Group of Eight Australia
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Module 5: Financial, Resource and Risk Management

Topic 1: Understanding financial information and reports

The first step in good financial management of your research project is to build a broad understanding of how research funds management operates.  This initial topic offers you an overview of the principles that underpin effective research project funds management and how those processes fit into the project management cycle.

Learning outcomes

After completing this module you should be able to:

  • Outline the different financial processes that need to be reflected throughout the project’s life cycle;
  • Identify the full costs of a research project; and
  • Define direct and indirect costs.

Topic content

1.1 The financial management cycle of a research project

1.2 Costing principles


Activity 1: The research finance context at your university

It is very important to realise that you do not need to work through your financial management in isolation. Your university is keen to ensure you have the correct information at your fingertips and that you can seek suitable help when needed. In this first exercise, you will need to visit your university website and/or talk with colleagues in your faculty to identify the information you can access and the sources of support available to you.

Try to identify some additional useful sources you might access – particularly in your faculty or school. You may find that there are a range of areas, including the research or grants office, financial services, faculty finance officers, faculty or school managers, and experts in your own research area. While you are reviewing this information, take note of any university requirements that you may need to meet in terms of managing your project.


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