External Funding Policy & Procedures
This policy has been formulated in the light of the University College’s Strategic Objectives, the Objective 1 Programme for Cornwall and ‘Future of Higher Education’ White Paper 2003, and the future funding of Higher Education and the Learning and Skills Council Local Strategic Plan 2002-05. The White Paper demonstrated an increased emphasis in Third Strand activities, Widening Participation and Foundation Degrees. The role of the External Funding Unit reflects the need for the University College to diversify income streams. Particular areas of the University College’s activities that overlap with the Unit’s remit are research, Continuous Professional Development (CPD), access initiatives and business support activities.
Research activity will attract less HEFCE funding than before the 2001 RAE but as a counterpoint the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) became a full Research Council in 2005 with additional funding. Applications to the new AHRB will be competitive but offer scope for research activities that would otherwise suffer following the outcome of the latest RAE exercise.
Definitions - what is ‘External funding’?
For the purpose of this paper ‘external funding’ is any funding (either capital or revenue) for teaching and learning, research, widening participation and third strand activities. To give some specific examples there are:
- European Grants
- Research Awards
- SWERDA Grants
- UK Government Grants
- Charity Grants
- LSC funds not linked with Foundation Programme activity
- HEFCE *
* The External Funding Unit’s role is limited to supporting preparation of bids and excludes responsibility for the monitoring of delivery of funding obligations.
‘External funding’ does not cover:
- Core funding (and sector special initiative funding) received for teaching, research and third strand from HEFCE or the LSC.
- Tuition fees and charges.
- Commercial income received from all trading activities (including consultancy short courses) bank interest, property lettings etc.
Key tasks of the External Funding Unit
The Unit is managed by the External Funding Manager (EFM) and works in partnership with staff across the institution to achieve external funding aims.
The main functions are to:
- Identify and research opportunities for external funding which contribute to the University College’s strategic plan.
- Work with staff in the institution to maximise those opportunities (not normally as project manager but by supporting staff and advising on applications/contracts before they are submitted/completed).
- Monitor the delivery of all external funding obligations and highlight areas of concern to the Director of Finance and/or relevant members of SME.
- Oversee the claiming of all funds particularly with regard to European Social Fund (ESF) (e.g. Creative Enterprises for Cornwall Project).
- Oversee all audit requirements of and visits by external funding organisations.
- Advise SME on all requests to provide public match funding for third party projects.
- Provide advice and guidance to all staff involved in externally funded project delivery as regards tracking systems.