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HESA definition of Sub-contractors and Collaborators

The HESA FSR and SORP state that what can be counted as research income for an institution when working with other organisations is determined by the nature of the relationship with the other institutions.

The overall total income should be the same as that recorded in the financial statements.

If we are in collaboration with a party at application and assuming a share of academic, legal and financial responsibility then we would not include this income in our accounts. E.g. Collaboration on an RCUK grant.

If a party is acting in the capacity of a subcontractor – where we would hold the balance of control, risk and responsibility – then we are able to count in our income. E.g. buying in a survey/service on a project.

This is a complex area with many different types of relationships. Some questions we can use to help determine whether the income is in or out:

Key Questions:

  • Where is the balance of risk in the project?
  • Which parties were named in the agreement?
  • Who is in control of how the work is done?
  • Who does the funder believe they are engaging with?
  • Are we acting purely as a banker?
  • Who are the key members of staff on the project?
  • Are decisions made by the University acting alone or via a steering group?