Project resources

As part of the Rising from the Depths Project, we aim to exchange knowledge on the practicalities of running projects as well as the academic results of the project. The information below goes through some of the key stages of running a project. Click on a heading to expand more detail and email if you have any questions.

The Rising from the Depths Network has developed a platform for GCRF managers where commonly asked questions and issues are answered. This can be accessed here. 

Set up

To set up an Innovation project, we need the following:

  • A contract, between yourselves, the University of Nottingham, and any other Institutions involved with your project
  • An EHeP form, this allows us to set you up as a supplier to the University Of Nottingham, so we can make payments for you (most UK HEIs will already be suppliers)
  • For overseas projects: a due diligence form, this is a requirement of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (our funder). This outlines the policies and practices that you have in place, and allows us to share any information that might be useful for you


Your contract is a useful document to refer back to throughout the project as it sets the terms with which we will work with you. The first part sets out the parties of the contract and their responsibilities towards one another in terms of:

  • Indemnity, liability and losses
  • Co-Investigators and Sub-Contractors
  • Funds and reimbursements
  • Intellectual property
  • Compliance with anti-bribery, modern slavery and general data protection regulations (see below)

The next part is your project plan. This will be your application form or case for support. This is included in the contract as we are agreeing that we will pay you funding for you to do the work as it was set out in your case for support. This means that if you want to change your plans and do something different from your application, you will need written permission to do this. It is important that you check changes with us to ensure that they are ODA compliant.

The contract then details your payment schedule. This shows the total that we will pay to your institution and to your UK partners (if host is international). The column called “Nottingham Contribution” is the amount of money that we will pay. The table separates your budget into different categories, as you did in your application form. Underneath this, we set out the instalments that we will pay you in and the steps you need to take before we pay each new invoice.

As part of your contract with the University of Nottingham, you are required to set up a collaboration agreement with all of the institutions that are taking part in your project. This is an agreement between all of the institutions and sets out how you will work together and make payments to one another.

If this is something that your institution is not familiar with, the Brunswick agreement is a free tool that includes a GCRF collaborative agreement template. Read more about the Brunswick agreement here.


For UK partners, the information below outlines how University Of Nottingham are making and reconciling payments, please feel free to share this with your research office if they would like to use similar methods for paying your international collaborators. It also includes important information on steps to take if you have to change your plans.

For overseas partners, the information below sets out how we will make payments to you, and how these will be reconciled.

We only make payments using an invoice. In our contract with you, we will have set out the amounts that we will pay you, and the frequency of these. Please check your contract and write an invoice for the University Of Nottingham for that amount. Overseas host institutions are paid in advance, UK host institutions are paid in arrears based on actual expenditure (as per standard UKRI schedules).

When we receive an invoice at Nottingham, it generally takes 10 working days for it to be processed and sent to our bank. Once this has been sent, we will get a receipt of payment and send this on to you.

It will take longer to make your first payment if we have not yet completed your supplier set up process. This is the process where will contact you to confirm your bank details. If you have sent us your bank details but have not had an email from SMFA, please email

Given the timeframe for payments at Nottingham, please try to send all invoices at least two weeks ahead of the date that you need payment. For overseas projects, if this means that you send the invoice whilst we are still reconciling the last payment, or checking your report (see below), that is not a problem.

Overseas payment schedules

In the contract we set out the maximum we will pay to you in GBP. This is in the “Payment Schedule” area of the contract by the total for “Research Council Contribution.” Underneath the overseas costs table, we set out the amount of money that we will send to you in each instalment.

Overseas payment and reconciliation steps

When you receive the payment at your institution, please do the following:

  • Make a note of the amount that you received in your home currency
  • Fill in the payments spreadsheet every time you make a purchase
  • Keep the receipt every time you make a purchase and label it with the description that you used in the payments spreadsheet, some projects have taken pictures of/scanned each receipt as they went and put them into a word document which worked well
  • Keep a report of the work done in the period, this doesn’t have to be too long, just make a note of what you have done from your action plan, and if you’ve had to change from your original plan then tell us how and why. If you have any questions or need assistance or advise, you can put this here as well
  • Return the spreadsheet and the document with the receipts to alongside a report outlining the work completed in that period
  • We will check your reconciliation and see if you were over/under budget
  • We will let you know the value of your next invoice

Exchange rates for overseas payments

The total value that the University of Nottingham will pay out will be the amount you were allocated in your contract in GBP. When we send you money, we will send it in pounds; when we pay money abroad, we ask that you let us know the amount you received in your home currency. At the end of the two-month funding period or when the funds run out, whichever is sooner, you will send a reconciliation spreadsheet in your home currency. We will use the exchange rate on the day that the reconciliation sheet is returned to work out any over/under spend in GBP.

Underspends/exchange rate gains

If you have underspent on your project or have made unexpected gains on your exchange rates, please notify the team so that we can help to make a plan for this expenditure. Any new activity generated from an underspend must be approved before the expenditure is made.  We will consider, if the expenditure is in line with original purposes of the application, if we need to carry out any additional due diligence and if this is ODA compliant. Please send an amended budget to us a minimum of three months before your project end date as any funding not spend by the end of your project must be returned to the University Of Nottingham.

