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What is the role of Research Finance?

Research Finance (RF) is here to help you manage your research project funds and budget as seamlessly as possible. Working with the Research Grants & Contracts (RGC) we will do this in a number of ways:

  • open an account and allocate funds

    Following budget release confirmation (BRC), a budget is created and a project account is opened in the UNSW financial system. A notification by email of the NS Financials project code will also be sent.

    External reporting

    It is important to note that financial information needed by sponsors will be supplied by us, Research Finance (RF).  We will also provide milestone driven project information to the Research Grants & Contracts (RGC) when a milestone is completed.

    RF will also provide financial statements, budgets and audits:

    Sponsor quarterly, bi-annual, annual financial statements and final reports: These reports are provided to the granting body as part of the contractual obligation once all your costs have been provided and accounted for.  These provide the Sponsor with a status report on the research and spending. 

    Financial audits: Audits are unique to the funder and UNSW organises independent auditors to do this. These will occur once you are sure all expenditure and funding has been accounted.  See also Financial Management Research Reporting for more details.

    Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC) returns are provided annually.  There are two parts to this:  income and publications. Finance is involved with the income part of the return.  This data is used to determine how much funding or research block grants UNSW receives.

    Close your account

    On completion of your research project and when all financial management obligations are finalised, we will close your account. For details see Closing Research Funds.

  • Exception reporting

    RF and RGC produce and monitor a number of exception reports to facilitate keeping information up-to-date for research financial management.  This includes:

    • Projects active in NSFinancials but with research activities completed
    • Projects inactive in NSFinancials but where research activities not completed
    • Closed Projects with current available funds not equal to zero
    • Projects with no budgets
    • Projects with negative current available funds
    • Projects with negative projected available funds
    • Active projects with Lead CI who is no longer employed at UNSW
    • Which funds can be retained and sent back
    • Which funds are coming up for closure
    Financial administration

    Finance provides support for invoicing, accounts payable, fund management, credit notes and management of unspent funds:

    Allocation of revenue from your funding source:  When funds come in a lump sum these are allocated to a variety of research projects across the UNSW.

    Revenue invoicing:  Scheduled and milestones.

    Payments to stakeholders and collaborators: Collaborating institutions will be managed by the GMO and research finance payment for collaborators will be handled by Finance or support staff at your school and centre (this varies).

    Completion and close of project:  A research project is considered complete when it has achieved its objectives, past its end date and has no funds forthcoming. At closure all funds are usually spent however when there is a positive balance and UNSW has no obligation to return the surplus funds, the balance will be transferred to the School/Centre/Faculty.  See Closing of Research Funds for more details.

    Advice and support

    Research Finance offers this service to help CI’s and other research staff to fulfil their financial management obligations to their funding sponsors, as seamlessly as possible.

For more information about stakeholder obligations see Roles involved in Research Financial Management or contact Finance Helpdesk on or call extension 53330.