PROCEDURE FOR DEVELOPMENT, APPLICATION AND MANAGEMENT OF RESEARCH PROJECTS
ARTICLE 1: OBJECTIVE
The objective of this procedure is to define the research project development, application and management processes at Hena e Plote Beder University (hereafter referred to as the University).
ARTICLE 2: SCOPE
This procedure covers all individuals at the University, including full- and part-time faculty, visiting faculty, full-and part-time employees (staff) and fellows (pre- and post-doctoral), whether or not they receive all or any part of their salary or other compensation from the University.
ARTICLE 3: REFERENCES
This procedure has been prepared depending on Hena e Plote Beder University Research Projects Regulation dated March 19th 2014
ARTICLE 4: RESPONSIBILITIES
The Director of the OR shall be responsible for the enforcement of this procedure.
The OR shall be responsible for preparing and/or updating this procedure. The opinion of related departments shall be solicited in the course of preparing and/or updating this procedure. The OR shall be responsible for adopting this procedure in compliance with the funding agency rules and procedures if need be.
The Office of Research, Finance and Accounting Office and Human Resources Office (HR) shall be responsible for the application of this procedure.
The OR shall be responsible for preparing the Project Contract to be signed between the funding agency and the university.
The Finance and Accounting Office shall be responsible for informing OR of the fact that funds allocated for the project have been transferred to the account of the University.
The Human Resources Office shall be responsible for preparing the employment contract to be signed between the University and the project staff following the signature of the project contract between the funding agency and the university, in compliance with the terms of the project contract.
ARTICLE 5: DEFINITIONS
Project Application Guide: The document published by the funding institution setting out the information and documents requested from the project manager in the application process.
Project Call Text: The document published by the funding institution defining the application process, submission start date deadlines, support amount and expectations.
Project Application Form: The document published by the funding organization containing the details of project information (project name, keywords, project summary, budget, institutional information of the applicant, host institution letter, etc.) provided by the applicant.
Project Budget: The document detailing the expenditure items and expenses required for the best implementation of the project and being an integral part of the project application form.
Administrative Documents Required for Project Application: Documents requested by the funding institution whose requirements differ for each institution and the project call period of such institution.
Funding Source: Institutions such as AKTI, Ministry of Development, Ministry of Science and Education, European Commission, World Bank, United Nations, Regional and International institutions within the scope of Bilateral Cooperation as well as domestic and foreign private sector institutions.
Project Contract: The agreement document signed by and between the funding institution applied to and the applicant institution establishing issues such as the scope of the support, legal, administrative, financial provisions, intellectual and industrial property rights, etc.
Non Disclosure Agreement: The agreement signed by and between the funding and the applicant institution establishing principles such as the exchange and use of confidential information to be acquired within the project scope.
Letter of Support: The official letter requested by the funding institution and prepared by the applicant institution stating the nature of the support, the requirements for which differ for each institution and call type and which is added to the project proposal when needed.
Ethical Board Document: Where deemed necessary for the project proposal (if the project contains animal and human tests), the official document received from the University's Ethical Board to prove that that the project complies with the constraints set forth by the Ethics Board and other institutional regulations and legal requirements.
Consortium Agreement: Where the project is prepared with more than one partner, the agreement signed by the project partners establishing the project deliverables and principles regarding the sharing of responsibilities which will arise during the execution of the project.
Project Contract and Documents: Project contract signed between Beder University and funding agency for each project and its annexes and confidentiality contract bearing original signature shall be deemed as original.
Letter of Assignment: This is a document assigning project managers, co-investigators, research assistants employed by Beder University or students enrolled at the University (with reference to their responsibilities mentioned in the project contract).
Service Contract: A contract signed with students or academic or administrative staff members who are not staff members of Beder University but assigned to a specific project.
Project Reports: Refer to financial and scientific reports required to be periodically submitted to the funding agency by the project managers, in accordance with the terms defined in the contract signed with the funding agency.
Work Breakdown Structure Element (WBS)
A code number given to the projects and all the budget items of the projects which have been or are currently being implemented by the University. This is the registry number of projects and budget items of the related project
Letter of Request: Letter to be sent by the project managers to the Finance and Accounting Office and/or OR to request changes to be made in implementation of the projects or project reports.
OR is responsible for reviewing these requets in compliance with the donor requirements in case of funded projects
Project related documents filled out by the academic and/or administrative personnel and produced to obtain records of all activities having an impact on work flow are considered as quality records.
Scientific Research Projects Proposal Form
The proposal form which needs to be filled out by the project managers in order to request internal funds for scientific research projects.
