Kathmandu University Directorate of Research, Development and Consultancy

Guidelines

2. Guidelines for the Preparation of Proposals

2.1 Preparation, Review and Submission of proposals for “Externally Funded Research Projects”

Unless specific additional documentation is issued, research grant applications and proposals can become legally binding contracts simply through the action of acceptance by the granting body. The university’s RDC is required to maintain databases on research activities, time frame and budget for activities in FMAS Software.  RDC webpage shall be created and registers of currently funded research activities with the proposal,and archive with the final report of the projects shall be made available to various external bodies including the University’s higher authorities through this site. In order to maintain these databases and to ensure appropriate lines of responsibility, risk management and quality control, it is necessary to improve the methods of research administration. All faculty members engaged in research are employed by the university. Such staffs are entitled to appropriate use of the University’s name in related documentation and communication with the research sponsors.

2.1.1 Approval from the Authorized Person (s)

The Approving Authority is determined based on the threshold of project budget when it comes to approval of the proposal for spending from approved budget as follows;

  1. Up to Rs. 1M (million) worth of proposal, approval is granted by the Dean of concerned School on the recommendation of the Head of the Department.
  2. More than Rs. 1M and up to Rs. 10M worth of proposal, approval is granted by the Registrar on the recommendation of the Director-RDC.
  3. More than Rs.10M worth of proposal, approval is granted by the Executive Council on the Recommendation of the Director-RDC.
  4. In the case of Collaborative Projects needing experts from different Schools, approval is granted by the Registrar on the recommendation of the Director-RDC up to Rs. 10M worth of proposal, whereas for more than Rs. 10M worth of proposal, approval is granted by the Executive Council on the Recommendation of the Director-RDC.

General guidelines (the percentage could vary depending upon the nature of project for that pre-approval needs to be taken from the Executive Council based upon the recommendation from the Director-RDC) 

Breakdown of budget for projects

2.1.2 Opening of Project Account

Upon acceptance of a grant or contract, the PI will need to complete and sign an acceptance form for the opening of a Project Account prior to the expenditure of any funds.

 Note: There is no provision of opening a separate Bank Account for each project at Kathmandu University.

2.1.3 Financial Management

Research account will be monitored by the Manager-RDC to verify that they are being used only for the stated purpose. Periodic audits will be carried out by the Office of Internal Audit on behalf of the RDC to ensure compliance with policy.

2.1.4 Advance Settlements (Travel and Others) 

  1. All Project staff shall obtain Travel Order (TO), one week in advance, before the travel, from the Registrar. In case where experts from other organizations/institutions are involved as Resource Person for short term, there is no need of TO, however a LETTER OF CONTRACT (LOC) clearly indicating the Terms of Conditions in accordance with the KU-RDC Policy is a must. This LOC is furnished by the Directorate of KU-RDC.
  1. Traveler shall mention clearly in the Travel Order the source of payment as TA or DA, before getting approval from the Authorized Person. When allowed by project budget, As Per Actual Scheme shall be accepted. In As Per Actual Scheme, payment is made as specified in the bills on submission.
  1. Once DSA rates are fixed, bills that cover food and accommodation shall NOT be accepted, however for the reimbursement of air tickets, receipts/boarding passes together with any other unseen miscellaneous expenses need to be submitted. Similarly, claim shall be made either as DSA or Field Allowances, not both. Travelers shall take the cheapest means of travel and choose to travel only on Economy Class . In case air tickets are Pre-paid by the sponsor, University will have no objection if Traveler chooses to travel by Business Class or any other means of travel. Your proof of the number of days in travel when it comes to DSA claim is your Boarding Passes. Always retain your boarding passes. For taxi claim, always receive a bill, if bill is not available, make habit of carrying Template 6.1 as Receipt of Payment for Major Expenses and Template 6.2 for Minor Expenses. While claiming for the charging of your mobile phones with expenditure not exceeding Rs. 500/- Template 6.2 is to be used.  Do not produce Recharge Cards for payment (this is no more acceptable).
  1. RDC Finance Division calculates DSA or any other forms of remuneration, where convertible foreign currency issue is involved, on the basis of the day with the date traveller has purchased the US dollar or any other convertible currency, as evidenced in the Passport (copy with the page to be submitted as evidence). In case of frequent travelers ( where purchase of foreign currency is limited), rates fixed by Nepal Rastra Bank on the day TA/DA application with the claim is submitted shall be considered.
  1. In case of Administrative staff such as Project Administrators, Finance Officers or Accountants, payment should be done based on qualification and experience. For this their posts should be first equated with the posts mentioned above and necessary payment done as mentioned against the title.
  1. In special cases that DSA for international travel is not enough, on submission of the original hotel bills, in place of DSA, reimbursement is possible when approved from the meeting of EC beyond the allotted DSA.
  1. In the case of payment to resource persons as Invited Speaker or Professional Experts at training or conferences/workshops/seminars/laboratories etc. the Costing Policy of University to be referred at the time of payment.
  2. At the time of payment to the Service Provider, PI shall always produce evidence of rate of payment, units, Time Sheet in the specified format (see standard template), proof of deduction in amount paid by 15% income tax for professionals and 1% TDS for labourers/porters (source: Income Tax Act of 2058, see legal Documents and Contracts section in RDC webpage for reference).
  3. In the case of vehicle hire and payment to the vehicle owner or contractors on agreement, local transport claim guidelines calculated for the purpose of hire of vehicles is to be referred to as follows. As far as possible PI shall make agreement for the hire of vehicles with licensed vehicle hire company and produce VAT bill at the time of payment with proof of 1.5% tax deduction as per Income Tax Act of 2058. Alternatively when contractors cannot produce VAT bill but PAN, then proof of 15% tax deduction to be produced. In remote places, where there are no licensed companies for the hire of vehicles, private vehicles when rented, a proof of 10% deduction in tax at the source (TDS) is to be produced (source: with reference to Rental Directives 2068 by RDC, in addition to the Memo dated 2071/10/08 addressed to the Registrar by the Internal Auditor Finance Division).
  4. While requesting for Money in Advance, PI shall also produce an Estimated Budget Plan- EBP (with the budgetary breakdown). RDC will facilitate direct payment to the clients (wherever possible) as prompt as possible such as air tickets, payment to the contractors, salary to the Researchers etc. and shall transfer only the TA/DA besides miscellaneous expenses in the name of the travelers direct to their respective personal savings bank account.
  5. While settling the Money in Advance, before submitting the details to the RDC for clearance by the PI, it has to be submitted to the HOD or Dean of the respective Schools to ensure that any fixed assets bought in the name of University is properly inventored.

