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Closing Research Funds

On the completion of a research project there are procedures that both the Chief Investigator (CI) and Research Finances Services (RFS) must undertake to close the fund.  These involve two different approaches for when a fund is in surplus and deficit:

  • Surplus:  The CIs must ensure that the project has been fully costed, (which means all direct and indirect costs have been attributed to the research project). Surplus balances for External Funding Sources will be transferred to RF111 in the School/Centre/Faculty, if there is no obligation to return the funds to the sponsor. Surplus balances for Internal Funding Sources will be transferred as per the original source.
  • Deficit: Any deficit balance after completion of a research project will be charged to the CIs RF112 funds in the first instance, or School/Centre RF111 funds. Any deficit at the end of the project will need to be communicated to the school/centre managers who will determine how the deficit is to be funded.

The table below shows the research project closure treatment by fund type:

Fund Type Timing Surplus Deficit
Research grants or Contract Funds (RE projects) On completion of research deliverables and notification by GMO, RFS requests the school/centre to finalise transactions by month end and the month following the final payroll entry action to clear surplus/deficit balances will commence 
  1. If the final balance is a net surplus and UNSW is allowed to retain the funds, RFS to Credit the balance to RF111 project of the school/centre. The policy does not permit the funds to be held under the individual Cis.  RFS to provide confirmation to School and Centre of surplus retained.
  2. If the final balance is a net surplus and has to be returned to the sponsor RFS to co-ordinate the return of funds
If the final balance is a net deficit, RFS to coordinate with the school/centre on how the deficit is to be funded (using the proposed order of funding) and request school/centre finance support to process journals to clear the deficit. NB. Current process under review.
Operating Funds committed as co-contributions to competitive funding (RF888 projects) On completion of research deliverables RFS request the school/centre to finalise transactions by month end and the month following the final payroll entry If the final balance is a net surplus RFS to journal the return of funds to Central.  They are processed to Central as they are Operating Funds and often prior year If the final balance is a net deficit, RFS to co-ordinate with the school/centre on how the deficit is to be funded (using the proposed order of funding) and process journals to clear the deficit
Research Matching Funds (RF555 projects) On completion of associated research deliverables the RFS request the school/centre to finalise transactions by month end and the month following the final payroll entry If the final balance is a net surplus RFS to journal the return of funds to DVC-R If the final balance is a net deficit, RFS to coordinate with the school/centre on how the deficit is to be funded (using the proposed order of funding) and process journals to clear the deficit.
Major Research Equipment (RF444 projects) On commissioning of the equipment, request the school/centre to finalise transactions by month end and the month following too

If the final balance is a net surplus RFS to journal the return of funds to DVC-R

If the final balance is a net deficit, RFS to coordinate with the school/centre on how the deficit is to be funded (using the proposed order of funding) and process journals to clear the deficit
SIR30 Gold Star Awards

Project closure activities to be initiated as part of Year end closure, request the school/centre to finalise transactions by year end cut-off

DVC-R under exceptional circumstance may approve the carryover of funds to the following year and in such event on notification by DVC-R.

  1. RFS will extend the project completion date
  2. Transfer the budget remaining to the following year
If there is a budget remaining RFS to update budget and notify DVC-R

If there is a budget deficit, RFS to coordinate with the school/centre on how the deficit is to be funded (using the proposed order of funding) and process journals to clear the deficit

SIR50 VC Post Doc Fellowships Project closure activities to be initiated at the end of the fellowship If there is a budget remaining RFS to update budget and notify DVC-R If there is a budget deficit, RFS to coordinate with the school/centre on how the deficit is to be funded (using the proposed order of funding) and process journals to clear the deficit

For further information please contact Finance Helpdesk on financehelp@unsw.edu.au or call extension 53330.