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Research Operations Office


fEC Rates Changes

This is an advance notice that the University, in line with fEC guidelines, has to implement revised full economic cost rates from 1 February each year. More information regarding these changes will be available in the next Bulletin.

Please note that pFACT will not be available on the morning of Wednesday 1st February (8am to 12noon), in order to update these new University fEC rates.

As a consequence of the fEC rate changes, please be reminded of previous advice that any applications with an actual deadline of 1 February 2012 should be treated as if the deadline is 31 January instead.  Any applications submitted on the 1 February will only have the basic plus fEC checks.

Knowledge Transfer Secondments (KTS) - Open Call

The third and final internal call for Knowledge Transfer Secondments (EPSRC funded) is now open for applications up to £50,000 per project. This scheme supports the transfer of skills, experience and knowledge between Cambridge researchers and external, non-HEI, organisations in either direction (inward and outward secondments are eligible). The UK hosted secondments under this scheme must be based on and directly related to the research from EPSRC-funded grants and can last from 1 to 12 months (now less due to end date of the grant).

Sufficient funds are still available but need to be spent by September 2012. Please note no deadline has been set for this last call. Interested parties can contact their DA or the Research Operations Office (Michelle Hild or Liesbeth Krul) for more information on eligibility and the application form. The School of Physical Sciences (School Office) is the recipient of all applications and will coordinate the selection procedure.

Equipment modification – call for funding

As part of a drive by RCUK to increase efficiency and effectiveness across research management, there is now a requirement on the University to make greater use of existing equipment and to demonstrate that it is shared between Departments and/or other Universities, or to provide justification where this is not possible. 

As of 1st May 2011, the guidelines for funding of equipment have been amended, and Universities are now required to check internally and with other peer institutions to see if there is an opportunity to share existing equipment prior to submission of grant applications. The EPSRC has issued the University with some funding to facilitate this initiative which must be used by 30th June 2012.

As well as making savings for funders, increasing usage of equipment where possible should enable better recovery of fixed costs such as staff which will benefit Departments. 

Proposals for available Funding

Departments are asked to make proposals for funds not exceeding £50,000 (inc VAT) which will be used to facilitate making any existing equipment shareable with other Departments and external users. The funds can be used for the following purposes:

  • modifying equipment so that it can be more easily shared (max £10k per item)
  • implementing access and booking mechanisms
  • establishing services or training courses
  • supporting technicians to set up services

This list is not exhaustive and Departments are encouraged to explore their own ideas for how research equipment usage can be maximised. EPSRC will require the University to submit a return showing the impact of the approaches taken so that best practise can be developed and shared more widely at the end of the projects.

Procedure for making proposals

  • All proposals for funding must be made to the relevant School Finance Manager (copied to School Finance Adviser) by 26th January 2012 using the grant pro-forma, which can be obtained from Karl Wilson, Finance Division, 
  • All proposals must be signed by the Head of Department
  • By making a proposal, Departments are confirming that all expenditure will be incurred by the 30th June 2012. Any expenditure not incurred by that date will lose funding.
  • All proposals will be reviewed and ranked by a panel representing all the Schools on the 30th January 2012.
  • Schools will be informed of the outcome by 1st February 2012

Guidance for proposals

EPSRC require a summary of the impact of the proposals, therefore the review panel will be particularly considering:

  • Value of equipment able to be shared if proposal agreed 
  • If the proposal benefits more than 1 piece of equipment/Department
  • The current utilisation of the equipment.
  • The scientific benefit to others of being able to use the equipment. 


Please direct all queries to: Karl Wilson, Finance Division

Telephone: 01223 766904