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Research Operations Office


Published on 1 October 2021

New Service Launch - Outgoing MTA Swift Service

In the Contracts Improvement Programme, we have been looking at ways to process Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) requests faster. We have launched the Outgoing MTA Swift Service which will issue a pre-signed MTA that can be used if the material meets all of the eligibility criteria. This includes -

  • not derived from any sample taken from a human body
  • generated solely under UKRI funding (standard Ts & Cs)
  • being provided to a non-commercial organisation​​​​​​​

The service can only be accessed by PIs holding the research grant under which the material was created. During the pilot phase of this new MTA swift service, there will be a 10 working day turnaround time. A presentation and Q&A on this topic will be given at the Research Grants User Group Meeting on 5th October, see details below.


Research Grants User Group (RGUG) Meeting – 5th October 2021

The next RGUG meeting will take place as a live event on Tuesday 5th October at 11:15am, please use this link to join the meeting. The agenda will include a VAT update for research projects, launching the outgoing MTA swift service and a project update on the implementation of Worktribe.

Slides and recording of the previous meeting in July are now available on the RGUG web page. For further information please contact


Final Expenditure for CoA award grants

The COVID-19 Grant Extension Allocation (CoA) grants awarded by UKRI ended on 30th September 2021 and Final Expenditure Statements are due by 31st December 2021.

 For each grant which has received a CoA award, Departments need to check the following:

  •   all relevant direct expenditure is posted
  •  all expenditure has been incurred in line with GC3 of the sponsor's terms and conditions
  •  clear all commitments and funds check failures
  •  clear any suspense account items relating to each grant
  •  provide staff details (staff type / start and end dates / whether full or part time).

Please send an email confirming the above to the CoA team by 31st October 2021. No further expenditure can be allowed after 31st October 2021.

If you have any other queries, please contact the CoA team.


Wellcome Trust Organisation Spend Report – Departmental Expenditure Checks

An Organisational Spend Report (OSR) is submitted quarterly to the Wellcome Trust (WT) by the Research Operations Office (ROO) for the months of March, June, September and December. Before ROO submits the next OSR, please could Departments check and verify all their WT expenditure on CUFS and make any amendments before the September 2021 General Ledger period closes. If you have any queries, please contact


X5 - Pay Scales & Renamed Grades

On 20th September, X5 was updated with the new non-clinical pay scales and the renamed grades linked to the Academic new titles coming into effect from 1st October 2021. To apply these new rates and renamed grades to existing costings, go to the rates table tab and update the out of date files by clicking on "apply all updated files now".


Guidance launched for the University's Carbon Offsetting Scheme

There is a growing expectation for researchers to offset the carbon emissions generated by unavoidable business travel. At the forefront of this, from 1st October 2021 the Wellcome Trust's carbon offset policy for travel requires applications for their funding to include arrangements for carbon offsetting.

The University's Carbon Offsetting Working Group has developed a policy with an internal carbon offsetting scheme for use from 2021/22. The policy guidance for individuals, departments and institutions has now been published.

Details can be found on the Sustainability website.  If you have any queries with how this may affect your grant application, please contact your Research Development Team at ROO.


The University of Cambridge and Elsevier

Journals published by Elsevier are among the most read and published-in at the University of Cambridge but are also consistently the most paywalled of all publications, and the most expensive in which to publish.  

 Current members of the University of Cambridge with a Raven password can now explore data visualisations describing the relationship between Elsevier and the University of Cambridge compared to other publishers – discover how much we read, how much we publish and cite, and what we pay.   

 These findings, from the Data Analysis Working Group at Cambridge University Libraries, will inform Cambridge’s involvement in ongoing negotiations between UK Universities and the academic publisher Elsevier. The University hopes a ‘read and publish’ agreement will be reached to enable members of UK Universities to both publish in and access Elsevier publications at a sustainable cost, whilst meeting the requirements of funders to make research openly available.  

 The outcome of these negotiations may affect how you publish and access research, so make sure you get the full story and have your say now.