The following instructions provide an overview of the steps/documentation required in order to set up a studentship project, in addition to highlighting points to consider throughout the process.
DPF1 - Departmental Project Setup Form
This is the form used to request for a new studentship project to be set up on the Oracle R12 Projects Module. For externally funded studentship projects, please ensure that you also include a copy of the fully signed/executed award letter/contract. No externally funded studentship projects will be set up without a fully executed agreement or award letter.
The DPF1 form is available for download here (XLSX).
Please ensure that you read the DPF1 guidance notes before completing the form, available here (DOCX).
Completed DPF1 form (see ‘forms’ section above)
Fully signed/executed contract/award letter (for externally funded studentship projects)
Note on contracts
Research Services is the office designated by the University of Oxford to review all research-related contracts and to ensure that such agreements are acceptable under the University's policies and consistent with its position as an educational institution with charitable status.
Only the Registrar and Senior Officers within Research Services have been granted authority by Council to sign research-related agreements on behalf of the University. Please seek advice from Research Services at as early a stage as possible when such a contract is being considered. Common examples will be for studentship funding with an industrial sponsor, ‘top-up’ funding or a collaborative training award.
In order to protect the interests of the University and its members, individuals may not sign research-related agreements on behalf of the University.
To find out more about contracts, please see the Research Services Contracts pages.
A significant volume of research studentship funding at Oxford comes from the following Research Councils:
- Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
- Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
- Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
- Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
- Medical Research Council (MRC)
- Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
- Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Details of awards from any of the above councils are available on Joint Electronic Submission System (Je-S). For Je-S access, please contact Research Services in the first instance.
If sponsorship of a studentship project is being offered by a sponsor where no standard Terms & Conditions exist, a contract is required between the University and the sponsor (most commonly industry or government). The purpose of a contract is to establish the agreement that the parties have made and to fix their rights and duties in accordance with that agreement.
The following information to be clearly defined in the contract:
- Project start and end date
- Clarity on the nature of work
- Total contractual amount
- Billing frequency – how often to invoice
- Funder detail – who to invoice
VAT treatment (including the application of the ‘med/vet research’ tax activity purpose)
The VAT treatment of projects consists of the following elements:
a. Output tax type
Applies to whether VAT is charged when billing out to sponsors
b. Tax recovery type
Applies to whether VAT is recoverable on applicable purchases/expenditure
c. Tax activity purpose
Defines the purpose of the project from a tax perspective - primarily used for the application of the med/vet research status, which provides VAT exemptions for certain items from relevant suppliers
If any combinations of VAT treatment are selected by the department on the DPF1 that indicate any VAT recoverability, charging or exemptions, the set up documentation (including the completed DPF1 form and fully executed contract) must be forwarded to the tax team for confirmation of the VAT treatment, before submission to Research Accounts. The VAT team can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Foreign currency contracts/agreements – exchange rates
Please note that when requesting for a foreign currency agreement/contract to be set up as a studentship project, the university’s hedging rates for the currency in question should be used for the conversion to GBP (which is the functional currency used on the Oracle projects module at the university).
For USD and EUR agreements/contracts, please use the current X5 rate (available here)
For all other currencies, please obtain the hedging rate directly from the Treasury team, who can be contacted at email@example.com.
By default, all new studentship projects (whether internally or externally funded) will be set up with budgetary controls at sub task level. It is strongly recommended that budgetary controls remain on at sub task level in order to reduce the risk of overspend at the level of the individual studentship.
Budgetary controls can be relaxed to either top task or project level, or on individual top tasks or sub tasks. To do this, please notify the Studentships and Departmental Projects team by entering the request into the notes section of the DPF1.
For all set up requests and amendments to existing projects, a person of delegated authority within the department requesting the set up must be, at the very least, copied in to the request upon submission to Research Accounts. Please see the relevant section of the DPF guidance notes for further details.
Submission to Research Accounts
Completed forms and accompanying documentation should be submitted to the Studentships and Departmental Projects team in Research Accounts (firstname.lastname@example.org) for setup on the Oracle R12 Projects Module.
Project Set Up
The Studentships and Departmental Projects team will create the project/task structure in Oracle Financials.
When this has been done, Research Accounts will notify you by email that the project is available for use.
It is essential for departments to verify that the setup of the project is in line with their understanding and to liaise promptly with the studentships team over any issues. The use of the Project and Budget report is recommended for this purpose. For more information please see the relevant Reports Library page.
At this stage you should advise the project details, including the funding code to be quoted for expenditure to individuals working on this project, in order to prevent any misallocation of costs.
Notification to Student Bursary Payment
The Student Bursary Payment team should be notified (using the relevant forms) to ensure student bursary payments are made under correct project and subtask number.
For further information, please check with your Graduate Studies Administrator/Graduate Funding Officer.