadline

Monday 14th December 2020

2 working days deadline

Monday 21st December 2020


If you have applications with a funder deadline in the first week of January, when counting back for 2 or 7 working days, Wednesday 23rd December will be the last full working day before Christmas.

You can use the online calculator to show the number of working days prior to the funder deadline that your application needs to be with ROO for checking. For example


Funder deadline

Wednesday 6th January 2021, 5pm

7 working days

Thursday 17th December 2020, 5pm

2 working days

Monday 4th January 2021, 5pm


As a reminder, the ROO asks for a minimum of four weeks’ notice of the intention to submit to a particular scheme. Some funders have very short turnaround times which means that it's not always possible to give the ROO four weeks' notice of intention to submit. In these circumstances, please continue to contact the ROO at the earliest opportunity so that we can assess the resource requirements to support the application. Full details of the deadline policy currently in place can be found on the ROO website.