Accepting and managing ARC grants

The processes, resources and expectations around accepting and managing ARC grants at the University of Melbourne

  • Notification and acceptance

    On the day of announcement, the ARC will publish successful projects on their website. RIC will contact the lead Chief Investigator (CI) or Fellow and provide spreadsheets to Departments/Faculties as soon as possible after the announcement.

    The ARC's Important Dates webpage contains the announcement dates of grant rounds.

    Accepting your grant

    The lead CI will receive a Research Grant Acceptance Form (RGAF). The CI/Fellow and the Head of Department must sign the RGAF. Signing the RGAF confirms that:

    • the awardee agrees to comply with the ARC Funding Agreement and any additional conditions specified in the Letter of Offer, including financial and reporting requirements;
    • the Head of Department accepts the award into the department and will provide the necessary infrastructure.

    Multi-Institutional Agreements (MIA)

    Where two or more Australian organisations are involved in a project, an MIA needs to be executed by the collaborating partners. All Chief Investigators named on the grant must agree on the distribution of funds between institutions. The lead CI will be asked to enter the relevant details on the Multi-Institutional Agreement (MIA) and return the document to RIC who will arrange execution with all collaborating institutions.

    The ARC Funding Agreement requires that MIAs must be in place with all collaborating institutions regardless of whether or not there are funds transferred between the institutions. Standard Agreement templates are currently in use within the Group of Eight (Go8) Universities.

    For ARC Linkage Projects, RIC negotiates Linkage Agreements with Partner Organisations and other institutions collaborating on the project. The ARC does not permit the project to commence until these agreements have been signed by all parties. CIs will be asked to provide details of any shared funding and any other important negotiating matters.

    ARC Funding Agreements

    The ARC Funding Agreement outlines the responsibilities of the Administering Organisation and the CIs, including details relating to: use of funding, obligations of personnel, reporting requirements and variations which require ARC/Ministerial approval.

    Although offers name a CI/Fellow/Scholar and a project, grants are legally awarded to the administering organisation. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) (or delegate) will accept the award formally on behalf of the University of Melbourne and the project will be entered into the Themis Agreements module.

    Creating a Themis Agreement Record and Financial Account (GL)

    A Themis Agreement record will be created for each successful project. When acceptance paperwork has been completed and returned, RIC will create the account (GL project) so financial transactions can commence. The Themis record will list an Agreement Administrator - an administrative contact in the department who will be the first point of contact for daily management of the funding.

    Employing Staff

    RIC is not involved in recruitment or appointment of staff paid from grants/fellowships; this is the responsibility of the department/faculty and their HR Business Centre. It is important to identify the source of funding when liaising with HR. Your HR Consultant may need to refer to the specific Funding Agreement to ensure the University's obligations to the ARC are met with regard to staff appointments - particularly Fellowships.

    If stipend funding has been requested, a studentship can be set up through the Melbourne Scholarships Office. Refer to the Melbourne Scholarships Officestudentship for details.

    Managing expenditure and changes to projects

    The lead CI/Fellow and their department are responsible for daily management of funding. All funds must be spent in accordance with the Funding Agreement, Special Conditions in the letter of award, the original Grant Application and the MIA. UoM CIs (and the Agreement Administrator) can view grant details by logging into Themis Research Self Service (Agreements Workbench). A copy of the Funding Agreement, Letter of Award, MIA and any ARC approved variations will be attached to the record. CIs can also check the account balance.

  • Variations and transfers

    Please note that the ARC has recently updated its post-award variation process. Variations are now submitted online through RMS. There is no longer a VFA form to complete. Please contact the relevant RIC generic email box to discuss your variation request and the requirements.

    Variations

    If project circumstances change, you may need to get approval from the ARC. Examples that require ARC approval include: changes to personnel, changes to planned budget expenditure and transferring the project to a different Administering Organisation. If project circumstances change, it is advised that you contact RIC to discuss whether a variation is required. Variations to grants administered by the University must be requested through RIC. The ARC will only accept variations sent to them by RIC, not by individual researchers or department/faculty staff.

    Requesting a Variation

    The Researcher(s) will:

    1. Prepare the required documents as detailed in the table below. (Please note we accept scanned signed letters.)
    2. Email the required documents to the relevant RIC contact for your grant.

    All variation requests should be provided to RIC at least four weeks prior to the effective date of change to ensure the request can be sent to the ARC. As of 2012, the ARC is unlikely to approve retroactive requests.

