1.1 Policy Statement
Kathmandu University (KU) recognizes Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) as core activities, which promote KU to the point where the faculty generate new knowledge and use this knowledge to assist government, and community at large for faster economic growth in the country.
RDI shall reflect vision and goal set by Kathmandu University on the basis of its past experiences, available expertise, and future planned activities. In no case should the activities conflict with the rules of the university, local governance or national or international treaties or understandings. If such conflict persists, the whole or the parts of the program will be aborted or amended as per norms and values of such rules, regulation or ethics.
KU recognises “Research” as a strategy that leads to capacity building of its faculty members, researchers, and strengthen the central research administration in making KU capable of attracting research funding through competitive proposals besides donations or contributions received through “Development” and “Consultancy”.
“Research” includes activities such as, but not limited to networking, collaborating with international/regional/local research institutions, understanding between two or more universities, agreement between and among faculty at their institutions and funding agencies; and encouraging or promoting faculty members and researchers in workshops participation, trainings, visits, proposal writing, communication skills development, exploring external funding opportunities, involvement in budget preparation, research team building, and involvement in supervision at graduate levels.
“Development” and “Consultancy” should enhance the knowledge in the field where the University’s academic program is running. The knowledge should eventually become a part of syllabus as a process of value addition to on-going academic activities of the University. The approach should be a problem-solving approach to Nepal’s development related fields. The research project is expected to be sustainable, should be meaningful and have applicable results for faster economic growth of the rural community.
The main objectives of RDI are as follows:
- Establish KU as a ‘Teaching cum Research University’ by promoting research in all the Schools.
- Ensure that the University is meeting its costs associated with research promotion by providing a mechanism for the costing and pricing of research development activities.
- Provide clear research policy statements and administrative procedures to Research, Development and Consultancy services and generate funds through external or internal means.
- Provide mechanism of evaluating the quality of scientific publications for career link of research and consultancies.
- Provide research enabling environment, faculty motivation, and faculty support for research.
1.3 Definitions of Terminology
For the purpose of this policy, the KU’s definition of research, when used singly, is stated as generation of new knowledge – may or may not be published but useful for policy and program formulation in the country and organizations.
Development, when used singly meaning development of University intellectual property for commercial return. This includes patenting, licensing and otherwise exploiting academic know-how in activities.
“Development” in research at KU means that;
Use of research findings to development of models, programs, and diffuse it for betterment of society, organizations etc. Development must be disseminated to the public, and technology, product or process diffusion must be tried. It is not always necessarily client oriented when clients are not sponsoring and intellectual property right if not claimed by the client must belong to KU and concerned faculty.
“Consultancy” meaning the act of creating a design, work of art, composition, or producing a report arising from a study which uses existing knowledge. This is not always client oriented, and problem solving, may start from research and completed in devising client focused solutions.
“Academic Research” meaning not only degree oriented, but most often for generation of new knowledge for publications by faculty and use for the improvement of course syllabus. Academic Research is carried out by the respective Schools at departmental levels. Each School has a separate guideline for promoting Academic Research. School level research committee is headed by the Dean of the respective school.
“Principal Investigator” (abbreviated as PI) means the person with overall responsibility for Research Development as indicated in the project document.
“Research Fellow” means the person registered for Academic Research and obtaining fellowship from the projects. There may be several grades of Research Fellowship depending on the level to which the candidate is registered.
“Research Assistant” means the person who is designated by the principal investigator with responsibility for the field work and/or laboratory works. There may be several grades of Research Assistants depending on the qualification and experiences.
Externally funded research projects
“Externally funded research projects” are projects supported financially by external sources for the purpose of undertaking a research. If such projects are funded by International Organisations abroad or Nepal based diplomatic missions or their sister organisations or United Nations organisations then such projects are classified as INTERNATIONAL and if funded by non-governmental organisations or governmental organisations or institutions/organisations in the country then such projects are classified as LOCAL.
Internally funded research projects
“Internally funded research projects” are grants generated through internal endowment fund of the university to encourage staffs in research. This grant is awarded for the purpose of research specific expenditure only such as equipment purchase, consumable supplies, field visits etc. but no direct monetary incentives.
“Consultancy Projects” are projects supported financially by external sources direct to the university with a purpose such as but not limited to for hiring of professionals, conducting capacity building conferences/workshops/seminars/training etc. Individual faculty members or administrative staffs are not allowed to be involved directly in consultancy without association of or approval from the University.
