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Research Operations Office


fEC Rates from 1st August 2021

Please be advised that X5 has been updated with the new fEC rates for 2021, which this year are applicable from 1st August 2021. Note that there has been a decrease in the rates driven by the nature of the calculations. Users of X5 will need to update their costings (go to the Rates Tab / Facilities Rates File / select the new date and save or use the Apply all updated files now option). 

Also be aware that for MRF / SRF rates

  • The funder budget headings in the Facilities tab have been removed and will need to be re-entered
  • Facilities using ‘Variable rates’ have defaulted to 0.01. Users will need to change this figure back to previously agreed rate
  • Facilities that are no longer available should be replaced by a new or similar facility

In addition, the University inflation file has been updated in X5 with a start date of 01/08/21 for Non-staff related price headings (such as Non-staff and DI and DA facilities). This means that when users update their costings, the first date of inflation will change to 01/08/22. If you have any queries about the updates, please contact your Research Development Team at the Research Operations Office.


Community of Practice (CoP) for Grants Administration - Survey

The Research Office are looking to facilitate more collaboration and knowledge-sharing to support all those who run, contribute and are involved in grants administration. We would like to set up a Community of Practice (CoP) for grants administration and would really value your views about how this could work for you.  


Please let us know your thoughts and suggestions in the Community of Practice for Grants Administration short survey, this will only take five minutes to complete.  Your response will help us understand how a CoP could support you and how you might potentially be involved. We shall be reviewing your feedback in early September and sharing the outcomes with you during the Michaelmas Term.



Programme for PIs – Booking for September Events

The Principal Investigator Programme has been developed to help researchers with their responsibilities of managing a grant. Topics include  

  • ensuring that your project is properly costed
  • knowing when to seek ethics approval
  • protecting your research – intellectual property and publishing rights

The programme modules provide essential background information, tools and tips as well as online events with the presenters and other participants. Completion of the programme will help PIs to understand and implement the financial, ethical, legal and regulatory aspects of successful grant management. Presentations are now available and a series of live events are scheduled for September 2021, details of how to book your place can be found on the Principal Investigator Programme page.


Supporting Research at Cambridge

A new Sharepoint site, Supporting Research at Cambridge has been set up to provide guidance, information and support to the academic and administrative community in the management of research grants. On the site you can find 

  • training materials and programmes
  • specific services including the Contracts CDA Swift Service
  • specific guides e.g. X5 user guide

Please do visit the site and feedback is welcome by using this online form. For any other queries, please email


ERC Starting Grant Call Information Webinars - September 2021

This two-part webinar series by UKRO is aimed at researchers who are planning to submit a proposal to the 2022 ERC Starting Grant call, and the research support staff who will be supporting these applications.

  • Webinar 1: Tuesday 28th September 2021 (10:00 – 12:00 UK time) provides an initial overview of the European Research Council and the nature of an ERC Starting Grant, UK participation in the ERC, eligibility criteria and proposal development. Register for webinar 1.
  • Webinar 2: Thursday 30th September 2021 (10:00 – 12:00 UK time) provides information on the submission process, how proposals are evaluated and other elements to consider when designing a project for your big research idea. Register for webinar 2.


Research Grants User Group Meeting – 5th October 2021

Thank you to everyone who attended the Research Grants User Group (RGUG) Meeting on Wednesday 21st July. Presentations included transforming research support and an update on EU matters. The slides and recording are now available on the RGUG web page. The next meeting will take place as a live event on Tuesday 5th October at 11:15am. Details and joining information will be circulated in due course. For further information please contact


Forthcoming UKRI FAP Audit

The UKRI Funding Assurance Programme (FAP) provides assurance that public funds destined for research are properly safeguarded and used for the purposes intended. We are expecting a UKRI audit to be undertaken remotely during the Michaelmas Term 2021. Details are still being confirmed and as soon as we have further information we will let you know.


EPSRC Healthcare Technologies Strategy Update

The EPSRC Healthcare Technologies grand challenges has recently been updated, following consultation with members of the community. The four main changes include

  • changes to titles to better encompass what the grand challenge is about
  • updates to the grand challenge description to address any gaps and make them more relevant and inclusive
  • updates on research descriptions to include new areas of direction
  • inclusion of case studies, to demonstrate the research funded under each grand challenge

Updated versions are now available on the EPSRC website.