    Researchers should not contact the ARC directly. ALL ARC related queries should be directed through the relevant RIC variations contact.

    All researchers should review their relevant ARC Funding Agreement before lodging a variation.

    RIC staff will:

    1. Provide advice to researcher(s) regarding compliance with the Funding Agreement
    2. Liaise with the ARC regarding post award queries
    3. Liaise with other University Research Offices for non-lead variations
    4. Provide a letter of support for the variation from the University of Melbourne
    5. Send the variation request to the ARC
    6. Notify the researcher of outcome
    7. Notify relevant University department staff / Finance and Planning
    8. Notify relevant University Research Office of the outcome
    9. Update the Themis Agreement record if the variation is approved

    Approval of variations to the Funding Agreement is at the discretion of the ARC.

    The ARC will:

    1. Review the variation request
    2. Have approved requests authorised by the relevant Executive Director (Disciplines and Program)
    3. Update variation status in RMS

    Note: The ARC will only review a variation request when they have all the required documentation. In some cases the ARC will request further information before considering the request. The ARC may take more than 2 months to process variation outcomes.

    Variation type Documents Required
    Request for Change of Personnel or Organisation
    (Including Industrial Partner / Collaborating Organisations / Contributing Organisations)

    Documents required depend on the specific variation requested. Discuss the nature of your variation with RIC staff to determine the appropriate documents. Please note that in most circumstances all Investigators and Organisations on a project must provide written approval agreeing to the requested change. All CIs and PIs must ensure that their RMS account is up to date.

    You may find the Appendix A - ARC Variation of Funding documents useful for determining documentation requirements

    Request for Transfer of Project*
    UoM Policy for ARC Fellowship transfers
    • Agreement from receiving Organisation
    • Agreement from all named organisations on the project (See template letter)
    • Agreement from project leader
    • Agreement from lead CI’s Head of Department
    • Laureate, Future, and Super Science Fellowships and DECRA ONLY: Research Environment statement from the receiving Organisation’s DVC(R).

    Request for Relinquishment or Termination of Funding

    • Agreement from all CIs, PIs (See template letter)
    • Agreement from Industry Partner / Partner Organisations, if applicable

    Request to change research program or budget items
    (Includes Teaching Relief, ICAs, Project Scope, Other Special Conditions, etc)

    Request for Maternity / Parental Leave for Fellows
    • Request from Fellow (See template letter)
    • Medical Certificate
    • Agreement from first named CI if different to Fellow

    Suspension of Fellowship or Project,

    Part-Time Work and/or

    Request for Deferred Start date of Project or Fellowship- NOTE: All projects have varied start dates. Researchers should refer to their relevant Funding Agreements for their latest possible start date.

    • Request from Fellow (See template letter)
    • Agreement from first named CI if different to Fellow

    Claim for Relocation Expenses or Thesis Allowance
    (APAI or Fellows)

    • A letter of request from the Lead CI
    • Receipts (we accept scanned receipts) for each item being claimed
    Any other variations which do not fall within the above categories
    • Discuss the nature of your variation with RIC staff to determine the appropriate documents

    * Agreement from CI Organisations must be from their Research Office or DVC(R), not the Head of School or other staff member. A Partner Investigator may submit agreement for their institution after seeking internal approval. Their agreement should contain the following text: “Having gained the appropriate internal approval, I agree to this change on behalf of (insert Organisation name).”

    Transferring internally between departments

    For the transfer of a grant between departments (for instance, in the event of the Chief Investigator moving departments) please visit the following website. Project codes are affected and sign off is required by Department Managers and Heads of Department (departing and new). *Please note you no longer need to complete TR1D form.

    Sharing funding between UoM departments

    The Themis Tr1F form should be used when changes need to be made to department sharing arrangements within the University of Melbourne.

    Changes to Multi-Institution Agreements (MIA) and Linkage Agreements

    If changes need to be made to the distribution of funding between collaborating organisations (ie: changes to the multi-institutional agreement), please contact RIC.

  • Reporting

    The ARC Funding Agreement outlines the annual and final report requirements. Late or outstanding reports may affect the eligibility of submitted ARC grant applications.

    ARC Progress Reporting for 2016

    The ARC have changed their progress reporting process. Annual Progress Reporting on all ARC-funded projects is now completed as part of the EOY Financial reporting, so paper reports are no longer required.

    For EACH ARC funded project, the Lead CI or sole Fellow MUST complete the Research, Innovation and Commercialisation (RIC) and Research Accounting Services (RAS) survey of certification by 15th January 2017.