“Costing” means determination of all direct and indirect costs associated with the projects. Indirect costs are also called “overheads”.
1.4 Principal Investigator (PI) Eligibility Policy
Qualified faculty members are encouraged to apply for project funding. PI will be the faculty member best qualified for the assignment at hand. It is PI who will be responsible to appoint other competent Project Staffs. Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-principal Investigator (CoPI) on externally funded projects is limited to full time faculty members of the university with exceptions. This policy limitation is in place because PI is responsible for preparation and submission of proposals, forwarding and reporting, meeting deadlines, and signing contracts with the other project staff and settling their remuneration structure. PIs are also responsible for determining the intellectual direction of the research and scholarship, and for the training of graduate students. Requests for PI eligibility for researchers who are not full time faculty members of the university (e.g., Visiting Faculty Members, Part Time Faculty Members, Postdoctoral/Doctoral Scholars, Instructors or other researchers) may be made on recommendation of the Director of RDC through the concerned Dean and decision may be taken by the Executive Council.
1.5 Project Designations other than Principal Investigator (PI)
Project funding is awarded to the university, to be executed by the identified PI. If the PI’s job is terminated for some reasons, the Registrar will decide if and who will continue the project. Kathmandu University considers co-principal investigators (Co-PIs) to be equivalent to principal investigators in all regards; eligibility for co-principal investigator status is therefore the same as for principal investigator status, as defined in this policy. Other project designations are at the discretion of the Principal Investigator, and may include, for example: Associate Investigators, and Co-Investigators, from among other project staffs (For example: Research Fellow, Research Assistants).
1.6 Costing and Pricing Policy
|Price||Price refers to how much the client is charged for the project. It may differ from the project cost.|
|Cost||Project cost refers to the calculation of the cost of project that includes all direct costs, including remuneration paid to faculty besides salary, direct non-salary costs, and all indirect costs.|
This policy applies to all the faculty members receiving incentives from research project and other Project Staff in the University undertaking externally funded research projects including consultancies, and lab testing services.
1.6.1 The University seeks to recover the cost for any research it carries out through ‘indirect costs’. Indirect costs are those costs that are not directly attributable to the project or program. These include research administration staff salaries and overheads. An amount 40% less from project as honorarium, allowances or any kinds of incentives is mandatory for all Project Staff. Similarly, a 10% overhead in Gross amount for Research and 20% for Consultancy is also mandatory. These rates may change from time to time subjected to the decision of Executive Council’s meeting.
1.6.2 The University mandates the use of charge-out rates tied as per level of faculty (Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor) on all externally funded research within the scope of this policy. The charge-out rates are calculated on the basis of gross salary (Provident Fund and Grade excluded) and shall be revised with the revision of the salary structure. Maximum charge-out rates are not fixed and left to float as per the marketability of the faculty irrespective of the levels when they go for negotiation with the clients. The higher the charge to the clients, the higher will be faculty’s remuneration and KU surplus, however not exceeding a maximum of 150% (i.e.1.5 times) the gross salary (Provident Fund and Grade Excluded) annually. If the faculty/Project Staff cannot negotiate for higher charge as per his/her expectation s/he should be allowed to deny working in the particular project.
1.6.3 Pricing below the mandated minimum charge-out rates may only be approved by designated authority under exceptional circumstances and by a process of justification, developed and approved by the relevant faculty, and fully documented. In such cases where the University (as opposed to a faculty) negotiates a project at a lower than minimum charge-out rate, it must negotiate with the affected faculties as to how any financially negative impact on the faculties will be mitigated.
1.6.4 Faculty or Researchers must comply with the school processes for negotiating and signing off a research agreement or contract. Faculties are responsible for developing an internal process for managing the negotiation and sign-off of any research agreement or contract under this policy. Faculties must induct new researchers and research administration staff into the research pricing policy and processes. Faculties are responsible for meeting any cost-recovery targets agreed to between the University and the faculty. Faculties must comply with the University policy for research cost-recovery, including maintaining the minimum charge-out rates set by the University and the administrative and financial processes established by the University.
1.6.5 Researchers are expected to be familiar with this policy and to understand the broad principles of how indirect costs are calculated. With the support of the University, researchers must communicate the University policy on research pricing with the funder. Researchers, in consultation with their faculty/school/department, are expected to price all University assets including the space used in compliance with this policy.
