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Research Operations Office


Reminder: keep documentary evidence of annual leave for EC grants

The European Commission requires grant holders to keep documentary evidence of absences as a requirement of Article.18 in the Annotated Model Grant Agreement (AMGA)  

“Information included in time-sheets must match records of annual leave, sick leave, other leaves and work-related travel.”  

This means that documentary evidence must be kept in addition to an individual’s timesheet. Recording absences in a timesheet alone is not considered sufficient evidence, because auditors are required to cross check the timesheets against the absence records.


What has changed?

Fundamentally, there have not been any changes in terms and conditions since the launch of Horizon 2020. However, each time we cannot provide documentary evidence relating to staff absences, auditors declare this an exception.  The Commission looks at exceptions with greater scrutiny and therefore asks for further evidence which increases our risk that declared costs on grant will be rejected or ineligible.  


What records needs to be kept?

There needs to be of record of absences (annual leave, sick leave, other leaves and work-related travel) for all staff requiring timesheets on EC-funded projects, including the Principal Investigators. The records can be digital or paper based.   


Who should hold the record of absence? 

The record of absence should not be maintained by the person who requires the timesheet. Ideally, a Department will have a centrally-kept record of absences taken by all staff that is separate from the timesheets (evidencing time spent on the project).

Previously, where a separate record of evidence has been missing, the University’s auditors may accept a PI’s personal records of absences such as Outlook calendars. However, this has been on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that Departments keep official absence records for all staff on timesheets including Principal Investigators.


What are the next steps?

The Research Office is in continual dialogue with its auditors and is working with the Commission to ensure there is mutual clarity around documenting absences. If you have any queries, please contact the ROO Compliance Team or ROO EU Team Please refer to our website for additional information about staff costs & timesheets, training presentation by LEES auditors and financial audits.



Reminder: Official Development Assistance Allocation Call Information

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has confirmed an additional Official Development Assistance (ODA) allocation to UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) for the financial year of 2022 to 2023. 

Call 1: Other ODA Awards. Deadline extended to Thursday 10th November 2022 at 5pm. 

The University has been allocated £180,000.00 for the Other ODA Award with the aim of maximising the economic or social development impact for countries on the OECD DAC list

All spend must be allocated directly to an eligible UKRI project and can include awards that have now closed. If the original award was not ODA compliant, the Other ODA award funds may still be used to support follow-on activity. All expenditure is expected to be in the ODA partner country and spent by 31st March 2023. We expect to fund seven projects of around £25,000 each. 

The following awards are not eligible for support - 

• GCRF ‘Quality-related’ (QR) funding. 

• The 12 UKRI GCRF Global Interdisciplinary Research Hubs 

• Training grants 

• Any other Research Council block awards (for example the Research Council Impact Acceleration Accounts, Institutional Sponsorships, or other equivalents) 

• Any GCRF or Newton Fund grant awarded top up funds through any other mechanism as part of the £23.7m ODA allocation from BEIS for this financial year. 

If you wish to apply for the funding, please complete the Application Form and return by 5pm on Thursday 10th November 2022 to the Cambridge Research Office email 

Further call information is available on the ROO Internal Funding webpage


University Collaboration Budget – Applications open 8th November 2022

Applications are now open for the University Collaboration Budget, designed to fund collaborative projects between the University of Cambridge and the Academic department at Cambridge University Press. 

Both University of Cambridge Staff and Cambridge University Press staff are eligible to apply for the funding, and any suggested initiatives should help achieve the shared aims held by both the University and the Press. 

The Cambridge Advantage Academic Board at the Press will review all funding applications and assess them in line with the following criteria: 

  • Feasibility and cost-effectiveness 
  • Fulfilment of the shared aims 
  • Level of direct collaboration between the two organisations. 

 The closing date for applications is 31st January 2023. Please see the University Collaboration Budget (UCB) website for further details and to download an application form. If you have any questions email



Timesheet sessions and next RGUG Meeting

For staff involved in the new timesheet process, the demo and Q&A  sessions that had been scheduled for 15th and 17th November have been postponed and these will be re-arranged for the end of the month. In the meantime, at the Research Grants User Group meeting on 22nd November at 11:15am, there will be an update on the tracking process and posting to CUFS.  

Joining instructions for RGUG will be circulated in the next bulletin.  If you have any queries, please contact 


Thinking of using cloud services for your research, but don’t know where to start?

Cloud computing gives you the opportunity to transform how you do certain compute tasks and is particularly well suited to short, time-limited tasks like research projects.  

 University Information Services (UIS) is now offering a new Amazon Web Services (AWS) with RONIN service that makes it easy for you to get the benefits of cloud computing without the steep learning curve and costs associated with managing your own infrastructure. We’re also here to offer advice about how the Cloud can help facilitate your research.  

See our introduction for researchers and you can contact us at