 Table: Vehicle Hire Costs on Kilometres Basis (Tax Extra): This applies only to Kathmandu Valley and Dhulikhel/Banepa/Panauti. For long distance travel, the rate has to be negotiated for which involved of a person assigned by the Registrar from Physical Facilities Division is MUST (except in cases where arrangements have been made in field). 

S.No. Vehicle Type Conditions Cost/km (NRs.)* Remarks
1 Car/Sedan Paved road/highway 32.00 Normal conditions
2 Car/Sedan Paved road with A/C 36.00 Normal conditions
3 Jeep (w/o 4WD) Paved road/highway 35.00 Normal conditions
4 Jeep (with 4WD) Off-road 40.00 Gravel/ rough road

NOTE: 

The above rates suggested are based on the current usage and petrol prices (May, 2015).

Driver’s fooding expenses for day trip to be claimed on “As Per Actual Basis”  on submission of original bills. In case of night stay, driver’s cost to be added extra (supported by original bills not exceeding DSA of Rs. 1200/- per day, DSA meaning Daily Subsistence Allowances that includes both fooding and lodging)

All payments to be made by Cheque or electronically by bank transfer to the Third Party, payment by cash to be discouraged except in minor cases. All major payments to be made by the Authorized Person designated by the Registrar (in case of projects, Manger-Finance Division). In this case Tax Deduction as per the Income Tax Act of 2058 or Rental Directives of 2068 shall be assured by the Project Finance Officer at the time of payment (Refer: Memo to the Office of Registrar by the Internal Auditor, Finance Division, dated 2072/03/02).

2.2 Preparation, Review and Submission of proposals for “Internally Funded Research Projects”

The University shall create RDC fund in each fiscal year generated through overheads from externally funded research projects. A prospective faculty or team can submit research proposal. The RDC can award research grant to the selected research proposals. This grant must be used as seed money in supervision of students’ project work/thesis/dissertation etc. However, this money could only be used for the purpose of research specific expenditure only such as purchase of field level sampling gears, consumables supplies, and to cover daily subsistence allowance of the researcher student only. Faculty members cannot draw any allowances from such grants instead they can apply through regular procedure by filling the Travel Order and with request for Advanced Payment Claim from Departmental budget to cover their TA/DA. Claim can be made for two times site visit per student supervised, and through cheapest public means of travel.

The University, through its Schools, will meet all requirements for the research activities carried as a part of its regular Academic Research based on its School Wise Research Guidelines. However, in some areas of national interests, not covered under the regular academic activities and also not funded externally, RDC fund can be utilised to promote research activities at school levels. A prospective faculty or team can submit research proposal once in academic year following announcement from the Director-RDC. The RDC will award research grant to the selected research proposal.

