A Contract between the funding body and the University of Otago is negotiated when funding for a research grant has been awarded. This applies whether you have a contract directly with a funding body or are a sub-contractor on someone else's grant. In some cases the application itself will be all that is required and in some cases Principal Investigators will be required to complete contracting documentation.
As each contract differs there is no set process to be followed. The Research & Enterprise Office will work with staff to set up these contracts and make sure they adequately protect such things as confidentiality, liability, Intellectual Property (IP) and publication rights.
Often, if an applicant is awarded less money than was requested they may be asked to provide a revised budget and revised research objectives. As a general rule, if you are awarded less money you should provide less research than was proposed in the application. You may also be required to complete a revised Costing and Consents Worksheet as part of the contracting process.
If you are notified directly by the funding body that your application is successful, you should contact the Research & Enterprise Office and advise them of your success. You should enquire if they have received copies of any letters from the funding body (and if not, send a copy to them to go on your file). Once the Research & Enterprise Office knows you are successful they can start the process of getting the contract organised and a research account set up.
Once your contract has been fully signed off you will receive a copy from the Research & Enterprise Office with a Contractual Obligations Worksheet that details the reporting dates and highlights any specific limitations to spending.
In most cases you will be required to report on your grant. Reporting processes vary between funding bodies but it could be every six months, annually or at the end of your contract. In some cases continued funding of the project will depend on reporting being met.
Variations to Contract
Most funding bodies accept that circumstances can change, causing unforeseen delays or changes to the research programme. In this case, a contract variation or an extension can be organised. You must go through the Research & Enterprise Office if you want to notify the funding body of any changes. The Research & Enterprise Office will notify the funding body on your behalf and put forward a request for an extension or variation to your contract. Often the funding body just wants to know of any changes of plan and they do not require a formal variation in the contract.