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Research administration

UIS works together closely with the Research Office in maintaining and developing the systems that ensure the smooth running of the University's research administration.

Research funding is such a vital source of income, and given the University's position as a centre of research excellence in the UK and worldwide, this is an area of great importance.

Grant applications

  • X5 – The University's grant costing tool, which was developed with University of Oxford and Unit 4 to meet the more-complex costing methodology needs introduced under the fEC (Full Economic Costing) model. This system is vital for Principal Investigators (PIs) to cost their research accurately and thus apply for the appropriate amounts from the various sponsors.

Supporting research administration

The following online resources are available to researchers to help when applying for research and monitoring active grants to ensure spend is on track: 

  • Research Dashboard – Allows PIs to view the status of their research grant activity, including position in workflow for applications, status of contract negotiations and financial information for active grants via a simple-to-use web interface.

  • Research Grant Expenditure Application – Provides PIs (and their delegates) and Departmental Administrators with instant access to research grant budget, expenditure, commitment and remaining balance information via a simple-to-use web interface.

  • Equipment Database – Contains details of key research facilities and equipment at Cambridge (but also linked to a national portal). The database should be used as part of the research grant costing process to establish whether or not it is possible to share existing facilities/equipment rather than have to purchase them specifically for a new project.

  • Research Operations Office portal provides useful information on the work of the ROO and offers various online features, such as a contract submission system for materials transfer agreement (MTA) and confidential disclosure agreement (CDA) contracts, as well as helping you find your Research Operations Office contact.

Supporting REF and research information

Several applications are available to help academics find information regarding research and to support the REF:

  • Symplectic Elements – The University's research information management system. Provides a closed environment within which Cambridge researchers can create a profile to collate the outputs of their research, pulling information from a growing list of data sources, including ORCID, Scopus and Web of Science. Raven login required.

  • Dimensions – A powerful discovery engine where you can find grants, publications, citations, clinical trials and patents all in one place, helping you to understand the funding landscape.

  • Altmetric – Tracks the attention that scholarly articles and datasets receive online, over and above traditional academic citation counts and impact factors. Raven login required.

  • Impact repository – Used to capture impact that could be turned into case studies for the REF. Access to this system is restricted.

Grant maintenance

The Research Operations Office (ROO) also uses several custom-built systems maintained and developed by UIS to assist in the general administration of grants. These are:

  • RCO Database – The main grant management application that the ROO uses to track grant data, such as contract details, the type of grant, attached amendments, grant status and the generation of the grant number that's used as an identifier across the University.

  • Budget Calculator – A tool that takes the grant application across the various costing categories and works out the income split between the department and the CHEST, depending on which sponsor category has been applied to and as laid down by the terms of the University's incomes policy.

  • Claims Management System – A system that is used in conjunction with UFS to manage the billing cycles of successful grants, ensure that invoices are generated and help in chasing up any overdue payments.