Amending project plans

We understand that you may need to deviate from the original plan that was set out in your application. We cannot pay you more than the maximum value of your award, that is set out in your contract. However, you can move money between areas of the budget. If you are moving within the same area and the swap is like-for-like, such as taking a taxi instead of renting a car at the same value as budgeted, this is fine. If you are making a larger swap, such as wanting to cancel a trip and hire a research associate instead, please email for permission to do this before making the payment. This is to ensure that the expenditure is compliant with Overseas Development Aid. If you do not check payments beforehand, we may not be able to reimburse you for the value of the purchase. One area where we don’t have flexibility is where equipment is over limits set out in our application form.

Risk management

Our funders, the AHRC, require all of our projects to have a risk register in place. This is to keep a track of all of the risks that might occur within your project. Risks fall into three categories: financial, operational and reputational. A financial risk could be something such as, “we might not receive funds ahead of time to pay our contractors,” an operational risk might be that “we might not be able to contact a key partner as they do not have Skype capabilities,” and a reputational risk might be “the risk of plagiarism of research.” For each category, we need to have a full list of risks that might occur, how likely you think they are and, most importantly, a plan for how you will deal with this risk if it were to occur.

These registers should reflect the risks that are specific to your project. They do not need to include every day risks of your organisation. Where you are running events with external stakeholders, we recommend that you do a risk assessment of that specific event. This would look at risks that are only occurring at this event, for example where the emergency exits and first aid kits are at the venue you are using.

When you are working with people who are not in your immediate project team or institution, you need to think about how they will included within the project in a fair and equitable way. This is especially important when you are working with children or an adult at risk. An adult at risk and the age of a child might vary in country to country, please get in touch if you have a query over whether someone falls into this category or not.

If you are working with someone who falls into a vulnerable category, please let us know by emailing If your institution has a safeguarding policy, please send us a copy of this. If you do not have a safeguarding policy, there are useful resources online that can help you to draft one. For policies on children, please see the NSPCC and for an example of a University policy, you can read the University Of Nottingham policy here.

Similar to risk registers, the AHRC asks that all projects have an ethics approval form. If you complete one of these for your own institution, please send this on to us. If you do not have one, we have a standard form for the Network that you can complete. When this is completed, please drop this into your shared folder with us or send to

Data protection

As of May 2018, the use of personal data on all projects that work with the European Union (including all of the Rising from the Depths awards) must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Personal data means any information, which relates to an identified or identifiable person. As soon as you collect or are sent data about a person, you are a data controller, this means you are responsible for GDPR compliance of this information.

Some of the data that you might collect could be:

  • Images of participants (posted onto social media/blogs/websites)
  • Surveys
  • Sign-up sheets
  • Voice and video recording
  • Bank details/payment forms with bank details

The key aspects of GDPR in relation to Rising from the Depths Projects are:

  • The obligation to inform people that you have their data and how you are using it
  • The obligation to give everyone the right to ask you to remove their data, see what data you hold on them and to ask you how this will be used
  • Ensuring you inform people of these rights in a way that they fully understand, this doesn’t need to be a form, this could be orally explaining their rights to them
  • Collecting the minimum amount of data needed for the purposes of our research
  • Notifying people if their data has been compromised
  • A duty to collect all data accurately

If you are collecting data for vulnerable groups, such as children, or if English isn’t the group’s first language, you need to carefully consider how you ensure the participants understand GDPR regulations and their rights regarding their data. You may need to be creative in how you provide information on the storage of data, this could be done orally, using images, videos or given in a written format.

In your risk assessments for your project, it can help to include a section on GDPR. Considering the loss and theft of laptops and memory cards. Then also think of the resolutions to this, such as not using personal devices, ensuring you encrypt data, and password protect it. When there is a breach of data, you need a way of notifying everyone whose data you are holding, consider this as part of your plans.

Data minimisation means we need to hold the minimum amount of data and only for the time that we require it. Ensure that you are deleting data correctly; destroying data on the computer means deleting the file and deleting it from your deleted folder when it is no longer needed. For physical data, this needs to be shredded or incinerated.

Consider how much you need your data to be personally identifying. Do you need names attached to the data? Do the people you are sharing the data with need these identifiers? If the data does not need to be identified then anonymise it, or consider anonymising the data to certain groups (e.g., the academic team might have personal identifiers, but additional researchers such as post-docs might not need this).

You cannot use data for any purpose except for those explicitly set out in your case for support. This must be explained to the people you are collecting data from. If you later find another use for their data, you cannot use the data for this new purpose. When you no longer need the data, please destroy it as above.

Outputs and outreach

We would like to share the work of our projects across our entire platform and as part of your application; you laid out how your project will engage with our Usable Past Platform.


We have a dedicated blog, ‘Writing from the Depths’ where we can post blogs discussing any trips you have made, conferences or meetings attended, or any themes around your project that you would like to discuss. See what we have already posted here:

If you would like to post to our blog, please email the piece and any images to and we will publish it for you.

Web pages

Each project also has a dedicated space on our website. Here you can add images, videos and links to any other content that you have created. You can see an example of a basic page here:

If you want to add to your web page, please email the details to

Social media

The Rising from the Depths Network is on twitter (@rftdnetwork) and Facebook ( Please like, follow and tag us in any posts that you make on social media so that we can share them for you!


If you take any images whilst you are completing your project that include people (especially children and vulnerable people), please ensure that you also send proof of consent for us to use this image (see GDPR). Without consent, we will not be able to publish images including individuals.

Further questions

If you have specific questions about your project, or require any clarification, please contact us at