Highlights from Carnegie PhD Scholars’ Gathering 2022
In light of ongoing restrictions linked to the pandemic, many researchers in receipt of a Carnegie Research Incentive Grant are having to postpone certain research activities, or adapt their plans, project scope or methodologies. The following guidance is aimed at helping Principal Investigator manage their award and associated budget during this time. You can also download the guidance.
The Trust aims to support its grant holders through the ongoing challenges resulting from the Covid 19 pandemic. This message provides information on how we aim to help recipients of Carnegie Research Incentive Grants manage their awards. Our main objective is to ensure that research is not lost or compromised. We do expect grant recipients to be flexible in the way in which they manage their research activities to minimise the impact of disruptions. Where disruptions are such that research may be compromised or time lost, we will consider funded extensions on a case by case basis, as explained below.
If your grant and the associated research activities have not yet started, you can delay the start date up to 12 months from the date of award shown on your award letter. Just email us to let us know your preferred start date. If you are approaching this 12 month cut off and ongoing restrictions mean that it may not be possible for you to start the research activities as originally planned, email us immediately so we can advise you further.
Transferring funds between budget headings
As research activities are rescheduled or adapted to new or ongoing restrictions linked to the global pandemic, you can transfer funds under different budget headings as the need arises. In addition, if you have paid costs for an event, fieldwork or travel which has been cancelled, and these costs cannot be reimbursed or claimed for under insurance, you may claim these against your grant. If you then need to rebook an event, fieldwork or travel at a later date, these costs can also be charged to your grant, offset by savings elsewhere.
NOTE: We do expect researchers to be flexible and cover costs within the existing budget, in the first instance. Do email us to confirm any budget changes you have made or would like to make.
If your grant includes a budget for dissemination activities such as conference attendance, stakeholder workshops, or public engagement events which were cancelled or are unlikely to be held before the end of the grant, you can redirect the funding to cover research costs. You can also use the funds towards publication costs, including open access charges, within the limit of the original dissemination budget listed in the award letter.
It is not possible to extend the grant period for the sole purpose of attending a conference or holding a KE or Public Engagement event.
Transfers that lead to increases in expenditure on dissemination are not permitted.
To allow for disruptions caused by the pandemic, we are taking a flexible and pragmatic approach to requests for no-cost extensions. Grant extensions are possible to reschedule research activities but not for dissemination activities unless a solid case is made when applying for an extension.
If it is unlikely that you will be able to finish the planned research within the originally agreed timeframe, please email us in the first instance to discuss an extension.
In exceptional circumstances, the Trust may agree to supplement the existing award if the research activities have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and the existing grant budget does not provide sufficient flexibility to cover the additional costs incurred. Example scenarios include:
Salary costs of Research Assistants or Technicians employed on a Research Incentive Grant
Where the existing award included the salary of costs of an RA or technician, the Trust will consider requests for additional funding if this staff member was:
Animal maintenance costs
We will consider requests for animal maintenance costs for the period of disruption when laboratories were closed where work carried out before the start of the lockdown has to be repeated.
Where travel arrangements had to be cancelled and no refund is available or costs could not be claimed against insurance the Trust will consider additional support where it cannot be found within the awarded funds.
Additionally, we will consider requests where costs have increased as a result of the pandemic and there is a significant shortfall between the original costings and current prices.
NOTE: Supplementary funding should only be requested as a last resort. Principal Investigators are expected to demonstrate that their research will be severely affected without additional funding and that the costs cannot be met within the original budget by transferring costs between budget headings or from university funds.
Costs that we will not supplement
We will not provide supplementary funding for:
The above costs should be covered by your existing funds by transfers between budget headings.
The Trust’s policy of excluding the payment of indirect costs or overheads continues to apply.
How to apply for supplementary funding
To apply for supplementary funding, you should first be able to either start or resume your planned research activities. You should check with your grant administrator how much has been claimed against the grant already and discuss how the remaining funds can be used against your original plans. Then email the Trust with details of your revised research plans, expenditure to date and proposed budget changes and we will discuss possible solutions with you.
If your personal or professional circumstances have changed or are about to change, and these changes may have an impact on your ability to carry out the funded research, or if your employment contract will cease before the end of the grant period, do get in touch with us so we can discuss potential options.