Departments are likely to be involved in research collaborations. Commonly, these arise because several bodies will apply jointly for grant funding. The collaborator could be another university, a government body, a company or a charity.
These collaborations are easy to identify and the collaborator will be named in the research application. Typically Research Services will arrange for an appropriate contract to be put in place, and the collaborator will submit invoices for payment.
However, as the grant progresses, the department may enter into new arrangements with organisations that are not jointly involved in the application. In these circumstances, it is important to assess whether an organisation is a collaborator or a supplier.
Each arrangement should be assessed separately – in one circumstance, an organisation might be a collaborator while in another they are classed as a supplier. Other universities may be considered to be suppliers if they are providing a specific service.
Correctly identifying collaborators and suppliers is important to ensure VAT is accounted for correctly. Please see the research pages to assist you.
Please note that under the Criminal Finances Act 2017, deliberately mis-identifying a collaborator in order to benefit from favourable tax treatment could be considered an offence.
If the University is sub-contracting an aspect of the research to another body, this should be recognised as a purchase and managed via the purchase to pay process. This may include purchasing elements of the research project, such as delivery of a data collection via a questionnaire, a discrete piece of data analysis, sample (e.g. DNA sample) analysis, or the purchase of vaccine manufacture.