Handling third-party funded projects
Acceptance of third-party funds
The acceptance of third-party funds takes place via the University. The President’s Office or the Research Division announces it officially. The member of the University who has acquired the funds may not represent it, i.e. this person may not receive the funding personally nor on behalf of the University. The University’s announcement of acceptance includes its consent to claiming the related advantages for the university members concerned, which are relevant to anti-corruption law.
The rejection of an offer of third-party funds may ensue under §13(6) LHG, or consent may be subject to restrictions in the following cases:
- impairment of other activities of the university,
- impairment of rights and duties of other persons,
- inappropriate dealing with the resultant costs.
Third-party projects may place a disproportionate strain on university resources, to the detriment of other university activities. In individual cases, third-party funds may not be accepted if there is a risk of infringing specific legislation regarding e.g. data protection, radiation protection, genetic engineering, animal protection or medicines.
Private third-party funds will not be accepted if that would involve breaking the law.
Orders (acceptance order / disbursement order / rebooking order)
The Department for Financial Accounting and Payment Transactions is requested to pay amounts of money on the basis of specific orders. Disbursement orders are used for paying amounts out, and acceptance orders for paying amounts in. Rebooking orders mean that amounts are rebooked between third-party funds or between their internal orders. All these cases require a form justifying the payment, i.e. a financial document. The relevant forms may be found on the website of the Finance Division.
Please note: Posting orders must adhere to four-eyes principle
Acceptance, disbursement, and rebooking orders always require signature by two different individuals under “materially and mathematically correct” and “order”. This maintains the internal control mechanism of the four-eyes principle and supports corruption prevention. Posting orders that are not signed by two different individuals cannot be processed. For more information, see the “Anti-corruption Policy” and the “Anti-corruption Code of Conduct”.
Authorization to give instructions and confirm correctness
The authorization to give instructions means the permission to order financial bookings effective for a third-party funded project. Furthermore, the authorization to confirm the factual correctness enables the person so authorized to certify the correctness of key data in cash orders. No approval is possible without the transmission of the authorization. The Research Division delivers the form to the grant recipient after receiving the approval notice. The transmission of both these authorizations takes place through the project leader.
There are preconditions for both authorizations relating to the person’s public service salary bracket (at least E9 for confirming factual correctness, at least E13 for giving instructions). Staff in lower salary brackets will need to get an informal exceptional approval from the project leader, and forward it to the Research Division. On request, the Vice-President for Finance and Personnel grants the authorization to give instructions and confirm factual correctness. Further information may be found on the page of the Finance Division.
Notification of third-party funds
The form stating grants and research requiring payment (contract research, scientific services, cooperative research) has to be presented to the Research Division in good time, and with full details. The University must be notified of the acquisition or intended acquisition without delay, in order to be able to accept the third-party funds. Please use the prescribed form. This also applies to third-party funds that are not applied for via the Research Division. The completed form must be sent to the Research Division before the applications for grants are made. On the basis of the written documents the university will check whether the grant may be accepted.
After receipt of the notice of approval, the statement of consent of the University has to be issued, as required. Only the signature of the Vice-President for Finance and Personnel, or a designated deputy, is legally binding.
Prescribed form (RTF) (Ger)
Employer declaration /statement of commitment
Some third-party funding bodies (particularly the DFG: Temporary Positions for Principal Investigators; ERC grants) require a statement by the employer permitting the project leader to use premises, equipment etc. The employer statement is a binding confirmation that the university will make these resources available. The statement by the employer, issued by the Research Division, can only be made after a statement of commitment by the university institute acquiring the funds. The form for the statement of commitment may be requested from Heidelberg Research Service and must be returned to the project manager responsible.
Statement of hours worked for federal funds
In accordance with the revised version of the Auxiliary Terms and Conditions for Funds Provided by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for the Promotion of Projects on an Expenditure Basis (NABF), projects that were started as of 18 April 2018 are required to maintain time records for employees working on the related BMBF project. In order to meet the federal guidelines, the Research Division provides a Statement of Hours Worked form. This form is sufficient evidence of time worked and does not require maintaining meticulous timesheets. Employees directly working on the project must complete and sign the form. The original remains with the decentral institution for presentation in the event of an audit. The responsible staff member at the Research Division, Department 6.2, receives a copy.
Statement of hours worked for federally funded third-party project (PDF) - Please download the form before completing it!
Approval of third party funds, notice of approval and account opening
A third-party fund approval may exist in the form of a notice of grant (notice of approval), a contract or a monetary payment (as a donation) or, in the case of scientific services, an invoice. A notice of grant names the sum provided and the length of the project. On presentation of proof of approval (beforehand also by email) by the funding body, the Research Division will set up the accounts for a third-party funded project. These proofs must be sent immediately by internal post to the Research Division. After the accounts have been established the administrative assistant responsible will communicate the accounting data (funds and internal orders).
