Tuesday, 6 October 2009

RCUK to Clawback Money from Grants

RCUK has announced that it will be clawing back funding from some existing awards in light of a fall in the official forecasts of inflation.
The changes, estimated to be around 1.2%, will take effect from April 2010 onwards, and will affect any grant with outstanding payments of more than £100k.
Alan Thorpe, Chair of Research Councils UK said: "The decline in inflation needs to be reflected in the grants we award. All savings made as a result of changing the rate will be reinvested into research and postgraduate training."
It's noted, however, that 'rises in inflation' are not reflected in the grants they award.
Thanks to Juan and Gill for highlighting these changes. The full press release is available here.

1 comment:

  1. EPSRC has recently issued revised payment profiles for their grants affected by this clawback. They also noticed that they had been calculating indexation incorrectly since 2000 and have corrected for this at the same time.

    Two issues have surfaced. First, EPSRC has not provided any revised totals for the funding headings. All they have sent are profile tables (on paper, not electronic) for each grant, showing payments due throughout the life of the grants. This means, in order to know how much, say, Travel has been reduced by, someone has to get out a calculator and manually add up the scheduled payment figures, then repeat for each heading and each grant.

    Second, the exceptions headings are lumped together with DI headings, e.g. the figures in the staff column in the revised profiles are a sum of both DI (at 80%) and exceptions (at 100%) staff. As the indexation on these staff seems to be at different rates, it is impossible to work out accurately what the new totals for DI and exceptions staff are. University grants offices are having to make a guess at the split, and therefore risking a small over or underspend, because exceptions are funded 100% but DI only 80%.

    EPSRC is apologising to those who complain, but simultaneously refusing to remedy this situation. Lets hope the other Councils present their revised data in a more helpful format. After all it is surely the job of the grant provider to clearly show how much funding they will provide under which headings.

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