Delegation provisions (external funding)
Delegation provisions concerning external funding of November 2010.
(Replacing delegation provisions of 13 April 2000)
Pursuant to Section 20(2) of the Danish University Act, the university may receive other subsidies and donations than those from the Appropriations Acts. Also, under Section 20(3) of the Act, the university may undertake income-generating and grant-financed activities.
The following sets out the conditions that must be fulfilled to establish externally financed activities at Aarhus University and the distribution of responsibility in this regard.
The detailed administrative guidelines are laid down in the instructions on external funding (in Danish), which will be revised and published by the Budget Office, when required.
Aarhus University’s Guidelines of 13 April 2000 concerning cooperation agreements made between Aarhus University and external partners must be complied with in connection with cooperation agreements or other agreements on funding for research projects, where the grant giver imposes other conditions than the requirement to report how the grant has been used.
1.1. Heads of department
According to the guidelines on department management (in Danish) from the former Danish University and Property Agency (now the Danish Agency for Universities and Internationalisation) and the explanatory memorandum for the University Act, the head of department must be notified of and approve employees’ agreements on externally financed research projects, including ensuring that the activity may be accommodated within the department’s research plans. This applies to all types of donations, grants, agreements and contracts.
Subject to permission from the dean, and to the agreed extent, the head of department may let a research director or other trusted employee approve agreements on externally financed research projects on his or her behalf.
The head of department may lay down supplementary local rules on application for and agreements on as well as use of external funding within the framework of the guidelines set up for the main academic area or for the university as a whole.
If a head of department is a party to an agreement, such agreement must be approved by his or her immediate superior.
1.2. Centre directors
The guidelines for the head of department’s authority to act and responsibilities also apply to directors of approved centres, unless otherwise stipulated for the individual centre in connection with Aarhus University’s approval of the centre.
1.3. The clinical sector
External funding administered by Aarhus University for sections under the Department of Clinical Medicine is covered by the rules and procedures laid down at Aarhus University.
Pursuant to the agreement of 8 April 1999 on hospital-based health science research at Aarhus University Hospital, research management at the Department of Clinical Medicine may be delegated to a clinical professor, the holder of a specific clinical associate professorship or to a full-time researcher of experimental medicine or surgery. Subject to permission from the dean, and to the agreed extent, the head of department may let such research director approve agreements on externally financed research projects on his or her behalf.
Aarhus University’s guidelines for procedures for and the content of cooperation agreements apply, as Aarhus University is responsible for the research management of all such agreements at the Department of Clinical Medicine.
The dean is responsible for observing the boundaries between cooperation agreements and other forms of external financing, including commercial income-generating activities, in connection with private partners and funding.
The dean must ensure that the heads of department have introduced adequate procedures for the reporting and approval of externally financed research projects, including procedures to ensure that the applicable requirements for competencies and content have been met.
The dean may grant permission for the head of department to let a research director or other trusted employee approve agreements on externally financed research projects on his or her behalf.
The dean is responsible for setting up procedures for data recording of agreements and other relevant correspondence with external grant givers.
The dean may lay down supplementary local rules on application for and agreements on as well as use of external funding within the framework of the guidelines set up for the university as a whole, including these provisions.
The provisions of the Danish Act on Inventions at Public Research Institutions (Consolidation Act No. 210 of 17 March 2010) must be observed, where relevant. The conditions for full or partial assignment of rights to the results of a project must be presented to the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) for approval in advance.
Inventions made by the university’s employees as part of externally financed activities must be reported to the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) in accordance with the relevant guidelines laid down by the university. The guidelines are revised by the TTO as required.
1.6. Rooms and infrastructure
Applications involving extensive use of rooms or other infrastructure should comprise separate expense items for these purposes. Such items should be approved by the dean.
In addition to costs incidental to rooms and infrastructure, applications must comprise overheads in accordance with the applicable rules.
1.8. Special conditions
Any special conditions for the use of funding or presentation of accounts must be sent to the Budget Office for approval.
If a project shows an accounting deficit – regardless of the reason therefor, the main academic area, department or project holder will be liable for any loss, subject to rules laid down by the dean.
1.10. Project conclusion
The dean must ensure that the heads of department comply with the applicable processes (in Danish) for reviewing and closing of project accounts.
2.1. Research centres
Contracts and agreements on the setting up of research centres or sub-centres must be presented to and signed by the rector or a person authorised by the rector.
For public Research Council grants and all other public foundation and programme funding etc. for research, applications must comprise overheads of 44% of the direct funding applied for, unless otherwise explicitly stipulated by the granting authorities within the framework of the Budget Guidelines of the Danish Ministry of Finance.
2.3. Co-financing prohibition
For public foundation and programme funding etc. covered by a prohibition against co-financing by the institutions, the applications must be presented to the Budget Office in advance in order to ensure that they contain items making it possible to observe such co-financing prohibition.
