Research finance

Costing pro forma

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Please note: the costing pro forma is not required for AINSE research awards.


3. How do I get an account code for my successful project?

1. Who can help me with the budget for my grant application?

Research Finance staff can help formulate and draft research budgets using the FedUni budget pro formas. When you lodge a Grant Expression of Interest (GEOI) form with, you will receive details regarding budget support in accordance with the funding body's regulations.

2. When can I get help with the budget for my grant application?

Assistance with the budget is only available before the advertised internal deadline. Any applications that are submitted after the advertised internal deadline will not have a budget review and any budget shortfalls will be charged to the relevant School/Centre/Faculty Operating Budget.

3. How do I get an account code for my successful project?

For a research account to be set up, a fully executed contract must be in place. Your allocated support research administration officer will request for the account code to be set up. A budget in the FedUni budget pro forma is also required for the account to be set up.

4. How flexible is my research grant funding?

Research grants may have unrestricted funding or they may have restrictions which are outlined in the grant conditions and funding rules. Unrestricted funding allows for grant funds to be spent over a wide range of approved budget items such as consumables, salaries, equipment, travel etc. at the discretion of the grant recipient and subject to the University's policies and procedures.

There will be other grants that specify various categories of expenditure. These grants should be spent in line with the specified budget.

5. How do I request for an invoice to be raised?

When the funding agreement is signed by all parties, reminders are set up on Research Master for the invoicing dates for the duration of the project. The reminder for each milestone invoice is sent via email. Where payment of the grant depends on a milestone being met, the invoice will only be raised after confirmation has been received from the Chief Investigator that the milestone has been met. Invoices for research grants will be raised by Research Finance staff in accordance with the funding agreement.

In order to meet the definition of research as per HERDC specifications, invoices can only be raised when there is a fully executed contract in place. For more information on HERDC specifications please see:

6. How is interest allocated on research grants?

The University allocates investment interest earnings to externally funded projects only where the funding agreement for the project funds specifically requires interest to be allocated on unspent funds as part of the contractual requirements.

Projects for which the funding agreement does not specifically require the allocation of investment interest earnings to the project will not have interest allocated to the project.

Investment interest earnings are allocated to projects based on the net monthly cash balance for the project funded from the external funding body. These are calculated based on the rate of return paid on the University's ANZ 11.00am At Call account.

Amounts invoiced to a funding body but outstanding or unpaid by the funding body at the end of a month will be excluded from any net monthly cash balance calculation until receipt of the funds by the University.

Internal University funding contributions to projects will be excluded from any net monthly cash balance calculation.

Where projects have multiple external funding sources and not all of the funding sources require the allocation of investment interest earnings, funding from the sources not requiring investment interest earnings allocations will be excluded from the projects net monthly cash balance calculation.

Where a continuing externally funded project requiring investment interest earnings allocation operates at a net monthly cash balance deficit for an interim period, a negative allocation or reversal of investment interest earnings may be allocated to the project.

7. Who is responsible for expenditure in research projects?

Chief Investigators are responsible for managing research accounts for grants awarded to them. This also includes monitoring research accounts to ensure that expenditure is in line with the grant conditions, funding rules and amounts awarded. If an expense arises during the project that not included in the application budget, a budget variation can be sought from the funding organisation. Alternatively, the Chief Investigator can make a request to their supervisor for the expense to be charged to another appropriate funding source within the School/Centre/Faculty.

8. When is a research project complete?

A research project is considered complete when the project has achieved its aims and objectives as set out on the project proposal or plan, all allowable costs incurred for the purposes of the project have been charged to the research account, the project has reached its completion date as per the funding agreement and no extensions have been granted and all project milestones have been invoiced.

If there is a deficit balance in the research account after the project is considered complete, the deficit will be charged to the relevant Centre/School operating budget.

If the research account has a surplus at the end of the project and there is no requirement in the funding agreement to return unspent funds and the final project reports have been accepted by the funding organisation, the surplus funds will be transferred to the Centre/School operating budget and access to these funds will be at the discretion of the Dean/Director. The Dean/Director may approve on request from a Chief Investigator for these funds to be transferred into their professional development/consultancy account and used for research related activity, however the balance must be spent within the calendar year.  Access to the balance beyond this point is at the Deans/Directors discretion, due to the Centre/School incurring expenditure without matching income thus having a negative impact on Centre/School operating budgets.

9. Can I transfer funds from a research project to another account?

No. Grant funds can only be used for the purposes of the project and costs directly related to the research or the project. Each project will have a designated account set up when the project commences. All project expenditure must be charged to the designated account.

10. Can I prepare and submit financial data on behalf of the Federation University Australia for the research grant that I am working on?

No. All requests for financial data should be forwarded to the research finance staff who will then prepare, review and verify data before it is sent out to the funding organisation. These requests can be sent to