http://portal.lums.edu.pk/OSPR/OSP/Videos/Introduction%20of%20OR/Introduction%20of%20OR.mp4

OR OPERATIONS 

The Office of Research (OR) was established on August 16, 2010, to manage all sponsored research-related activities of academic and research units, and to act as a bridge between LUMS faculty and national/international donors/sponsors. This includes, but is not limited to externally funded research proposals; unrestricted grants; travel grants; sponsored conferences, workshops, seminars; consulting assignments; instructional and service activities; memorandum of understanding (MoU), non-disclosure Agreements (NDA); and contracts/agreements related to externally funded projects.

IDENTIFICATION OF FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

Over the years, OR has extended its support not just in managing grants, but has also ensured that all the research opportunities are accessible to the entire LUMS community. The Office of Research identifies and keeps a database of all the funding research opportunities for which LUMS is eligible, on its indigenous online platform called Grants, Applications, Management and Execution Systems (GAMES). Moreover, these funding opportunities are circulated among the students, faculty, and researchers via email weekly. By doing so, OR helps faculty and researchers to broaden the research spectrum. OR has successfully shared 400+ funding opportunities with faculty, students, and start-ups since 2020.

PROPOSAL REVIEW

OR extends its support to faculty members and researchers at LUMS in ‘Proposal Review’ of their application before submission to the donor/sponsor. OR provides the following aid in the proposal review and evaluation of an application before its submission:

  • Provides guidance to faculty members in preparing the budget, reviews financial proposal, ensures adherence to LUMS policies and donor guidelines

  • Furnishes organization information, due diligence, letter of intent/affiliation, and other supporting documentation

  • Coordinates with Department Chair/Deans and VC’s office for necessary approvals and signatures required for proposal submission

  • Takes necessary approvals from IRB and OHS for research involving human/animal subjects, health, and biosafety

  • Negotiates with donors and internal departments regarding proposal-related queries and award process

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

The support by OR to the researcher aids them in making informed decisions related to project expenses through periodic Budget Utilisation Reports. OR compiles financial information to prepare multiple reports including budget utilization, overheads, receivables, payables, and salary reconciliation for internal key stakeholders. Furthermore, it helps in reimbursements and advance adjustments claims pertaining to LUMS and external donors, thereby, providing complete financial management of the grant. 

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

OR provides completes project management oversight including but not limited to:

  • Grants creation (Pre and post-management)

  • Milestone tracking, invoicing, approval of expenditure in compliance with the contract (for the hiring of the project team, project expenses, third party payments, honorarium payments, etc.)

  • Bridge financing

  • Change request management

  • Follow-up on payments, claims processing, final settlements of project staff, and complete record management of sponsored activities.

SPONSORED PROGRAMS

Research Grants (For Policy: Click here)

Externally Funded (e.g. HEC, Ignite, USAID, EU, etc.)—OR provides administrative and financial support to faculty. This includes finding funding opportunities, proposal/budget review, communication and regular follow-up with the donor, facilitating monitoring visits, management in SAP, financial approvals, HR management, audit, and other closure formalities.  

Internally Funded (FIF, FTG, Startup grants)—OR provides administrative support and financial management. Grants related to administrative functions, student activities, financial aid, etc. do not fall under the purview of OR.  These are handled by the respective departments in collaboration with F&A.

Consultancy (For Policy: Click here)

OR provides administrative and financial support to faculty. This includes contract/budget review, communication with donors, and management in SAP, financial approvals, HR management, and closure formalities.

Travel Grants (For Policy: Click here)

Externally Funded (e.g. HEC)—OR provides administrative support to faculty. This includes application review, communication with the donor, regular follow-up, and other formalities.  

Internally Funded—Faculty Travel Grant (FTG)—OR provides administrative support and financial management.

Seminars/Workshops/Symposiums (For Policy: Click here)

Externally Funded—OR provides administrative and financial support to faculty. This includes application/budget review, communication and regular follow-up with the donor, management in SAP, financial approvals, and other formalities.

Internally Funded—The respective departments manage seminars organized through departmental or school funding.

MoUs/NDAs/Agreements/Contracts (For Policy: Click here)

Research-related—OR provides administrative support to faculty. This includes review, communication and regular follow-up with the donor, and coordination with the LUMS legal counsel in case advice is needed.

Academic—Such MoUs are managed by the respective departments and/or schools, however, they should be forwarded to OR for record keeping.

OVERHEADS POLICY

LUMS charges a financial overhead (indirect costs) from the funded research programs at a rate of 30% of the total direct costs, unless otherwise restricted by the sponsor/donor. While the bulk of overhead amount will be directly retained by the University and included in the total revenue earned, a portion of the funds will be distributed to the School to support the ‘seeding’ of research activities, with the remaining funds being placed with the Principal Investigator for his/her academic/research use. For detailed distribution of Overheads, please refer to the LUMS Overheads Policy.

Please note that the Faculty Overhead Account and the School Overhead Account can only be created if the research grant was processed through OR and was formally registered in the SAP GM-GTE Module. Moreover, this does not apply to University overheads deducted from other activities including the consultancy services provided by faculty.

INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD (IRB)

Programs that involve the use of human subjects or animals are reviewed by LUMS IRB. Moreover, all issues related to biosafety are also under the purview of the IRB. Research proposals that require IRB review are forwarded to IRB Convener through OR for the issuance of ethics approval.

UNIVERSITY RESEARCH COUNCIL (URC)

The purpose of the URC is to identify and recommend those baseline policies that will be applicable to the research endeavors of the faculty. OR provides secretarial services to the URC.

STUDENT ACTIVITIES

Student activities are managed by the Office of Student Affairs and respective Schools.