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Research Operations Office


Supplementary guidance on Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)

The Research Operations Office has prepared additional guidance on Horizon 2020 MSCA grants regarding secondments and audit requirements. This includes:

  • rules concerning the Admissibility and Eligibility Conditions for applicants (including residency and employment conditions)
  • guidance on managing the Secondment process and understanding the scheme specific rules
  • detailing the scope of EC Audits on MSCA grants (Financial and Researcher related) and providing an indicative list of documents that you will need to evidence and areas that the audit will scrutinise

Our new guidance supplements and contextualises the existing EC documentation on MSCA. Departments with MSCA fellows are encouraged to review the guidance and contact with any queries or concerns about meeting the requirements.


System downtime 14-18 December 2023

Elements will be unavailable from Thursday 14 December until Monday 18 December while it is upgraded to its latest version. It will not be possible to make open access, research data or doctoral theses deposits via Elements into the University repository Apollo for 4-5 days until the upgrade has been completed. Access to view Apollo will be available as usual.

What's new

This upgrade will mostly make improvements in the background, so you should notice little change. But you may see a few improvements in your experience of using Elements including:

  • An updated look and feel to the profile page
  • Accessibility improvements, making navigation easier
  • A new layout with more in system guidance on the Name based search page, which researchers can use to refine which publication records Elements matches to their account. 

 If you have any questions or comments, please contact


Reminder: Christmas and New Year deadlines for applications

Due to the Christmas vacation, the Research Operations Office (ROO) will close from 5pm on Friday 22 December 2023 and will re-open on Tuesday 2 January 2024. Therefore, please be aware of the following deadlines and ensure that your researchers are made aware of these arrangements.   

If you have a funder deadline application between Friday 22 December 2023 – Tuesday 2 January 2024, applications should reach the ROO by:  

 2 working days deadline  

Wednesday 20 December 2023  

5 working days deadline  

Friday 15 December 2023  

If you have applications with a funder deadline in the first week of January, when counting back for 2 or 5 working days, Friday 22 December will be the last full working day before Christmas. For example:   

Funder deadline  

Thursday 4 January 2024, 5pm   

2 working days  

Tuesday 2 January 2024, 5pm   

5 working days  

Wednesday 20 December 2023, 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 and the application deadline calculator can be found on the ROO website.


Reminder - Head of Department delegated letter of authority for research grants

Thank you to those who have provided up-to-date delegated letters of authority for their Department. If you have yet to review the delegated authority for research grants, please do so by using the following guidance and template.

Heads of Department (HoD) have responsibility regarding the supervision of resources and finances as defined in the University’s Financial Regulations (Section B). However, in some circumstances, the regulations allow the HoD to delegate various aspects of research grant management whilst retaining the responsibility for them.

The HoD should use the delegated letter of authority template to inform the Research Operations Office of the named individuals and their signing limits related to the various aspects of research grants management. This should be done on an annual basis or sooner if there is a staff change involving delegated authority.

If you have any queries, please contact


RGUG Meeting 30th November 2023 - recording and presentations now available

The Research Grants User Group Meeting (RGUG) took place on 30th November 2023 and the recording and slides are now available. 

Our next meeting is schedule for 15th February 2024 at 2pm and you can join either online as a Teams call or in person at The West Hub, JJ Thomson Avenue, Cambridge. Further details will be circulated nearer the time and if you have any questions, please contact