RGC COVID-19 Related FAQS

Research Grants and Contracts (RGC) FAQs - last updated 26 March 2020

Is the RGC office continuing to operate?

RGC will continue to provide comprehensive research funding services to UNSW researchers throughout this period, this includes grant applications, grant and contract management including the execution of research agreements.

All staff have been set up to work remotely and can be reached via email and phone (via Microsoft Teams), you will find contact information here. Please note though that as a consequence of these arrangements and general disruption attributable to the global COVID-19 pandemic, there may be delays in responding to your enquiries.

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Pre Award - Can I request an extension to the deadline to submit my grant application?

Can  I request an extension to the deadline to submit my grant application?

Funding agencies are providing guidance regarding extended deadlines and late submissions due to Covid-19. This guidance is rapidly evolving and at present most questions are being handled on a case-by-case basis. We can however provide the following high level information:

ARC

ARC Grant Guidelines allow for late grant applications to be submitted in exceptional circumstances (including natural disasters). In accordance with relevant Grant Guidelines, if administering organisations and their researchers have been directly affected by Covid-19 we may formally write to the ARC to request an extension due to exceptional circumstances. Noting, extension requests must be submitted in advance of the application deadline and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please contact your compliance officer or preaward.rgc@unsw.edu.au.

 

NHMRC
The NHMRC are still considering all options and are yet to make an announcement. RGC will update resource pages and these FAQs as soon as an official announcement is made.

Other agencies

RGC Pre Award team are gradually receiving advice from sponsors and will update the Funding Opportunities Calendar once advised.

 

 

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Pre Award - Will I still be able to receive compliance advice?

The Pre Award team will continue to provide compliance advice to all researchers submitting applications across the university. All compliance advisors have been set up to work remotely and can be reached via email and phone (via Microsoft Teams). We require draft applications two weeks prior to submission deadlines unless otherwise stated on the Grant opportunities calendar. Please contact preaward.rgc@unsw.edu.au.

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Pre Award - How do I arrange institutional sign-off

The Pre Award team will continue to obtain HoS approval in order to provide institutional sign-off. Where necessary we will move to digital sign-off from the RGC Director as the authorised UNSW signatory.

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Post Award - I have an ARC End of Year Reporting (EOY) query, who should I contact?

Please contact the RGC Operations Team – rgc.operations@unsw.edu.au

For any financial queries please contact – researchfinance@unsw.edu.au

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Post Award - How can I pick up the hard copies (web-inked) agreements including CTRAs

We will continue to arrange sign-off on hard copied of agreements while UNSW campus is still open. If this no longer becomes possible, we will only be able to provide scanned copies of agreements.

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Post Award - What should I do if my sponsor wants to vary payment plan due to Covid19?

Please contact your RGC Grants Officer who will assist you.

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Post Award - In the midst of the growing uncertainty with Covid-19 in Australia and overseas, should new research projects be put on hold?

No, new research projects need not be put on hold. However, a researcher should carefully consider whether they will be able to meet their contractual obligations under a proposed agreement.

If a researcher is aware that they will not be able to meet some contractual obligations, then that researcher should convey this to their Contracts Officer before an agreement is executed so that particulars amendments may be sought and made in a proposed agreement.

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Post Award - I have an existing project and due to the current climate with Covid-19, I will not be able to meet certain deadlines/milestones or other contractual obligations. What should I do?

In the event that a researcher becomes aware that they or their team will not be able to meet a contractual obligation under an existing agreement, that researcher should notify their RGC Grants Officer as a matter of priority. It is expected that all parties to contracts will negotiate in good faith and be more flexible with contractual arrangements in circumstances where the outbreak is affecting everyone globally.

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Post Award - The timing of deliverables for my project need to be changed, who should I contact?

Please contact your Grants Officer with the new dates who will seek written confirmation from the sponsor. If it is a milestone deliverable which is linked to a payment we can arrange for a variation to your agreement.

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Post Award - Extensions to post-award reporting obligations and variations to current research projects

In relation to mandatory post-award reporting obligations, RGC can seek extensions to deadlines where the Administering Organisation or their researchers have been directly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic – please contact your Grants Officer to discuss.

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Post Award - In the event that campus is closed, what happens to my award funds? Will the funds still be available to complete the project after campus reopens?

It is very likely that funds will still be available. In the event that a closure leaves insufficient time remaining for your period of performance, please request a no-cost extension (NCE) from the sponsor to ensure there is time to complete the project. Please contact your Grants Officer to discuss as soon as possible.

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