College Treasury have released policy which provides guidance for staff Applying for Research Funding in a Foreign Currency [pdf] from any funder where exchange risk is the responsibility of the College. The policy is accompanied by a Foreign currency exchange rate table [Excel] that should be used when costing proposals for submission in either EUR or USD. The table stipulates the exchange rate that should be used and adjusts accordingly dependant on the current corporate rate (composite) and expected project duration. This mechanism is designed to minimise the risk of overspending as a result of fluctuations in exchange rates over the lifetime of a project.
It is expected the exchange rate table will be used at the time of costing the proposal in InfoEd with the same rate also used to set up the award in Oracle Grants. Once an award budget has been set up in Oracle Grants, the sterling (GBP) budget will remain fixed unless agreed otherwise by the Faculty Research Services teams and Central Finance.
The key principles for dealing with research funding in foreign currency are:
- If a proposal or application is made in EUR or USD, the exchange rate should be taken from the exchange rate table in order to convert from GBP.
- No contingency should be included.
- If the award is successful, the budget should be set up in Oracle Grants at the same exchange rate used on the original application.
- All awards which are priced using the exchange rate table will receive full protection of their sterling budgets from the College.
- Principal Investigators’ should manage their project in line with the sterling budget allocated on Oracle Grants.
- If a decision is made to price a project submission at a different rate to that listed in the table, exchange protection will not be provided unless:
- funder rules stipulate their own rate of exchange, or
- permission has been sought in advance and approved by Treasury.
For purchases, the College deals with a variety of foreign currencies which can be selected in iProcurement when raising a Purchase Order. The corporate exchange rates for these currencies are updated on a monthly basis and are posted on the College’s Finance website.