In conjunction with the RCUK Terms & Conditions (T&Cs), this document gives guidance about our expectations of Research Organisations (ROs) and Investigators. It is the ROs responsibility that the T&Cs as set out in the Grant Offer document are adhered to and that the project team and Admin/Finance Office are aware of any Grant specific conditions in addition to the RCUK T&Cs. In all cases the additional conditions override all others. All Grant Maintenance Requests must be made before the end of the Grant.
There are two types of No Cost extensions: Staff and Exceptional (Non Staff). Requests will only be considered where they are necessary to enable the objectives of the award to be completed, and should only be for the time actually required for this.
Staff extensions are given for
breaks or delays in the appointment of staff;
maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental or paid sick leave;
extended jury service; or
changes from full-time to part-time working.
Actual dates must always be given - sick leave must be requested with start and end dates.
Parental Leave - Actual dates must be used but can be submitted in advance, as long as the dates have been formally agreed with the ROs HR.
Parental Leave extensions should only be requested if the RO has not appointed a person to work on the grant as a replacement for the requested period.
In the case of time being requested to cover recruitment or training of a new appointee replacing a post vacated unexpectedly, dates must be provided for the individual parts of the extension, and an explanation included as to why this is being requested, e.g. “Staff Member left on 01/01/17, recruitment took 2 months with the new appointee starting on 01/04/17 giving 3 months of actual vacancy. We would like to request an additional 2 months for training the new appointee, giving an overall extension request of 5 months”.
If additional time is required in order to offer a suitable duration of contract (i.e. the vacancy happens towards the end of the Grant), the Grant Maintenance Request should include details of the work to be carried out during this period.
If the absence is towards the end of a grant, but the person is to return to work on the project, a Grant Maintenance Request can be submitted for an extension to cover the time taken to date, with a further request submitted for the remainder when the person returns and the date is known. This will ensure that the Grant does not end before the full length of the absence is known.
Please note extension requests for Industrial Case grants must be supported with an attachment from the industrial partner indicating support for the requested extension.
Exceptional Extensions - Non staff
Actual dates must be given with the explanation of the delaying issues.
Multiple Grant Maintenance Requests may be requested for ongoing issues occurring towards the end of the Grant, until the final resolution date is known.
The Grant Maintenance Request should reflect the objectives that have been achieved to date and how any outstanding work will be completed within the new time frame.
No contingency period should be requested; an additional Grant Maintenance Request can be submitted should it become necessary.
Examples of exceptional reasons for unexpected delays in programmes are (but not limited to):
Major equipment failures
Major laboratory/building issues
Unforeseen problems with specimen/sample/data collection
Unforeseen problems around acquiring ethical approvals or permits
Unavailability of facilities intrinsic to the project i.e. ship/air time
RCs would not expect to see extensions requested for (but not limited to):
To use unspent funds on supplementary work, on work not specified in the original Grant as awarded.
To allow additional papers to be completed and submitted to conferences/journals
To bridge employment of key staff- keeping them employed until a new (unrelated) Grant starts which will employ them.
To allow invoices to be received while the Grant is Live (invoices for spend occurring during the Grant duration can be received in the 3 month period between the end date of the Grant and the Final Expenditure Statement due date).
To allow attendance at additional conferences unless a case is made with the enhanced impact this would create.
Linked projects finishing together.
A Grant Suspension should be requested when work has temporarily ceased on a Grant. This could be because (but is not limited to):
Staff have gone on Parental Leave and there are no other members of staff actively working on the Grant.
Major building issues e.g. fire, which mean that all work has ceased on the Grant and is unlikely to resume soon.
In both instances, a suspension should be requested through a Grant Maintenance Request.
A request to recommence the Grant, and a further request for a no cost extension for the period that work on the project had stopped, should be submitted when the dates are finalised.
Grant Holder Change (not Fellowships)
The RCs need to be assured that the replacement meets the eligibility criteria and has the expertise and experience to lead the project to a successful conclusion, in accordance with its research objectives.
To note: When submitting a Change of Grant Holder or Co-Investigator, it is the responsibility of the RO to ensure that they have read the relevant RCs eligibility guide and considered any Grant Specific Conditions. For any queries on the eligibility of a proposed grant holder, the RO should contact the RC for further guidance, prior to the request being made.
As a consequence of any change in Principal Investigator (PI), the new PI must be based at a lead organisation. Therefore if the PI moves to another organisation either the grant goes with them or a new PI must be found for the grant.
Requests should include:
An explanation as to why the grant needs to be transferred.
Details of when the transfer is required to take place.
Requests to transfer a grant will normally be approved with the exception of the following:
The new research organisation is not eligible to hold a Research Council grant. Please note transfers to European Union universities may be covered by the Money Follows Researchers Agreement.
If it is not feasible to transfer the project to a new research organisation that does not have the required facilities to carry out the research.
If the Grant is suspended, before submitting the ‘Grant Transfer request’ the RO must first contact RCUK Grants for the suspension on the Grant to be considered.
Please note that this is not a quick process to carry out as the grant needs to be reconciled at the original research organisation before the remaining funds can be transferred to the new research organisation. Please allow at least 4 months for this process to be completed from the date of the request being made. If the request is urgent, please discuss this with your research office so they can carry out their part of the process in the least possible time.
Grant transfer requests cannot be created and submitted in Je-S when a grant has not yet started (the status of the award is ‘Announced’). In these circumstances, please contact the relevant Research Council for further advice.