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Research Operations Office


Published on 9 February 2012

Research Professional online broadcast training session on Tuesday 14 February

This monthly webinar is open to all members of the University. The next session will take place from 10 – 11am on Tuesday 14 February and will:

  • Introduce you to the Research Professional platform

  • Demonstrate how to locate funding opportunities which match your interests

  • Show you how to set up email alerts to keep you informed of new developments

You can view the demonstrations from your own computer, and can choose to receive sound either via your computer's microphone and speakers, or by phoning in to a voice conference. You will be able to put questions to the presenter using a text chat feature. 

Please register for free access at:

Further information about the Research Professional database is available at the Research Operations Office website or directly from the Research Professional website.

If you have any further questions please email Anna Nerukh, Information Administrator at

Equipment Sharing Project

As part of a drive by RCUK to increase efficiency and effectiveness across research management, there is a need to make greater use of existing equipment and to share this between Universities wherever possible. 

As of 1st May 2011, the guidelines for funding of equipment have been amended, and Universities are now required to check both internally and also with other peer institutions to see if there is an opportunity to share equipment prior to submission of grant applications. Where sharing is not possible, it is likely that only circa 50% of the capital cost of equipment will be funded by the research councils, with the deficit having to be covered by the Universities themselves.

To facilitate this proposed sharing of equipment, Cambridge has been placed in a group alongside Imperial College London, Oxford, University College London & Southampton. Each University has been provided with a separate sum of money to spend on development of their equipment sharing capability.

At Cambridge, an Equipment Sharing Working Group has been formed in order to progress this initiative.

For more information on the Equipment Sharing project and the Cambridge Equipment Sharing Working Group please visit:

For further help please contact your Research Support Advisor/Administrator at the Research Operations Office.

Audit Update

NIH A-133 audit Findings

The recent audit findings highlighted two areas for improvement. 

  1. It is important that the destination and reason for travel are included on the invoice/purchase order or travel claim. There were instances where travel had been charged to a grant but when asked for the purpose or justification of the travel, this was not always immediately known.
  2. There was an instance where import duties were charged to an award. This cost is not eligible as are the following:
    a) consular fees
    b) customs surtaxes
    c) value-added taxes
    d) other related charges

NIH Grants Policy Statement:

Should you need further information please contact your Research Support Advisor/Administrator in the first instance.

EC Audits

As part of the audit process it is a requirement to ensure that 20% of all travel is included in the sample. This is made very difficult if there is not a separate budget line which shows travel. As a result it is recommended that where travel is going to take place on an EC award the possibility of setting up a separate travel budget is discussed with your Research Support Advisor/Administrator and that relevant costs are captured under this heading.

In addition it is important that where travel occurs that a supporting invoice, receipt or bill is provided. Booking confirmations, whilst showing the total value of the travel, do not break down the costs sufficiently and may in the future be deemed to an insufficient document for audit purposes. In addition we would like to remind you that credit/debit card receipts are not acceptable proof of purchase.

Finally there has been advise issued that it is important that we are able to provide proof of attendance at meetings, conferences etc. This could include boarding passes, train tickets, minutes of the meeting, attendance registers etc.