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Research Operations Office


Published on 28 November 2012

AHRC - Planned Future Changes to Start Certificates and FES

At a recent AHRC ARMA event it was announced that:

1. AHRC is to reduce the time limit on delays to starting certificates from the current 6 months from the start date notified on the award letter, to 3 months.  Departments should be aware that it is their responsibility to log in the Je-S and retrieve the start certificate, complete the information on the expenditure that has triggered the start of the project, and then submit back to the Je-S submitter pool.  The Department should then inform for Research Operations Office so that they can forward it to the Research Council.  The grant may lapse if not started within this period.

2. AHRC has indicated that from March 2013, sanctions of 100% of the research grant funding will be incurred if the Final Expenditure Statement (FES) or Final Report is delayed by six months or more after the deadline.  Research Operations Office will complete and submit the FES, but Departments are responsible for completing and submitting the Final Scientific Report.  The sanction will take the form of a reduction in the next block payment to the University, which will be debited to the host Department for the grant in question.  Reimbursement of the sanction is not automatic, so it is very important Departments monitor compliance with this requirement.  Please inform the Research Operations Office when it has been submitted, and alert the Research Operations Office if any problems are envisaged with meeting the deadline, in line with the award letter.


X5 Project – Core Acceptance reached, Volunteers needed

On the 24th October both Cambridge and Oxford Universities agreed that X5 core functionality was covered to an acceptable level and that individual University configuration of the software could now commence.

The Cambridge X5 Project Team is now working on configuration and set up of the system for the Cambridge environment.  This will take into account configuration and label change suggestions from the Project Board, User Group and Roadshow comments.

Cambridge User Acceptance Testing will take place in February 2013.  We would greatly appreciate volunteers for this. Could members of the research community email to register their interest.


Changes to RCUK Grant Administration

1.       Final reporting

With the advent of reporting research outcomes through online systems, requirements for final reports have been reduced.  For all councils with the exception of BBSRC and ESRC, grants ending on or after 1 December 2012 will no longer require a final report.  ESRC are continuing with final reports as normal for now and the BBSRC will phase them out in coming months.  However, please note that certain grant schemes may still require a final report, and this will be requested in the usual way, through notification via RCUK's Je-s.  

 2.      Grant Condition 7 (GC7) Extensions

Grants may now be extended for up to 12 months, in total, as a result of maternity, paternity or adoption leave.  This affects grants announced from 1 October 2012. Extensions should be requested through the RCUK Je-s grant maintenance, as normal.

3.       Funding for publication costs

From April 2013, RCUK will be providing a block grant to the University to cover publication costs incurred in meeting the requirements of the RCUK Open Access policy.  Therefore, publication costs will cease on individual grants with an announced start date on or after 1 April 2013.  Grants that are already announced, or in the process of being announced, will not be revised; nor will grants with an announced start date before 1 April 2013.

4.       Change to AHRC Research Grant and Fellowship Applications

From 1 December 2012, AHRC are changing the way applicants must provide information about digital outputs or digital technologies in connection with their proposals.  The change affects all Research Grants and Fellowship Applications (but not Research Networking applications), even those without a digital element.  The purpose of the change is to provide clearer guidance about when and how technical information needs to be provided with the aim of reducing the number of applications requiring expert technical review.

Key changes:

  • All proposals must contain additional information in the Case for Support, under a new Technical Summary heading.  The maximum length of the Case for Support has been increased accordingly.
  • Under the Technical Summary, where applicants identify digital outputs or digital technologies that are essential to their planned research outcomes, a Technical Plan attachment must be submitted. 
  • The current technical appendix section of the Je-S form will be removed and Je-S updated to allow the new Technical Plan attachment to be created.
  • Applications using the current rules and Technical Appendix section and attachment can be created and submitted until 30 November 2012.

Essential guidance is provided here:

For applicants needing further advice on actual data management, please contact the UL's Digitisation and Digital Preservation Manager, Grant Young (, in the first instance.

If you have any comments or queries arising from any of the above items, please contact your School Team in the Research Operations Office at


Thank you