The financial management of a research grant is detailed within the UQ Policy and Procedures Library under the 9.30.03 Research Grants Procedures and Forms. This policy provides a summary of the key considerations a Project Leader/Chief Investigator should make regarding the financial management of a research grant.

Accessing research project funds

Research funds are held within Fund Code 4xx, which denotes the funds have been provided to UQ for a research purpose. Every grant is issued a Project Identifier by Contract and Grants Accounting (CGA), within Finance and Business Services, to separately identify the income and expenditure in the general ledger. Projects are issued on the basis of a Grant Record Letter (GRL) being issued by the UQ Research and Innovation (UQR&I) Office of Sponsored Research (OSR). 

UQR&I will only issue the GRL once all requirements of the funding agency and UQ policy have been met. 

The GRL is issued via email to the first named Chief Investigator and copied to Contract and Grants Accounting (for the Project Identifier) and to respective Professional Services Team finance personnel for account establishment. Once the GRL and Project Identifier have been issued, a Project Account will be created within your School/Centre/Institute for access and use.

Financial management responsibilities

UQR&I will work with the project team from grant application stage, ensuring that the proposed budget has been appropriately prepared to take account of funding rules and indirect cost recovery, through to establishment of the successful grant by issuing the GRL.

The Project Leader/Chief Investigator must take responsibility for ensuring the funds provided by the funding agency are used in accordance with the grant conditions and University procedures.

MyBalance

MyBalance is a web-based financial reporting tool for UQ researchers and their Management Accountants which can be used by the project team to manage the project funds and get a clear, consistent view of the financial position of the grant.

At the beginning of a new research grant, the project team should work with the Management Accountant to plan how the project funds will be spent and to configure the funding rules in MyBalance. This helps the project team spend the funds as intended in the grant application.

MyBalance provides researchers:

  • A view of the grant balance at any time
  • Tracking of expenditure categories allowed on the grant
  • Detailed financial information down to transaction level.

For the Financial Professional Services team members, MyBalance can help meet the goals of ensuring that only appropriate expenditure is coded to the project and the project remains within budget. MyBalance helps with:

  • ensuring purchases are in compliance with University policy
  • ensuring equipment is purchased as per grant funding rules
  • ensuring salary appointments comply with the project budget
  • supporting financial management of the project towards completion, so the project can be closed.

CGA is responsible for the recording and reporting of research grant income, including certified financial statements, through the following activities:

  • raising invoices
  • deducting overheads
  • co-ordinating collaborative payments as per any associated Collaborative Research Agreement or Multi-Institutional Agreement
  • co-ordinating refunds to grantors
  • ensuring statements are produced in a timely manner
  • crediting Net income to the project (ex GST)
  • co-ordinating the collection of unpaid grant funding

Project closeout

If the research will continue beyond the end date specified in the funding contract, it is critical that you contact UQR&I to determine the process for varying the Project End Date with the funding body and/or requesting carry-forward of funds prior to the end of the grant. Contractual variations may be required and can be achieved either by using the standard Deed of Variation or by contacting Research Legal for more substantive project changes. 

If the research is concluding as planned, then you must ensure before the Project End Date that all expenditure has been posted to the Project account.

For further information on varying project contracts or agreements, contact the relevant UQR&I Research Administration Officer (RAO).

Visit Contract and Grants Accounting for further information on research budget management.