Following the FRDC approving a project it will seek to put in place an agreement (contract) with the organisation undertaking the project.
A contract is a legally binding agreement between two or more persons or companies. The contract outlines the obligations of both parties. The FRDC uses a suite of template agreements which are best suited to the project. In most cases it will use a standard project agreement – Example FRDC Project Agreement [PDF].
It is important to note that the FRDC monitors all contractual relationships on an ongoing basis with a view to ensuring that the relationship is working and the project is on track.
Decision Notification Letter
The PI will be sent a Decision Notification Letter advising them of FRDC’s decision regarding their application. PIs will be asked to address a number of conditions prior to a contract being developed.
Each project is different and in some cases to address the FRDC conditions, applications may need to be ‘reactivated’ on FishNET (http://fishnet.gov.au/fishnet/) so that any necessary changes can be made.
The PI must respond to the DNL by a specified timeframe outlined in the DNL, outlining how they will address the conditions. Once FRDC is satisfied that the conditions have been met, a contract for the project will be raised.
Contract (Project Agreement)
For most projects, a standard FRDC contract is raised between FRDC and the Principle Organisation. Two copies of the contract will be sent (either electronically or in the post) to the administration contact specified in the application.
FRDC will ask that the two copies of the contract are signed and both returned to FRDC together with the first invoice. Once received, FRDC will then sign the contracts and either return one copy by post or scan and send via email.
As many PIs do not necessarily view the contract, FRDC asks that PIs are at least familiar with Schedule Three of the contract – Special Conditions. You can either request these from your administration office of the FRDC.
Special Conditions of the Contract (‘Schedule Three’)
Schedule Three contains ‘special conditions’ applicable to the project agreement. In most cases, the progress against these conditions needs to be reported to FRDC through each milestone report as specified in the milestone template. It is the PI’s responsibility to ensure that special conditions are met.
If your project falls under a FRDC Sub-Program or Co-ordination Program such as Aquatic Animal Health, Recfishing Research or the Social Science Research Coordination Program, you may be required to submit milestone reports to both the FRDC and the Subprogram or Coordination Program. This will be outlined in Schedule Three. For these projects, all publications, media releases, radio interviews, conference abstracts, magazine articles must be provided to the FRDC and the relevant Program Leader for approval prior to distribution or release.
Capital items are assets that are purchased with project funds and hold value at the completion of the project. Capital items and expenditure are specified in the application and should not be purchased if not specified in the application without the approval of the FRDC.
PIs should be aware before purchasing any capital items for a project that these items are property of the FRDC and therefore may be recovered by the FRDC at the conclusion of the project or the residual value returned to the FRDC.
Depending on the capital expenditure and value, FRDC may ask for further information to be provided when acquitting the project.
Project Income (Cash Contributions)
Income (Cash) contributions are contributions that FRDC will receive towards a project that are paid to the project via the milestone schedule. If cash contributions are a part of your project please ensure you provide the contact details (source) for each cash contribution.
FRDC invoice through state government agencies therefore we require a point of contact, and bank details. For more information on cash contributions, contact the FRDC – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once the project is active, PIs need to notify FRDC if there are any changes to the project contacts (administration/finance) during the life of the project. Details that are maintained on the FRDC database include: