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FAQs

Q. What is a Variation on Contract?

A variation on contract is defined as any change to the terms and conditions of an award contract that occurs after the contract has been signed by both the HRB and the Host Institution. This does not include dealing with negotiation of the contract or immediate requests for grant deferrals.

Q. Can a Host Institution request a variation on contract?

Yes.  All variation requests which are received on appropriate HRB forms, supported by the Host Institution, identifying the type of variation sought and giving justification for seeking the variation will be considered by the HRB.

Q. Can changes be made to the grant award budget?

It is the HRB policy to facilitate minor changes to grant award budget categories of up to 10% without the prior approval of the HRB. If the reallocation of funds above 10% per annum is necessary, HI's must complete a budget reallocation form and submit to the HRB for approval. Funds cannot be transferred between indirect and direct cost categories of a grant, or between student fees or salary and related costs and other budget headings without prior approval of HRB. All such requests should be submitted on a Budget Reallocation Form. (See Budget reallocation form)

Q. Can the period of the grant award be extended?

The HRB may approve a once-off request to extend the End Date for a HRB Award for a maximum period of 12 months beyond the End Date previously agreed with the HRB. For such a request a No Cost Extension Form should be submitted. (See No-cost extension form)

Q. What is the HRB policy on payment of maternity leave, adoptive leave or paid sick leave for it?s researchers?

For employees on HRB-funded contracts, who satisfy the PRSI contribution conditions for maternity and adoptive leave or for paid sick leave and can avail of social welfare maternity benefit, social welfare adoptive benefit or sickness benefit, the HRB will provide additional funding for the duration of statutory entitlement in the case of maternity and adoptive leave. For paid sick leave, the HRB will provide additional funding, in accordance with the policies of the HI, for the period for which the HI makes provision for paid sick leave. All requests for such payments should be submitted on a Social Benefits Payment Form (maternity leave, adoptive leave or sick leave) (See Social Benefits Payment Form)

Q. How do I notify the HRB of changes to Principal Investigators address?

Changes to a Principal Investigators (PI) address within the same HI (not a transfer of HI) should be submitted on a Grant Details Amendment Form.  (See Grant details amendment form)

Q. Can an award be transferred to another research institution?

The need may arise to transfer a HRB research award where a principal investigator (PI) takes up appointment at another research institution within Ireland. It is the policy of the HRB to facilitate the transfer of a research award where it is satisfied that such an action will not impact on the completion of the funded project according to the agreed budget, objectives and deliverables for that project. A HI Transfer Form is used to request change of HI. (See Host Institution Transfer form)

Q. How do I notify the HRB of changes to staff or students funded by a grant?

A Personnel Information Form/ Personnel Form for Fellowships should be used to record any changes to staff or students funded by the grant. (See Personnel Information/ Personnel Information form for Fellowship holders). Please note that the Personnel Type funded cannot be changed without the express approval of the HRB.

Q. Can the HRB vary the terms of the Grant Conditions?

Yes.  The HRB shall be entitled at any time on written notice to the Host Institution (i.e.) a variation notice to vary the terms of the Grant Conditions. Any variation notice shall provide full details of the variation including the date on which it becomes operative and the reasons for change. The Host Institution may within 30 days of receipt of a variation notice issue a notice of objection or refusal to the HRB setting out the reasons for such objection or refusal and the direct consequences (including breach of any contract directly related to the Grant Funded Activities between the Host Institution and a third party) that shall flow from the variation. 

Q. Does the HRB require progress reports?

The HRB documents progress on active grants at least once in each calendar year, in line with the reporting procedures and timelines set out in the Specific Terms and Conditions/ Grant Letter.  Progress reports vary per scheme but generally identify changes in scope, objectives, personnel, timelines and budget. Progress reports must be submitted using templates issued by the HRB, all entries must be printed or typed, and the report must be signed by the Principal Investigator and an authorised officer of the Host Institution. 

Q. Does the HRB conduct Interim Reviews?

For strategic programmatic grants an infrastructure-related grants an interim review, conducted at approximately the mid-point of an award, is conducted to evaluate the progress of the grant to date.  Interim reviews are conducted with the assistance of an international Panel of experts. Continued HRB funding for the programme is conditional on a successful outcome to the Interim Review.

Q. Does the HRB require an End Of Grant report?

All grant holders funded by the HRB are required to submit an end of grant report within 60 days of the completion date of the award. The end of grant report provides the evaluation team with detailed information relating to grant performance and achievements and enables the finance team to reconcile the grant budget.

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