Faculty members will always be encouraged to attract externally funded projects. The regular meetings, seminars and orientation will be conducted to draft fundable projects. If the RDC approved proposal forwarded for external funding could not get funded, such projects will be incubated by RDC fund.

The Dean of School is primarily responsible for monitoring research and development activity in the School, providing advice to staff regarding research and development, and authorising research grant applications for submission to the RDC Directorate.

The Principal Investigator has responsibility for executing Research, Development, and Consultancy into planning and management under the umbrella of University planning and policy.

The RDC Directorate has responsibility for keeping records of all current and past research activities and assisting the Principal Investigator in evaluating the quality of reports/scientific publications for career link of research and consultancies.

2.3 Administration of “Academic Projects”

Under the conditions listed below, registered KU students are eligible to submit proposals to external sponsors for research projects which have a potential for significant intellectual inquiry related to their course of study:

  1. Faculty member must agree to serve as advisor to the project. Although internal university records indicate that the advisor is the Principal Investigator, the proposal to the sponsor may show the student as PI or Project Coordinator as long as the sponsor is informed, via the formal University letter of transmittal, of the identity and role of the advisor.

  2. An academic department or laboratory must be willing to accept responsibility for administrative and logistical coordination of the project in the same way it executes those functions for other research activities.

  3. If an award results from the proposals, the student and the advisor must have joint periodic reviews of the project status at least once per quarter during the project period.

  4. The advisor is responsible for technical, administrative and financial reporting to the sponsors.

2.4 Administration of “Consultancy Projects”

Individual Consulting is permitted to Kathmandu University faculty members provided the faculty member’s full—time obligation to the University is met. Training and consultancies are important activities of various Schools of Kathmandu University. These activities not only bring additional revenue to the university but also give practical exposure to the faculty, thereby helping them to improve their teaching and enhance their knowledge. Faculty members irrespective of their position and status are eligible to offer consultancies independently who have potential for significant intellectual contribution related to their field of expertise to other organisations/institutions.

However, he/she should get written permission from the Authorized Person before undertaking such consultancies. All technical and financial proposals are to be prepared with understanding between the two parties. If official subcontracting is needed, it should be signed jointly by the PI and the other party (ies). A copy of this must be submitted to the RDC Directorate. A consultancy fee of 20% of the total remuneration paid to faculty, resource persons and support staff will be charged by the university as contribution to operational surplus to build up operational capital and buy equipment for education and research in the respective school. Tax will be deducted from the amount to be paid to the individual faculty, resource person and administrative staff as per rule of the Government of Nepal.

2.4.1 Limitations on time spent as a consultant and type of responsibilities

The maximum number of consulting days permissible for faculty on a full-time appointment is not fixed so long as individual faculty is taking the allocated load as per designation. A faculty member on full—time active duty or sabbatical leave must not have outside managerial responsibilities and may not have titles that imply management responsibilities, e.g. Chief Scientific Officer, Chief Technical Officer, Director of Research, regardless of actual consulting duties.

2.4.2 Restrictions concerning students and research staff

The academic activities of students and postdoctoral scholars must be free from the personal commercial and consulting interests of the faculty member. The work of students, staff, postdoctoral scholars and collaborators must not be exploited in the course of a faculty member’s outside obligations. Faculty may not hire or directly supervise a KU student in employment activities outside the University while serving as the student’s advisor or as a participant on the student’s thesis/doctoral advisory committee without written approval.

2.4.3 Restrictions on use of University resources

Kathmandu University facilities, personnel and equipment may not be used except in a purely incidental way, as part of outside consulting activities. Preferential access to research results, materials or products generated from University teaching or research activities may not be provided to an outside entity for personal financial gain. Confidential information acquired through conduct of University business or research activities may not be used for personal gain, or to grant unauthorized access to others; confidential information includes any information that comes into your possession as a result of your employment by KU that is not broadly available to the general public.

2.4.5 Use of the Kathmandu University name

The Kathmandu University name and logo may not be used in any individual consulting activities.

2.4.6 Authorship, speaking and marketing activities

If a faculty member is listed as an author on any publication resulting from performance of consulting services, a disclosure should be included stating that “Dr./Professor [NAME]’s contribution to this publication was as a paid consultant, and was not part of his/her Kathmandu University duties or responsibilities”. The same disclosure should be given in speaking activities related to consulting services.

2.5 Submission/Forwarding/Reporting/ and Closing of Proposals

Following Table (submission guidelines) may be referred to for a complete explanation on the Guidelines from Submission of the Project Proposals to Closing of it.