    The CI or Fellow will generally be prompted by their agreement administrator to complete the survey as they will provide financial information advising if a carry forward should be requested. Please note whether or not a carry forward is required, all lead CIs or Fellows who are on active projects will be required to complete the survey for each project that they hold.

    The five minute survey contains a few simple questions that allow the CI to certify if any delays have been experienced over the past year, request a carry forward and amend the end date. Please note that some Projects such as DECRAs and Future Fellowships do have limitations on the length of time a Project can be held.

    RIC and RAS will report certifications to the ARC on the CI's behalf.

    If you have any questions about the reporting process, please contact RIC for Progress Reporting and RAS for Financial Reporting.

    ARC Final Reporting

    ARC Final Reports are now available in RMS. Please submit your Final Report via RMS to Research, Innovation and Commercialisation (RIC) for review. RIC will certify and submit the Final Reports to the ARC via RMS.

    Although Final Report forms may appear in RMS for Projects prior to their completion, due to a request to carryover funds, the due date for the Final Report will remain at either 6 or 12 months (depending on the Funding Agreement) after the completion of the Project, unless otherwise approved by the ARC.

    If you are expecting a Final Report to be available in RMS and it is not listed on your Final Report page, or any of the read-only data displayed in a Final Report is incorrect, please email ric-arcreporting@unimelb.edu.au.

    For ARC instructions on completing your Final Report in RMS, please visit the Final Reports page on the ARC website.

  • Non-lead grants

    Submission of Non-Lead ARC Applications

    Applicants involved in projects not administered by the University of Melbourne, are referred to as non-lead grants. Non-lead ARC applications do not need to be entered in Themis Submissions at the time of application, however the RIC will need to be aware of the proposal if central contributions are required (eg: LIEF grants).

    The lead/administering organisation on the application is responsible for review and submission of the application to the ARC.

    Non-lead Grant Acceptance

    The Lead Organisation is responsible for accepting the grant on behalf of named project personnel. All personnel are responsible carrying out the project in accordance with the ARC Funding Agreement.

    Notifying the RIC and Setting up a Multi-Institution Agreement

    The Lead Organisation should enter into a Multi-Institution Agreement (MIA) between collaborating organisations - even if no funds are being shared. Standard MIA templates have been set up within the Group of Eight (Go8) Universities, and it is the University's preference to use these even when collaborating with universities outside the Go8.

    ARC DP Multi-Institution Agreement
    ARC LIEF Multi-Institution Agreement

    The University of Melbourne CI should liaise with the lead CI/Administering Institution and agree on the dispersal of funds.

    The RIC requires:

    • a copy of the Grant Application
    • a copy of the Letter of Award
    • a copy of the draft MIA provided by the Administering Organisation

    RIC will review the MIA; obtain the University's authorised signatory and return a copy of the MIA to the Administering Organisation.

    Creation of a Themis Agreement Record and Financial Account (GL)

    If the University of Melbourne is to receive funds from a non-lead grant, the RIC will create a Themis Agreement record and open an account (GL project). This will allow departments to accurately record their portion of research income.

    Finance and Planning may request a budget form from the CI / department. Invoicing deliverables will be entered against non-lead grant records in accordance with the funding distribution in the MIA.

    University of Melbourne CIs are able to view details of the grant by logging into Themis Research Self Service (Agreements Workbench). A copy of the Funding Agreement, Letter of Offer and MIA will be attached to the record. CIs can also check the account balance. All funds must be spent in accordance with the MIA, the Funding Agreement, any Special Conditions and the original Grant Application.

    Variations to Non-Lead Projects

    If project circumstances change, approval may need to be sought from the ARC. Variations must be requested via the lead CI, through the Administering Organisation's research office.

    Reporting and Carrying Forward Funds

    Completion of technical and financial deliverables to the ARC are the responsibility of the lead CI/Administering Organisation.

    It is possible to carry forward unspent ARC project funds from one year to the next by submitting a carry forward form to Finance and Planning. Finance will advise Agreement Administrators in October each year as to the process for applying for carry forwards on non-lead grants. If an ARC project has a balance remaining of more than 75% of total funding allocated for a calendar year, a letter of justification is also required.

  • Key contacts

    For financial management questions Finance and Employee Services (Research Accounting)
    For grant conditions and variations Research, Innovation and Commercialisation
    For recruitment and employment practices Human resources
    To view project details Themis (research self-service)