The principles underpinning the Academy's policy for monitoring the outcome of awards and evaluating the success of its programmes are that procedures should be cost-effective, mainly qualitative, and deliberately proportionate to the scale of funding on offer.
End of grant reports
All recipients of research awards are required to submit an end of grant report. The exact requirements in terms of length and detail required may vary from scheme to scheme, and are set out in the conditions of award for each scheme. The minimum requirements for a report on the use of a grant are:
- account of research carried out
- identification of advances in knowledge or understanding resulting from the research
- details of publications/other dissemination
- financial statement of costs incurred
- confirmation of deposit of digital resources, or waiver (where relevant)
Assessment of reports
Reports on research are evaluated within the Academy. Holders of awards of more than one year's duration are required to submit annual progress reports for approval before subsequent instalments of grant are released. Annual reports on Academy Research Projects are assessed by the Projects Committee, and each Academy Research Project is, in addition, rigorously reviewed every five years. Reports on research funded through the International Engagement Committee are scrutinised by the office and any queries forwarded to assessors.
Reports are graded on the scale satisfactory/unsatisfactory/further information required. A report must have been classified as satisfactory before any further applications for funding from the principal investigator are accepted. The Academy deliberately eschews any finer-grained assessment scale for reports in order to maintain the principle of proportionality. Award-holders will be informed by email if there are any questions, more information is required or the report is deemed unsatisfactory. The default position in the absence of such communication is that a report is satisfactory.
Reminders are issued to those who have not yet reported within the specified time after the completion date of a grant (this may vary from scheme to scheme), and the opportunity granted for award-holders to meet the conditions of award, or to bring exceptional extenuating circumstances to the Academy's attention. Persistent failure to comply with the conditions of award will result in the Academy writing to the scholar's institution, and lead to the possibility of sanctions.
The sanction for non-compliance with the conditions of award is penalty-listing: that is, to disbar, sine die, the scholar concerned from applying to the Academy under any of it grant-giving schemes; and, if the grant is not refunded, to disbar, for a period of two years, all members of that institution from applying to the Academy under any of its grant-giving schemes. In cases of grants awarded to independent scholars or those who have left academic life without complying with the conditions of award, the sanction is to disbar, sine die, the individual from applying to the Academy under any of its grant-giving schemes. The Academy may seek to reclaim any part of a grant that is not adequately accounted for in scholarly terms. Each awarding Committee is presented with the details of those scholars who have failed to report, and decides whether to proceed to the penalty-listing stage. The Research Awards Committee receives a periodic statement listing non-compliant individuals who have received funding via any Academy Committee including the Board for Academy-Sponsored Institutes and Societies.
Detailed procedures governing the steps to be followed before sanctions are implemented are set out under Procedures for Penalty-Listing below. Removal from the penalty-list can be achieved at any time through compliance with the conditions of award, or refund of the grant; and there is a simple procedure for appeals by an individual or an institution to be considered – by emailing the Head of Research Awards.
Award-holders are required to provide the Academy with bibliographical information of all published outputs resulting from funded research including books, book chapters, articles and any non-print outputs. One copy of any book resulting from funded research should be presented to the Academy for deposit in its Library, which thereby serves as an archive of research supported by the Academy. Digital resources created as a result of research must be offered for deposit in a suitable repository. Failure to comply, subject to any waiver agreed, will result in penalty-listing (see above).
Evaluation of Programmes
The Academy monitors the outcomes of each of its schemes in terms of distribution of applications and awards on a range of criteria including age, gender, institutional affiliation, subject classification, grade awarded, and national base. Additionally, each programme is subject to periodic, usually annual, review by the Committee responsible for its administration. The published guidance for applicants and conditions of award for each scheme are reviewed, and may be amended, annually. Once revised, these regulations remain operative for the whole of the subsequent academic session. The Academy undertakes regular post-award surveys of past award-holders (a) to ascertain further information about the progress of research/development of careers initially funded by the Academy; (b) to ensure that the Academy's schemes are meeting the needs of the academic community in terms of service delivery; and (c) to ensure that the programmes offered by the Academy are judged to add value within the spectrum of public funding available nationally.
Procedures for Penalty-listing
The Academy has adopted the principle of penalty-listing a person and/or an institution for failing to comply with the conditions of award.
The procedures to be followed before penalty-listing are set out below,
Final report requested: submitted and satisfactory, award completed and signed off, no further action.
Final report requested: questions arise, answered satisfactorily, as above, award completed.
Final report requested, no reply, second email sent copied to institution indicating that the Academy will be forced to invoke the penalty listing procedure unless we receive a response and the report.
Normally a further month allowed to a final deadline before this will be done
If no satisfactory response is received, and/or no report is received, proceed with the proposed penalty-listing procedure.
If an organisation has provided no financial statement, no refund or otherwise no indication of what was done with the grant, a formal letter will be sent by the Academy’s CEO to the Vice-Chancellor of the relevant organisation explaining that the organisation will be penalty-listed as a whole unless a statement on the financial outcome of the grant (including if necessary a full refund) is received within a month, as well as the individual scholar being personally penalty-listed
If an individual is an ‘independent scholar’, or if the financial information has been received but not the formal narrative report, the penalty-listing applies to the individual only.
Once penalty-listing has been confirmed, the individual concerned will be advised that they have been formally penalty-listed sine die and cannot apply to any other Academy scheme until the outstanding report is provided.