REMUNERATION SCHEME TO BE EFFECTIVE FROM 1 SEPT 2016
- Permissible Incentives in Proposal
- Revised remuneration scheme for project staff
Payment as per given scheme is subjected to availability of budget under the Project heading. The real amount to be paid is as mentioned in the Employment Contract.
1.7 Procurement Policy
1.7.1 Authorized Person (s)
PI completes the Requisition Forms in triplicate and submits two copies to the Directorate of RDI and retains the third copy for self/departmental record keeping. Requisition forms when recommended by the Manager of RDI receive Approval from Director for the release of Purchase Order. As soon as Purchase Order is received, PI is granted purchase of the items listed in Requisition Form. Requisition Forms are available at all Schools in two different formats, therefore items listed must first be categorized as Durables or Non-Durables. For the definition of ‘Durables’ and ‘Non-Durables’, procurement guidelines of the University may be referred to.
Office of the Registrar assigns a staff as a Procurement Officer facilitating the procurement of instrument/equipment or any other essential supplies to the PIs following the decision of Purchase Committee. Procurement Officer works on behalf of Kathmandu University negotiating the cost of goods and services from certified vendors. Responsibilities of a Procurement Officer are to work closely with the Manager- RDI to verify vendors are paid promptly after services are obtained and assist PI in customs clearance of the goods and any other assistance required.
1.7.2 Procedure for Making Expenditure from Approved Budget
- Following goods can be directly purchased by the PI from the market, for which Advanced Payment claim can be made based on a breakdown of budget with reference to allocated amount as specified in the Project Document under a certain headlines.
|Name of Goods||Maximum Amount|
|Stationery and printing||150,000|
|Chemicals and apparatus||200,000|
- Purchase of goods from the lowest bidder after taking quotations – up to 25 lakhs for construction materials and 10 lakhs for other goods. In case where lower bidder’s purchase is not possible, with the Vice chancellor’s permission and proper justification, if within the budget, purchase from higher bidder is also allowed.
- Bidding or tendering for purchase of goods more than 25 lakhs for Construction material or for other goods 10 lakhs.
- The bidder needs to keep 5% of the amount as bid guarantee as per the Agreement. The type of guarantee needs to be mentioned in the notice.
1.7.3 In the following Special Cases, direct purchase is allowed even if there is no bidding or quotations
- Purchase of Goods at fixed rates produced or distributed by National or Foreign Government or internationally recognized Agents.
- Already quality standard established and purchased from Companies and firms at rates specified by Nepal Government.
- Purchase of goods from organizations having holdings of more than 50% share of Nepal Government.
- Goods specifically needed for projects and approved purchased at specified rates from manufacturers or authorized agents.
1.7.4 Tender calling process
Tender notice on purchase or construction or transport or Printing need to be advertised in local newspaper at least twice. In the notice, the method of sending tender, address, registration fees, deadlines, the bid amount for tender, tender opening date and venue with other important information
1.7.5 The deadline for tender information
For deadlines pertaining to tender having validity period for NPR 60 lakhs, 10 days after publications of tender; 15 days for tender value from 60 lakhs to 1 crore and for values above 1 crore, as per need requirement from 21 to 45 days.
1.7.6 Work process related to Tendering
- Normally tender with least values need to be approved but depending on the experience and ability of person or institution or due to financial capacities, if not deemed to approve from the lowest bidder, it can be approved for bidders with higher values stating clear reasons.
Clarifications: To verify experience, capacity and financial nature of Bidder, in case of necessity it may be advised to collect his financial transactions, Balance sheet, Profit and loss account or related statement of work for past few years.
- Bids submitted as per these regulations, and benefits the University when accepted partially, taking consent from the Bidder tender can be accepted partially too.
- Amongst the selected bidding, if within budget limit and exceeds 10% than the cost estimate mentioned in the tender documents, it can be approved.
- On average action needs to be taken for at least 2 tender bids but if less than those, retendering is necessary.
- On re tendering if necessary tenders are not listed, it should be again called for tendering for the last time. Upon doing so still no tenders in required quantity fall then as per rules, approval of bidding might be done amongst the callers.
- Tenders once registered should not be withdrawn.
