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Managing a research project

Management of research projects is the joint responsibility of the PI and faculty/school administrators. In the first instance investigators should take note of the funder's grant terms and conditions.

Research Council Terms and Conditions

A copy of the cross-Council terms and conditions which govern all Research Council grants can be found on their website which is found at:

UKRI Grant terms and Conditions

Please note that individual Councils may have additional terms and conditions relating to specific grants. PI's and research administrators must adhere to these throughout the duration of the project.

National Institute of Health (NIH) Terms and Conditions

A copy of the terms and conditions which govern all NIH grants can be found on their website which is found at:

Award conditions and information for NIH grants

General Guidance

Faculty Resources

Each faculty provides a range of guidance and resources to help you manage your research project. 

Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
Faculty of Humanities
Faculty of Science and Engineering

Monitoring Expenditure

The PI is responsible to the funder for the overall management and expenditure on the research project. Further guidance can be found at:

Research Finance - Principal Investigators

Compliance Guidance

Safeguarding

The University of Manchester is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare and safety of children and vulnerable adults. All investigators should familiarise themselves with the following policies:
Code of Good Research Conduct
Child Protection Policy and Guidance
Dignity and Work and Study Policy
Equality and Diversity Policy

If your project includes working with children and/or vulnerable adults and you are unsure of the safeguarding arrangements you should have in place, colleagues in the Directorate of Compliance and Risk can advise: https://www.staffnet.manchester.ac.uk/compliance-and-risk/safeguarding/


The University also provides an anonymous reporting tool which can be shared with partners. The Report & Support tool allows both anonymous reporting and reporting with support from a trained Harassment Support Advisor: https://www.reportandsupport.manchester.ac.uk/


The Report and Support platform also offers forms of external support: https://www.reportandsupport.manchester.ac.uk/support


Safeguarding training can also be arranged for University of Manchester staff through Staff Learning and Development. For large projects with an international focus, it may be appropriate to arrange for external safeguarding training. This would need to be budgeted for in the project design. Some examples of external training providers are:-
https://www.bond.org.uk/training
https://www.chsalliance.org/what-we-do/training/chs-alliance-approved-trainers-scheme

Bullying and Harassment

The University will not tolerate any form of discrimination1, harassment, bullying or victimisation (‘unacceptable behaviour’) by or against any members of its community, whether on or off campus, in or out of working hours or through electronic communications (including social media platforms). Investigators should familiarise themselves with the following policies:
Code of Good Research Conduct
Dignity and Work and Study Policy
Equality and Diversity Policy

The University also provides an anonymous reporting tool which can be shared with partners. The Report & Support tool allows both anonymous reporting and reporting with support from a trained Harassment Support Advisor: https://www.reportandsupport.manchester.ac.uk/
The Report and Support platform also offers forms of external support: https://www.reportandsupport.manchester.ac.uk/support

This includes sexual harassment, disablism, racism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, sexism and religious discrimination

Prevent

The University of Manchester is a specified authority under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015. All staff should be aware of their responsibility under the Prevent duty. For guidance and training and contact details visit:
https://www.staffnet.manchester.ac.uk/compliance-and-risk/prevent/

Research Collaborator Due Diligence

When considering partners to collaborate with, the PI is expected to carry out the following checks for each collaborator:

  • Speak to colleagues (internally or externally) with previous experience of working with the collaborator. This may reassure the PI of existing successful partnerships, as well as raise any potential concerns.
  • Carry out an online search of the collaborator. Good and bad news stories should be considered, as well as evidence of projects that may suggest their capacity to carry out the required research.
  • Check the Corruption Index of the country the organisation is based in (https://www.transparency.org/). A low score indicates that the collaborator may be operating in a country in which the level of corruption in the public sector is perceived to be high.

These checks are provided as a minimum, it is understood that many PIs will examine potential partners in much greater detail.

Beyond this, there are a number of institutional due diligence checks that will be applied according to the perceived level of risk. Where applicable these checks will be coordinated by your local Research Services Team. Further guidance and FAQs are provided on the dedicated Research Collaborations StaffNet page

Register of Interests

Under University Ordinance VIII and the Financial Regulations, Schools and Directorates are required to maintain registers of interests. Staff must declare any personal interest that might be reasonably deemed to compromise impartiality, conflict with duty as an employee or potentially result in a conflict of interests leading to private benefit. Guidance is available on the Finance StaffNet pages:
https://www.staffnet.manchester.ac.uk/finance/internal/financial-control/register-of-interests/

In addition to this, researchers should familiarize themselves with the funder terms and conditions

For example, the UKRI terms and conditions require that any potential conflicts of interest are declared to UKRI:
https://www.ukri.org/about-us/governance-and-structure/conflicts-of-interest/

All NIH funded researchers must make an annual FCOI declaration and undertake online FCOI training:
NIH financial conflict of interest procedures

Export Controls

Export Controls apply to the physical export, electronic transfer or transfer by any means of certain controlled goods, software or technology. Investigators have an individual responsibility to assess whether any activity on a research project is controlled, and to notify the Export Controls Compliance Team (ecc@manchester.ac.uk) of all such activity (whether or not there is an intention to export).