3.1. Approval by the Research Support Unit
Aarhus University Campus Aarhus applications for EU programmes for research and development must be approved by the Research Support Unit on behalf of the university, as far as the administrative and financial provisions are concerned. For EU research funding, the EU’s overheads rule SpecialTransitional Flat Rate 60% or other project-specific maximum flat rates must be followed, and the university must always have the status of beneficiary or coordinator, unless the Research Support Unit has approved otherwise in exceptional cases.
Grant agreement Preparation Forms (GPF) must be completed and signed by the Research Support Unit in consultation with the project holder and, if relevant, the department/faculty.
3.2. Negotiation authority
The negotiation authority in relation to the EU and other contracting parties has been delegated to the dean, who may delegate it on to the head of department or the person responsible for the scientific aspects of the project. The negotiation authority covers the project’s academic content and scope, including determination of the academic level of ambition of the project relative to the final budgetary framework. The overheads principles and rates laid down in GPF, the contract status and Danish collective agreements must be observed.
3.3. Consortium Agreements
The Technology Transfer Office (TTO) must approve and sign Consortium Agreements and may lay down detailed rules on this and other forms of assignment of rights.
3.4. Supplementary rules
The Research Support Unit, the Technology Transfer Office and the Budget Office may lay down supplementary administrative rules. Reference is made to the Research Support Unit’s website on EU project administration at Aarhus University Campus Aarhus (link: forskningsstoetteenheden/eu/projektadm8000c/).
4.1.1. Payment of grants
Private donations and grants as well as external funding in cooperation agreements with private partners must be paid in advance, or possibly in step with the defrayment of expenses, directly from the grant giver to the university.
Activities financed by private funding may only be commenced once a binding grant letter or cooperation agreement has been received and the amount – or a part of the amount – has been paid to the university’s Accounting Office.
4.1.2. Contribution/overheads to cover joint expenses
An application should be submitted for a contribution/overheads to cover the university, the main academic area and department’s joint expenses for private grants and donations subject to conditions.
Any loss suffered in connection with private donations and grants as well as cooperation agreements will normally have to be covered by other funds from the main academic area, the department or the project holder, cf. Clause 1.9.
4.1.3. Public Access
Pursuant to Section 7 of the guidelines on public access in connection with private financing of research at state-run research institutions (in Danish) (issued by the Ministry of Science on 11 January 2000), researchers at state-run research institutions must disclose any private sources of financing when publishing research results as part of their employment.
The deans must ensure that the heads of department have implemented adequate procedures for this.
AU Communication and AU Finance and Planning may lay down additional rules to ensure that the university will be able to prepare an annual overview of the financing of research at the university for publication on the university’s website.
4.2. Special provisions on cooperation agreements
4.2.1. Aarhus University’s guidelines
The concept of cooperation agreements is defined in the university’s Guidelines of 13 April 2000 concerning cooperation agreements made between Aarhus University and external partners, to which reference is made.
4.2.2. Head of department
The head of department must approve and sign all the department’s cooperation agreements. The head of department must, among other things, ensure that the activity may be accommodated within the scope of the department’s research plans, that the requirements for the content of the agreement have been met, that the required approvals have been obtained, that the rules governing payment of grants are complied with, and that the data recording and reporting procedures are followed.
The head of department must ensure that a copy of all cooperation agreements is sent to the Technology Transfer Office.
The dean must normally approve cooperation agreements, but may choose to delegate this authority to a head of department. If this authority is delegated, the dean will still be responsible for ensuring that all rules and guidelines for the conclusion of cooperation agreements have been complied with.
The dean must ensure that the heads of department have implemented adequate procedures to ensure that cooperation agreements are reported and approved.
The dean must also:
4.2.4. Public partners
Cooperation agreements with public authorities or institutions must be presented to the Technology Transfer Office for approval.
4.2.5. Assignment of rights
Cooperation agreements must be presented to the Technology Transfer Office, if they comprise provisions on full or partial assignments of rights to project results, cf. Clause 1.5.
For cooperation agreements, an application should be submitted for overheads of at least 20% as contribution for the department, main academic area and university’s joint expenses. The dean and the head of department may lay down supplementary local rules on contributions for the expenses of main academic areas and departments. The rector must be notified of such rules.
Activities covered by the provisions on commercial income-generating activities may only be commenced when the price calculations and contracts have been approved by the Budget Office.
The dean must normally approve agreements on commercial income-generating activities, but may choose to delegate this authority to a head of department. The dean is responsible for observing the boundaries between commercial income-generating activities and other forms of externally financed activities.
Activities covered by commercial income-generating activities must comprise an additional amount for indirect costs to cover all of the university’s costs for the activities. This amount should be sufficient to cover the overheads for public research funding, i.e. currently 44% of the direct costs, excluding VAT, corresponding to 30.56% of income, excluding VAT.
Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen / Jørgen Jørgensen
Rector University Director
File no. AU-2002-160-002