- All the rights to accept or reject the tenders calls, or changes in amounts or approval of quotations as per rules are with the University. The University does not hold any obligation to answer for the approval or rejection of any tenders, contracts or quotations. But on partial acceptance of tender or contract or quotations and the conditions of approval then the partial work award is granted upon the agreement of bidder or one who agrees for changes in the estimates.
1.7.7 No action on Tender
On non- completion of such tenders there will be no action:
- Not filling up the tender form sold by the University
- Not sealed
- No stamp of the bidder in tender related papers
- No authorized signature of tender holder in case of amendments in the tender forms.
- No returning of tender within deadlines
- Non deposit of bank deposit or Bank guarantee as per the notice of tender opening.
The University will call for 7 day notice after acceptance of the tender. If within the time frame bidder doesn’t come for signing the agreement, the University is allowed to sign with the next bidder or retender. The guarantee amount will be confiscated if not present for signing the Agreement.
1.7.9 International/Global Tender
Upon calling of Global tender, the tender notice needs to be sent to the foreign diplomatic Missions inside the country too.
1.7.10 Things to be disclosed when Foreigner bids
Foreign firms, company or person when bids for Global tender bid, following listed things need to be disclosed:
- Clarification whether agent or representative has been appointed within Nepal.
- If Agent/Representative appointed
- Name and address of Agent/Representative
- The amount of commission, currency denomination and payment mode to the Agent/Representative
- Any clauses/conditions signed with Agent/Representative.
1.7.11 Addition of time limit
Due to special circumstance if time limit for any contract needs to be extended, after taking approval from the authority assigned for such, the deadlines can be extended. But in such case if it harms the University extension is not allowed.
1.7.12 Authority for approving Tender
The rights to approve tender are with below mentioned following position holders:
- Registrar can approve up to 50 lakhs.
- VC can approve up to 1 crore.
- Above 1 crore, as per the decision taken by the meeting of Executive Council.
1.7.13 Special Arrangement
But as per joint opinion/consent between the university and donors, in case of goods handed over by donors or to be constructed, the process not complying with this Manual is permitted to purchase or construct.
On payment to the Contractor, payment should be made only after deducting 5% amount as retention money. Such amount should be refunded to the bidders only after 3 months of approval of report from the Authority who recommends the work completion as per the conditions mentioned in the construction contracts.
1.8 Conflict of Commitment and Conflict of Interests
Conflict of Commitments
Kathmandu University faculty members owe their primary commitment of time and professional responsibilities or intellectual energies to the teaching and scholarship programs of the institution. The commitment on research development and consultancy activities will differ across schools and departments. At the time of accepting the offer from any national/international agencies for the RDI activities, PI need to be cautious enough to know whether the project is worth undertaking in light of its utility for the development of the country/ community. One needs to know the percentage share of the total fund that is given to the university and weigh whether it is worth accepting the fund in the interest of the University and country/community. So, quantifiable benefit(s), wherever possible, in favour of the University /Country/Community needs to be spelled out. The National interest should always be respected and given top priority.
Conflict of Interests
A conflict of interest occurs when there is a divergence between an individual’s private interests of personal financial gain from the project and his/her responsibility towards strengthening the institutional capacity to generate external source for supporting internal research. It is appropriate that faculty be rewarded for their participation in research activities through honorarium. It is, however, wrong for a full time faculty to remain partly on campus by considerations of personal financial gain elsewhere. Faculty must maintain a significant physical presence on campus throughout when they are on active duty. A faculty member on full-time active duty must not have significant outside managerial responsibilities or titles, or act as a PI on sponsored projects that could be conducted at Kathmandu University but instead are submitted and managed through another institution (excluding those which are managed through agreements as MoU or MoA).
1.9 Policies Pertaining to University Commitments
1.9.1 Classified level of effort
The level of effort, expressed as a percentage of the total professional effort, that a faculty member commits to spend on any sponsored project must be consistent with other academic duties. Such committed level of effort is classified into four categories such as (1) involvement in the budgets of active sponsored projects, (2) for cost-sharing and other contributed effort through supervision to undergraduates, graduates and post graduates, (3) teaching, and (4) administrative efforts.
1.9.2 Committed level of effort
The committed level of effort should as a rule not exceed 100% of the individual’s total university appointment. In situation where PI is required to dedicate 50% of his/her time in research as specified in the project proposal; 25% shall be committed to supervision, 15% to teaching and 10% to administration. All sponsored projects require that the level of effort (man months) of the project staff including PI and other key personnel be committed in the project.