For further guidance and assistance in identifying if items/knowledge are controlled and require an export control licence please contact the Export Controls Compliance Team or visit their website  https://www.staffnet.manchester.ac.uk/export-controls-info/

 

Research Governance, Ethics and Integrity

It is the responsibility of all researchers and staff supporting research to conduct their research in accordance with the ten Principles set out in its Code of Good Research Conduct and in compliance with relevant University policies.

If the collaborator anticipates using human participants (or their personal data), human tissues, animal research, clinical trials or the production of a medical device then the PI must apply for University of Manchester ethical approval. This is in addition to any external ethics approval requirements.

For guidance about research governance, ethics and integrity including how to apply for ethics approval visit the Research Governance, Ethics, and Integrity StaffNet page:

https://www.staffnet.manchester.ac.uk/rbe/ethics-integrity/

Ongoing ODA Compliance (GCRF/Newton Fund)

Applications to GCRF calls are required to include an ODA compliance statement. However, there are a number of external factors that can cause a project to become non-compliant over time, so investigators will need to monitor ODA compliance throughout the life of a project, and provide evidence of continued compliance in the final project report. Examples of risks to ODA compliance include:

‘Mission Creep’
The research question changes incrementally from that which was originally funded (and approved as ODA compliant). For example, there is an underspend on one part of the project, so funding is increased in another area, which alters the primary benefit.

Beneficiary country drops off DAC list
If the beneficiary country is the sole DAC listed partner on a project, and they graduate from the list, the project would cease to be ODA compliant. The DAC revises the list every three years. Countries that have exceeded the high-income threshold for three consecutive years at the time of the review are removed. The next review of the DAC List will take place in 2020. There is a note at the bottom of the DAC list, which indicates the countries that are expected to graduate at the next review, provided they remain high income countries until 2019.

Project loses an ODA recipient partner
From time to time, a partner may have to pull out of a project. If that partner’s contribution is essential to the project’s ODA compliance, then it may be compromised.

Partners have a different understanding of the research aims
GCRF promotes autonomy and equity within partnerships, but there is also an expectation that the ODA compliance will be assured by the UK partner. To promote transparency and avoid misunderstandings further down the line, it is important that partners are aware of the ODA requirements prior to the commencement of the award.

If you are concerned that your project’s ODA compliance may be compromised please contact the funding call coordinator James Evans (james.p.evans@manchester.ac.uk) as soon as possible.

Reporting Outcomes

Researchfish

Researchfish is an online submission system, which many funders (including the UK Research Councils, Arthritis Research UK, Cancer Research UK, and NIHR) use to collect and evaluate the outputs and outcomes of your research projects.

PIs on active Research Council grants and Research Council Funded students are required to report to Researchfish annually. You can log into the Researchfish submission system and record outcomes at any time throughout the year, but can only ‘submit’ your return during the submission period. You can find details of the next submission window on the UKRI Research Outcomes page.

Click here to find out our Pure can help you to complete your Research Fish submission.

 

Researchfish 2021

Researchfish 2021

Researchfish is an online system used by several major UK research funders to gather information on the outputs, outcomes and impacts of research that they have funded. The information collected in Researchfish is used to report to, and engage with, both the government, the academic community and the wider public. The 2021 multi-funder submission period is taking place between 01 February and 4pm 11 March 2021. Any Principal Investigator (PI) who holds a grant from a funder that uses Researchfish must report research outcomes annually through Researchfish. This submission period applies to the following funders:

 

  • UKRI (AHRC, BBSRC, ESRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC, STFC)
  • NC3Rs
  • National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
  • Cancer Research UK
  • British Heart Foundation
  • Wellcome Trust

 

PIs must report on awards for five years after the award has ended.

PGR Students will also be asked to submit their outcomes on the above dates. The PGR student return is coordinated through the Research Degrees and Research Development Team in the Directorate or Research and Business and Engagement.

Non-compliance

All non-compliant PIs will lose eligibility to be either a PI or Co-I on further awards from any UKRI Council and any live UKRI Council awards they hold will have their payments withheld until such time as the PI makes a valid Researchfish submission.

This sanctions policy does not apply to students.

Further information

For Researchers

Help and guidance for researchers is available throughout the Researchfish system. There is an online Help Centre available on the site, with FAQs, user guides, help videos and webinars, and an option to live chat (available 9am to 5pm, Monday - Friday). 

If you have issues with the Researchfish system (for example issues accessing your account), please contact the Researchfish support team via support@researchfish.co.uk

For Research Services

Research Services colleagues supporting the exercise and monitoring compliance within Faculties  can contact researchoperations@manchester.ac.uk for further advice.

Further Guidance

Researchfish Online Course for RS

Researchfish Guidance for RS 2021

Researchfish Guidance for PIs

BHF Researchfish Guidance  

Viewing your projects in Pure

PIs can view any application and awards that they are associated with in Pure. Where publication data is available for an award, it is uploaded from the Pure system into Researchfish. Where publications have been added via the Pure upload, a notification within the Researchfish system will be visible which states Added by: University of Manchester. Further information on the upload of information from Pure to ResearchFish can be found here.