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Research administration


UIS works together closely with the Research Operations 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

UIS hosts the University's grant costing tool, known as X5, 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 to cost their research accurately and thus apply for the appropriate amounts from the various sponsors.

Further information regarding X5 can be found on the Research Operations Office website.

Grant maintenance

There are also several custom built systems used by the Research Operations Office and maintained and developed by UIS to assist in the general administration of grants. These are:

  • The RCO Database – the main grant management application that the Research Operations Office use to track grant data such as contract details, the type of grant it is, attached amendments, grant status as well as the generation of the ‘RG number’ that is used as an identifier across the University
  • The Budget Calculator – a tool that takes the grant application across the various costing categories and which 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
  • The Claims Management System – a system that is used in conjunction with UFS to manage the billing cycles of successful grants and to ensure that invoices are generated and to help in chasing up any overdue payments
  • The Equipment Database – a system which contains details of key research facilities and equipment - both within Cambridge and at other regional institutions. 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.

UIS also hosts the Research Operations Office's website, which provides useful information on the work of the Research Operations Office to the academic community at large and offers various online features, such as a contract submission system for materials transfer agreement (MTA) and confidential disclosure agreement (CDA) contracts.