If the project cannot be housed within pre-identified existing available department or laboratory space, commitments for the additional space required need the approval of the Head of the Department in Schools, or other officers (Directors) as appropriate in Research Centres. The University cannot commit itself to finding incremental space for a project whose needs have not been reviewed and approved in advance.
1.9.4 Cost Sharing
Whenever KU agrees to pay a portion of the allowable costs of a sponsored project, i.e., those costs which would otherwise be paid by the sponsor, the University has made a cost sharing commitment leading to matching funds.
For all externally funded Research Projects, of which ledger or bank account is maintained by the University, Office of the Registrar may establish a pre-financing system as encouragement to initiate the research activity. The source of standard amount for pre-financing payment shall be based on available RDC fund contributed through projects as overhead. The amount to be paid to the PI include only the research expenses and do not cover salary or any other incentives and this is usually 25% of the instalment promised by the funding agency. Beneficiary receives one single pre-financing payment during the project period.
Proposals that include large or complex subcontracts for specialized equipment or services should be reviewed with the Office of the RDC before preparing the final proposal. Subcontracts for research or development must comply with the KU administrative rules.
1.9.7 Participation by Faculty or Staff from Multiple Departments
The appropriate authorized person must approve participation of faculty or staff in sponsored projects outside their own academic department or School.
1.9.8 Other Benefits and incentives for the researchers
Leave of absence provided for each investigator to present the work to national or international conferences, seminars or workshops should be as mentioned in the project proposal. Registration fee, travel cost, daily allowances need to be managed from project budget itself. The University will have no financial obligation in such events.
The University will provide basic facilities such as space, utilities, administrative support, library, internet for RDC activities. However, access to journals, books, and information relevant to specific RDC project should be managed from the project budget itself.
The faculty members involved in research project will be encouraged to publish their works in nationally or internationally renowned peer reviewed journals.
1.9.9 Ethical Considerations
The main responsibility of Ethical Review Committee (ERC) is to provide advice to the researchers on all aspects of the welfare and safety of the research participants after ensuring the scientific soundness of the proposed research through appropriate Research Committee at School levels.
The ERC may review proposals submitted by undergraduate or post-graduate students or if necessary, a committee may be separately constituted for the purpose. The responsibilities of an ERC can be defined as follows:-
- To protect the dignity, rights and well – being of the potential research participants.
- To ensure that universal ethical values and international scientific standards are expressed in terms of local community values and customs.
- To assist in the development and the education of a research community responsive to local health care requirements.
1.9.10 Policy Governing Travel Abroad
The Executive Council at its meeting held on 2069/03/01 has approved the rates/norms/principles for grant of travelling to the faculty members.
- The faculty member should have been invited to the conference for the purpose rather than he/she should have sought invitation by himself/herself, thereby implying that the faculty member is of such a level/promise as can bring credit to the University by his/her participation.
- Those who have been requested to chair the conference or a section thereof and/or have not availed any financial assistance in the past for participating in an international conference/symposium will receive preference over other applicants.
- Applications should be duly recommended by the appropriate authorized person, such as in case of a faculty member, the Head of the Department and approved by the Dean of the School and should be accompanied by the letter of invitation from the conference organizer.
- At least one fiscal year should have lapsed since the last time teacher concerned was given financial assistance for the aforesaid purpose.
- Ordinarily one should have put in a minimum of three years in the University service before being eligible to receive financial assistance for participating in international conference/symposia.
- School shall provide a lump sum amount for participation in conference/seminar/workshop irrespective of the duration of the conference and the country hosting the events.
1.10 Ethical Considerations
An Ethical Review Committee (ERC) shall be formed by Executive Council, the responsibility of which is to provide advice including the issues of plagiarism to the researchers, and on all aspects of the welfare and safety of the research participants after ensuring the scientific soundness of the proposed research through appropriate Research Committee at School levels. The ERC may review proposals submitted by undergraduate/graduate or post-graduate students or if necessary, a sub-committee may separately be constituted for the purpose. The responsibilities of an ERC are to protect the dignity, rights and well – being of the potential research participants, to ensure that universal ethical values and international scientific standards are expressed in terms of local community values and customs, and to assist in the development and the education of a research community responsive to local health care requirements.