Accommodating guests during a research project or scientific event
In the context of third-party funds financed research project, a funding body may approve money to finance an expense reimbursement for a guest staying at Heidelberg University. This covers e.g. the costs of travel and overnight stays and of a per diem. It is also possible to pay an expense allowance from decentralized non-designated funds (e.g. overheads) and budgetary funds. For the payment order to comply with the budgetary regulations of the state of Baden-Württemberg, it must be accompanied by a document justifying the payment, i.e. by the appropriate form.
Please note: the only document justifying a lump sum paid by the DAAD to a visiting researcher is an agreement between the researcher and Heidelberg University. Other documents, e.g. lists from the DAAD letter of approval regarding expense allowances, are not relevant as justification of payment.
Appendix for payment order to reimburse travel costs (PDF) (Form Guest_01) - Please download the form before completing it! Please fill in the form only electronically, print, sign and submit it!
Annex to a payment order relating to a period of stay by a guest (PDF) (Form Guest_02) - Please download the form before completing it!
Funds draw-down / funds call
Usually the funds approved by a funding body must be regularly drawn down in the form of a written order. How this is done will depend on the funding body’s own rules for drawing down funds. The project director authorized to give the order, or the corresponding university institute, is responsible for ensuring that the project account is sufficiently covered.
In the field of the DFG, the first funds draw-down after the project leader has signed must always also be sent to the Research Division for an additional legally binding signature by an official representative of the University. For all other funds draw-downs, it is enough to obtain the signature of the project leader; however, a copy of the funds request with the attached acceptance order must be sent to the Research Division. DFG funds are drawn down on a quarterly basis. For grants from the German federal government, the project leader implements all funds draw-downs (‘payment orders’) via the Web Portal PROFI ONLINE. A print-out of the funds draw-down and the corresponding acceptance order must be forwarded to the Research Division. After checking and counter-signing, the form will be returned to the project leader. Please note the explanations on the web pages of the Finance Division.
Acceptance order (RTF) (Ger)
In the case of a project extension, the new project time period must be communicated to the Research Division. The administrative assistant responsible in the Research Division can give further information.
Third-party funded research fellowships
Heidelberg University grants research fellowships from third-party funding in order to support research work, in particular by doctoral students, and for more in-depth research by postdocs. Especially gifted young researchers from all the University disciplines are eligible to apply.
The selection of fellowship holders takes place in the academic institutes of Heidelberg University after intensive examination of the merits of the candidates (“the pick of the crop”). The institutes will apply for a fellowship by submitting the form “Application for approval of a third-party funded research fellowship at Heidelberg University” to Division 6 of the University administration. The application is made by the project leader, the institute or the central academic facility that has a fellowship to grant.
The granting of a fellowship takes place through a grant notice and the subsequent declaration of acceptance by the fellowship-holder. More information can be found in the “Directions for granting third-party funded fellowships at Heidelberg University” and the FAQs.
Fellowship application form (DOCX)
Fellowships FAQs (PDF)
Tax liabilty reversed
Please note that the reverse charge mechanism applies when services are exchanged with foreign partners (usually defined by a subcontract or invoice). Under this mechanism, the service recipient is responsible for payment of VAT, not the service provider. These costs should be budgeted in the project proposal. Contact Heidelberg Research Service for more information.
Proof of use
The proof of use is issued by the project leader authorized to give instructions. They must provide proof of the orderly use of funds according to the rules of the funding body. The proof of use must then be forwarded to the Research Division for checking and confirmation. After confirmation by the Research Division, this proof of use must then be forwarded to the funding body.
Document substantiating payment
According to point 10 of the administrative provision on Section 70 of the Landeshaushaltsordnung für Baden-Württemberg (LHO), each formal payment order must be accompanied by a supporting document stating the purpose and reason for the payment.
Certificate of grant (donation certificate)
In the case of grants to support University activities, a donation certificate must be issued and sent to the funding body on request (application for grant certification) for tax purposes. Tax certificates under §10b EStG (German Fiscal Code) may only be issued by the Research Division and (in the case of gifts in kind and other gifts) by the Division for Foundations and Assets. The notice of grant must be issued by the institute concerned.
The donation certificate may only be issued when the donated amount has been credited to the University Finance Office or when it has become the property of the State of Baden-Württemberg or the University (University assets).
No grant certificates are issued for
- monetary grants by third parties for other purposes
- research contracts.
Application for issuance of donation certificate (DOCX) (Ger)