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Transfer of BBSRC grant administration to the RCUK Shared Services Centre

24 January 2011

As part of its drive to improve efficiency and enhance service levels, responsibility for BBSRC research grant administration will be transferring to the RCUK Shared Services Centre (SSC) in March 2011. The transfer will also involve the implementation of a new grant administration system which will be shared by all Research Councils. In adopting a single back-office system and administrative function, the Research Councils will benefit both from process harmonisation and economies of scale.

To enable the hand-over of both data and process, we will have to introduce a number of control measures to minimise disruption. The following paragraphs summarise the main impact on Research.

Transition period

  • BBSRC will minimise operational activity during January and February 2011.
  • Back-office systems will be frozen in March in preparation for the migration of data and processes.
  •  Business processes using the RCUK SSC will restart in late March, during which time suspended activities will gradually be reactivated.
  • During April and May, any outstanding actions following the system freeze will be cleared.

Pre-Award impact

Subject to a small number of exceptions, successful applications from decision meetings that took place in 2010 will be announced before the system freeze. Successful proposals from the Winter 2010 responsive mode round (closing date in October 2010 with meetings to be held in February 2011) will be announced from April 2011 onwards.

Applicants who have submitted proposals to the January 2011 responsive mode closing date should expect the process to take somewhat longer. BBSRC depends on timely responses to referee requests to ensure quality in peer review. Delays to process in peer review will be greatly reduced if referees respond positively to requests for comment as early as possible. Other funding streams that are currently being assessed may also experience delays in both process and in making announcements. Everything is being done to minimise these delays.

The closing date for the next responsive mode round has been moved back to allow for more time during the transition. The revised closing date will be 25 May 2011, followed by another responsive mode closing date on 4 October 2011. Going forward, two responsive mode closing dates will be published on a rolling basis.

The Je-S system will not be affected by the changes and so applications for funding can continue to be submitted. Research Organisations should continue to use the Je-S system for the monitoring and updating of information.

Post-award impact

We will not be processing any changes to awards during the transition period. This will include any action resulting from grant transfers, changes in Investigators, the submission of starting certificates or requests for no-cost extensions. In order to facilitate this, we will adjust the due dates of final expenditure statements, final reports and other deliverables expected during this period; return dates will be delayed until after the implementation of the new system.

Process Changes

Je-S refereeing

BBSRC will start using the Je-S system for refereeing from January 2011 (from the responsive mode closing date on 11 January). This means that referee requests will be sent by email from Je-S, asking the referee to log on to the Je-S system to view documents and comment on proposals. Grant documents will no longer be sent as email attachments. This new refereeing mechanism will bring significant advantages to both referees and applicants. Funding calls which opened prior to January 2011 will continue to use the email-based referee system.

Je-S changes

There will be an additional feature in the Je-S system which will enable BBSRC applicants to monitor progress of their proposal through the peer review process. The “Pre-Award Tracker” facility will be available for BBSRC applications from April 2011. The Pre-Award Tracker will act as the first port of call in confirming progress of proposals, providing up to date and accurate information on progress through the peer review process.

From April 2011, all requests for changes to research grants, including the submission of starting certificates, final expenditure statements and requests for no-cost extensions will be submitted exclusively through the Je-S system.

Grant administration contact details

From April 2011 onwards, the RCUK SSC will be the primary point of contact for all queries regarding the processing of both new proposals and current awards; new contact details will available on the BBSRC website in due course. Grant holders should use Je-S to manage their awards in the first instance, directing any further queries about grants administration to the RCUK SSC.

Applicants with policy and eligibility queries should continue to liaise with their BBSRC contacts. BBSRC will continue to make funding decisions, select reviewers and panel members and will focus on delivering the long-term strategy set out in the BBSRC Delivery Plan.
For further information, a series of Frequently Asked Questions is available from the RCUK website.

BBSRC contact information:

 

Je-S activities now and after administration of grants moves to SSC Ltd

Activity User Now Post-SSC Ltd
Create an account All Je-S Users Yes Yes
Fellowship proposals Applicant Yes Yes
Outline proposal Applicant Yes Yes
Standard Grant proposal Applicant Yes Yes
Standard Grant proposal - JOINT Applicant Yes Yes
Studentships – Nominations Student or RO Admin or Supervisor    
Studentships – Proposals/Course Proposals Student or RO Admin or Supervisor Yes Yes
Peer Review Peer Reviewer   Yes
Peer Review – Applicant Response Applicant   Yes
Introducer Assessment Panel Member   No
PhD Submission RO Admin Yes Yes
Masters Submission RO Admin Yes Yes
Standard Proposal – Post submission returns/amends RO Admin/Applicant Yes Yes
Outline Proposal – Post submission returns/amends RO Admin/Applicant Yes Yes
Fellowship Proposal – Post submission returns/amends RO Admin/Applicant Yes Yes
Studentship Proposal – Post submission returns/amends RO Admin/Applicant/Supervisor Yes Yes
Student Nomination – Post submission returns/amends Student or RO Admin or Supervisor   Yes
Ten day turnaround (cost reiteration) RO Admin Yes Yes
Annual Statements RO Admin   Yes
Grant Announcement RO Admin/Applicant   Yes
Offer Acceptance RO Admin   Yes
Start Confirmation RO Admin   Yes
Status Reporting RO Admin Yes Yes
Pre-Award Tracker RO Admin/Applicant   Yes
Grant Maintenance Request RO Admin   Yes
Final Expenditure Statements RO Admin Yes Yes
Interim Expenditure Statements RO Admin   Yes
Final reports Applicant Yes Yes
Interim reports Applicant   Yes
Student/Researcher Details RO Admin Yes Yes
Student/Researcher Batch update RO Admin Yes Yes
People Expertise Classification Je-S Users Yes Yes

Contact

BBSRC Media Office

tel: 01793 414694
fax: 01793 413382