Externally Funded Projects Approval Request Form
A form to request approval of the Office of Research for the projects applying to external grants and funds.
Forms to be filled out by the project managers and/or other project staff or contracted experts as a record to indicate hours worked in the projects.
Purchase Request (PR) Forms
Refer to forms of requests and orders in the scope of project procurement process. Handling these forms is under the responsibility of Finance and Accounting Department.
Refers to net annual working hours per person and calculated by the Human Resources Office (HR) using a specific formula (total number of days in a year, weekends, official holidays, sick leave, and annual leave).
Refer to documents produced by national/international funding agencies about the written rules regarding the project implementation.
ARTICLE 6: PRINCIPLES
The project application process at the University is carried out by the Office of Research.
The Rector and/or Director are authorized to sign any research project support agreement on behalf of the University.
Office of Research sends the project applications filed from the University to the funding institution in a complete format in terms of their content, the degree of meeting the requirements of the call and their budget and coordinate this process in the most efficient way.
Office of Research shall examine the project agreements and arrange for the signing of agreements by giving due care to their compliance with the university’s general practices, customs of law and the project proposal as well as to the compliance of intellectual property rights with the university policy.
For research project agreements prepared and/or checked by Office of Research, “Nondisclosure Agreement" may be requested from the project manager/researchers and students working at the project in accordance with the requirements of the funding institution.
For any project, the project manager and/or all researchers involved in the project shall submit a disclosure form to the Office of Research if they come up with an invention as a result of their research. In this case, Office of Research shall ask for an assignment of rights agreement from the inventors.
Original copies of the research project agreements prepared and/or checked by the Office of Research shall be retained and, where needed, archived by the latter.
ARTICLE 7: PROPOSAL PREPARATION
The preparation and submission of a proposal is directed by the project manager who assumes responsibility for the identification of an appropriate sponsor, use of any application forms specific to a sponsor, the content of the proposal (including the budget), and, when applicable, mailing of hard copy applications in final form. The Office of Research may be contacted for assistance in identifying potential sponsors and securing any sponsor application materials. To the extent possible, proposals should provide educational opportunities for, and permit the participation of, undergraduate and graduate students.
All proposals submitted for research and other sponsored projects to be performed by faculty, students and/or staff at the University require the review and approval of the Office of Research. Office of Research is responsible for providing the official signature on proposals submitted on behalf of the University.
The proposal budget should include all anticipated costs of the proposed project including, but not limited to, salaries, fringe benefits, tuition remission, equipment, supplies and materials, travel, subcontractors, consultants, any other anticipated costs, and associated facilities and administrative costs (also referred to as indirect costs or overhead). Cost sharing included in budgets shall follow current procedures established by the University and should be detailed on the University's cost sharing form. Proposals should include a budget justification consistent with a sponsor's requirements
ARTICLE 8: METHOD
Project Application Process:
The applicant who has a project idea and/or is planning to file a project application with a specific funding source shall inform the relevant specialist at the Office of Research.
The project call text to support the project, application guide and other conditions (if any) shall be examined by the project manager and the relevant specialist.
For studies to be conducted during the project application process, the application agreement and time schedule shall be prepared by the relevant specialist. This time schedule shall be monitored by the relevant specialist during the process.
In the project application process, the relevant specialist shall work in coordination with the contact point in the funding institution in issues regarding the project application.
In the project application process, the below processes shall be executed, checked and completed in coordination with the applicant:
Format: Compliance with the formal requirements demanded by the funding institution.
Budget: Evaluation and planning of expenses required for the implementation of the project in the best and most efficient way.
Completeness: Checking of whether all requirements of the project application form have been met.
Additional Documents (where needed): Completion of documents requested for the project application such as the letter of support, ethical board document, legal permission, consortium agreement (if establishing the distribution of intellectual and industrial property rights, it must be prepared in accordance with the University's "Intellectual Property Rights" document.) and non disclosure agreement.
After the project application form and necessary documents are completed,
The applicant may file the application in person,
The application may be filed by the Office of Research on behalf of the applicant in accordance with the application method determined by the funding institution.
If the applicant is applying in person, he/she shall be obliged to submit to the Office of Research the final version of the application sent to the funding source.
The project evaluation process shall be monitored by the Office of Research and the result shall be reported to the applicant. If the funding institution notifies the applicant of the result, the latter shall be obliged to share with the Office of Research the result and project evaluation report.
