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It is the Research Operations Office’s responsibility to ensure that funds are requested from a sponsor in line with their requirements.  Payment terms or schedules are included in the sponsor's Terms and Conditions.

The Research Operations Office generate invoices using the University Finance System (UFS, also known as CUFS) and we ensure that invoices are issued in the correct format for that particular sponsor e.g. using the sponsor’s own claim form (where required), correct budgets headings, currency etc.  We are sometimes required to support our invoices/financial statements with copies of invoices relating to the expenditure charged to that particular award. We will contact you or your Departmental Administrator/Accounts Office to arrange this.

If a payment schedule is to be followed (e.g. payment on achieving milestones) we ensure that invoices are raised in accordance with the instructions given by the sponsor.

Research Councils and several other sponsors pay the University automatically (known as profile payments) and we record the income.  Note that Research Councils require that income is not received in advance of need and so the Research Operations Office will monitor this, with variances to be followed up with departments.


Debt collection

Debts are chased as soon as is practicable without the necessity of legal action.  However, in the exceptional event of legal action being required, authority will be sought from the University of Cambridge Finance Director, The Registrary and the department concerned as costs incurred will be at the department’s expense.



When funds are received by the University of Cambridge, they are transferred to the appropriate award by Credit Control by matching the amount to an invoice that the Research Operations Office has raised.


Bad debt provision

There is always a risk that the University of Cambridge may not be paid and so it is prudent to account for such an instance.  The general bad debt provision for research grants is dependent upon the age of the debt and is calculated as follows:

  • debts over 360 days old = 100% provision
  • debts over 180 days old = 50% of debt
  • debts over 90 days old = 25% of debt

Outside of the general bad debt provision, specific debts are also added as and when they occur.  These will be for debts that in our professional view are NOT collectable immediately or at all.  In such instances, 100% provision will be applied to the debt and we will email the department concerned.

Further bank details are available.