Data collection and compliance
RCUK requirements for funded researchers – reporting research outcomes using researchfish®
All RCUK-funded researchers (e.g. principal investigators, Unit programme leaders, fellows and where appropriate students) are required to provide an annual update of information relating to the outputs, outcomes and impacts (referred to as research outcomes) that arise from their RCUK funded research. They are required to have a researchfish® account and to use the researchfish® system to provide these updates annually during the period of the awards and usually for five years after their awards have finished.
Researchers may record and attribute research outcomes to awards at any time during the year. The required update of research outcomes information takes place during the annual RCUK researchfish® submission period. During this period a ‘SUBMIT TO RESEARCHFISH’ button is enabled for each award, and by clicking on this button the researcher formally confirms that the currently attributed outcomes represent a full and up-to-date record of the outcomes known to have arisen from that award. The submission period will be scheduled for a defined period each year. Researchers will always be contacted directly and given appropriate advance notice of the scheduled period. Researchers are required to maintain an active email address in the researchfish® system to allow this communication to take place.
In cases of agreed extended absence such as parental leave, sickness etc. researchers can request a temporary suspension of the RCUK requirement to provide an annual update by contacting their research office and/or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Researchers have the opportunity to discuss with RCUK when they feel that no further outcomes will arise from an award and request that the award is ‘closed’ in researchfish®. If this is agreed, the outcomes information and award will still be visible in the system but the researcher will not be able to associate any further outcomes to the award, and will no longer be required to provide an annual update of information for that award.
Researchers are no longer required to submit a final report at the end of an award. Full RCUK Terms & Conditions can be found at http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/funding/grantstcs/.
RCUK researchfish® compliance and sanctions policy
Compliance is the submission of an appropriate update by the end of each annual RCUK researchfish® submission period in accordance with the above requirements.
If the required annual update for an award is not submitted on time, the Research Council(s) may apply the following sanctions:
- the researcher may be unable to apply (either as a Principal Investigator or as a Co-Investigator) for further awards from any Research Council
- if the award is still current payments for the award may be withheld
By submitting a return in researchfish® the researcher is agreeing that the information is truthful, accurate and as complete as practicable. If when using the information the Research Councils raise concerns over the accuracy or completeness of the submission then these will be raised with the researcher, and sanctions may be applied retrospectively.
- RCUK directly supported Units and Institutes will not have payments withheld; the responsibility for compliance lies with the unit directors and is part of the annual DASIC/appraisal return. Noncompliant researchers at RCUK directly supported Units and Institutes may be unable to apply for further awards from any Research Council.
- To support specific evaluations a Research Council may require an update to an award outside the annual RCUK researchfish® submission period. Researchers will be notified of these as necessary.
- Students supported by block grants are not currently part of the sanctions process though reporting is encouraged and institutional compliance will be monitored.