Agreement Negotiation Process:
In the event a proposal is funded by an external funding institution, the University, not the project manager, assumes responsibility for negotiating and formally accepting agreements from external sponsors. This will help ensure that all legal requirements incumbent upon the University in the application and acceptance of outside funding are carefully reviewed and appropriately acknowledged and that University policies and procedures are consistently and reasonably applied and followed. Some agreements (i.e., grants) are issued on a unilateral basis and require no negotiations or signatures from the University except under unusual circumstances. Award negotiations are the responsibility of the Office of Research under the overall supervision of the Rector. Except for rare instances, agreements with sponsors are executed between the University (not the project manager) and the sponsor. In accepting these legally binding agreements, the University becomes the grantee or the contractor. The project manager becomes responsible for the technical work, fiscal oversight, and the overall management of the project, and he/she is obligated, together with the University, to comply with all terms of the agreement.
If the funding organization decides to support a project, the agreement negotiation process shall begin. When the information and approval that a research project will be funded by any external source is shared with the Office of Research, the project agreement shall be examined by the Office of Research by taking into account both the legal and financial issues. The issues that must particularly be taken into account during the agreement evaluation are compliance with the University's "Intellectual Property Rights", payment plan and confidentiality clauses.
The projects supported by the private sector and nongovernmental organizations are more open to negotiation compared to those supported by other funding institutions (European Commission, AKTI, Ministries, etc.). Therefore, the projects must be prepared in accordance with the University's "Intellectual Property Rights” right from the beginning of the application process. The negotiation process of such projects prepared in accordance with the University policies shall be executed by the Office of Research and, during this process, legal consultancy services shall be obtained in line with the policies of the University as and when needed. Agreements shall be examined in terms of intellectual property rights, payment plan and confidentiality clauses and it shall be ensured that the Confidentiality Agreement is signed by all contributors to the project.
Regarding the conformity of the agreement, the approval of the project manager and director of Office of Research shall be taken.
The research project support agreement shall be issued in single copy or two copies depending on the rules set out in the agreement.
The research project agreement shall undergo the necessary signature process based on the nature of the agreement.
All agreements shall be scanned and stored in the Office of Research database before being sent to the relevant institution.
The agreement signed by all parties shall be scanned and stored in the Office of Research database, with the original kept in the project file.
Acceptance of Awards
The official acceptance of awards from external sponsors is done by the Office of Research. Signature authority with regard to research agreements rests with the Rector. Signature authority may be delegated to the Director of the Office of Research. Project managers are prohibited from signing external research agreements.
Following the notification of the approval of the funding for the project to the OR by the funding agency and/or project manager, OR will commence the project contract process. If necessary, OR will request to open a new bank account from the Finance and Accounting Office. OR will inform the Finance and Accounting Office of the type of account and the type of currency (EUR, USD, ALL etc).
All contract related operations are managed by OR and hence contracts are sent to funding agency by OR. If necessary, nondisclosure agreement (NDA) and project contracts are drawn up by OR.
One copy of the project contract bearing all required signatures will be submitted to the project manager and another copy will be sent by the OR to the Finance and Accounting Office.
Following the approval of projects, OR will provide information to project managers regarding project management.
When the contract signed by the University and the funding agency is received by OR the project commences on the date specified in the contract.
Project manager collaborates with OR to identify research staff which will be assigned to the project and the respective salaries/stipends, if not specified in the contract with funding agency this decision will be disclosed to HR. The process regarding this decision will be as follows:
Scholarship students: All related parties such as: Department that the student enrolled at, HR, Finance and Accounting Office, OR shall comply with “Scholarships Directive” of the university.
Administrative Personnel of the University: The personnel working under contract at the university including the technicians, financial affairs experts, secretaries etc. shall be governed by related rules and regulations of HR. The Human Resources Office shall be informed regarding the time spent by the administrative staff on the project. The related cost will be reflected to the project.
Faculty Members, Instructors and Post-Doctoral Researchers: If an addendum is required in order to assign faculty members, instructors and post-doctoral researchers working at the University to be assigned in a particular project as project managers, co-investigators, research assistants, and consultants to the project, HR will be responsible for the preparation and execution of the addendum. OR shall prepare the letter of assignment and the OR Director shall assign the tasks.
Other Personnel: The project manager shall inform HR Office regarding other persons (consultants, assistant researchers, research associates, technicians, specialists etc.) and other students (currently enrolled at another university to obtain an undergraduate or graduate degree or persons with student status) to be employed or assigned in the project.
Human Resources Office shall prepare an employment contract to be signed in all projects with those other than the university staff, taking into consideration the requirements of the contract with the funding agency if need be.
One copy of the employment contract signed in the scope of projects shall be kept by HR Office and another copy shall be delivered to the employee. The copy of the contract shall also be preserved by OR for the respective project file.
OR shall assign a project code for all newly initiated projects and submit the relevant contracts to Finance and Accounting Office. The Finance and Accounting Office shall then issue the invoices in accordance with the requirements and dates specified in the contract and send out the invoices to the relevant authorities.
It is required in private sector projects that expenditures start as of the invoice date in cases where the money transfer has been made against invoice. The codes of practice adopted by the Finance and Accounting Office shall be followed in prioritizing expenses.
The expenditures may start as of the effective date of the project contract in projects funded by public organizations.
In other projects, project rules shall apply.
The original copies of documents related to project expenses (invoice, bill etc.) preserved in accordance with the relevant legislation shall be deemed as valid. It is required to fulfill all procedures and submit the approved documents to Finance and Accounting Office as soon as possible in order to cover such expenses from the Project budget.
The list of the equipment planned to be purchased for the project must be shared with the Finance and Accounting Department, enabling them to provide guidance for procurement processes where it is possible to benefit from incentive programs.
Procurement procedures of the university and the funding agency shall be applied for all projects.
In cases where a faculty member of the University is employed in a project run by another university as an assistant researcher or consultant, the HR Office and OR shall be kept informed.
In cases where a change needs to be made in the Project (extension, change in the deadline of reports), OR shall be informed.
Project Implementation and Budget
Project manager shall comply with the procedures and codes of practice adopted by both the funding agency and Beder University during the course of the project.
Project managers are the primary responsible persons to make sure that all the required information and documents are supplied and submitted to relevant authorities in an accurate and timely manner. All the reports shall be controlled by the project managers before they are signed. Furthermore, the project manager will act as the primary contact with the funding agency.
Project manager is expected to follow the deadline for reports, overall budget balance and plan the expenditures accordingly.
Financial reports in projects shall be prepared by the OR in cooperation with the project manager.
In cases where there is a need for further clarification in financial issues, project managers shall seek the opinion of Finance and Accounting Office. Where the VAT exemption certificate is required for any procurement, this certificate shall be used for procurement.
In cases where the amount of salary or stipend paid to persons employed in the project needs to be changed, the project manager shall discuss this issue with the OR. After getting the approval of OR for respective changes, project manager shall inform the department for changes in stipend and HR for changes in salaries.
In cases where funds in the budget are not sufficient, the project manager may contact OR to request transfer of funds from one budget item to another. This request shall be handled by OR and OR shall inform the Finance and Accounting Office whether the request is approved or not. Following this, the Finance and Accounting Office shall start the related process.
The rules adopted by the relevant organizations shall apply in cases where there is transfer of funds from one budget item to another in funded projects.
The management of the overhead is the responsibility of the University and shall be applied as %15 of the total budget in all externally funded projects.
ARTICLE 9: RECORDS
Original copies of the application form signed and/or sealed forms and documents sent to the funding institution, project contract and its annexes shall be preserved in the related project files which are kept in the OR. The original copies of employment contracts signed with the research staff shall be kept by the HR Office whereas their copies shall be again preserved in the related project files kept by the OR.
ARTICLE 10: EXPENDITURES OF GRANT/CONTRACT FUNDS
The grant/contract period begins on the effective date of the agreement and runs for the length of time indicated on the award document. Expenditures incurred prior to the effective date of the grant/contract may not be charged against the project account unless specifically authorized in the award document or approval has been received by the sponsor or by other means (i.e., expanded authorities granted by federal agencies). No expenditures may be made after the scheduled expiration date of the agreement unless approved by the sponsor.
All accounting functions shall be under the direction of Accounting and Finance Office of the University. It is the ultimate responsibility of the project manager to ensure that all charges to an externally-funded project are made in accordance with the terms and conditions of the award, including the approved budget, and in accordance with the relevant policies of the University.
ARTICLE 11: GRANT/CONTRACT CLOSEOUT
It is the responsibility of the project manager to ensure that all periodic and final technical reports are transmitted to the sponsor in accordance with the terms of the award. Failure to submit reports on a timely basis may result in action by the University against the project manager, including ineligibility to submit any future proposals for sponsored research until all delinquent reports have been submitted and accepted by a sponsor.
The University, through the Office of Research is responsible for submitting all invention, equipment/property and fiscal reports. The project manager shall work with, and provide the necessary information to the Office of Research to ensure the timely and accurate submission of all reports.
The supervision and update of this procedure is under the responsibility of OR. The supervision is conducted in the October of every year and/or in relation to the changes in the rules related to the project implementation adopted by the funding agency shall be considered.