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Due diligence process for grants with overseas partners

The University's process for applying funding and managing projects with overseas institutions, to comply with Research Councils' requirements.

University's due diligence procedures

If your research proposal or project involves co-investigators from overseas institutions, we have to complete financial and capability due diligence checks. These checks are on overseas partner organisations and are undertaken to comply with funder requirements.

Currently the University can’t support any proposal or project with partner institutions in North Korea, Cuba, Iran, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria and Crimea.

Proposal development stage

Partnerships with overseas partners must be formalised before your proposal is submitted. To do this you must sign a non-legally binding Head of Terms (HoT). This lays out the expected key obligations and responsibilities of all partners.

The Head of Terms include:

  • University Anti-Bribery Policy, to be signed by the partner organisation if their institution doesn't have an anti-bribery policy
  • Partner Review Questionnaire of the Research Council Financial and Capability Due Diligence Checking Process; to be completed in full if the project is awarded
  • Key contractual requirements if the project is funded

You do not need to complete the Partner Review Questionnaire for an overseas partner organisation if this has recently been done. Contact the RIS due diligence team to check:

The Head of Terms must be:

  • signed by both institutions before submitting your full proposal
  • returned by the PI to their Pre-Award Officer when signed by the overseas partner institution
  • counter-signed by the University of Bath; as arranged by the Pre-Award Officer

All University of Bath academics bidding for GCRF, and international development funding must have carried out anti-bribery training and research ethics training, before a proposal is submitted.

The PI may receive a request from RIS for their team to complete the training before the proposal is submitted, if not all Bath Co-Is have completed it.

Project implementation stage

When a letter of award is received, the PI should send the Partner Review Questionnaire, completed and signed by the overseas partner(s) to the RIS due diligence team. They will:

  1. Check and assess the Partner Review Questionnaire.
  2. Confirm whether an award can be accepted and a Collaboration Agreement issued.

Partnership should be formalised before the project starts by signing a Collaboration Agreement, issued by the Contracts team, email This lays out the key obligations and responsibilities of all partners during project implementation.

The Collaboration Agreement must include:

  • Partner Review Questionnaire completed and signed
  • terms of payment (this could change depending on perceived risk and practicalities for the receiving organisation)
  • documentation required to obtain payment

Overseas partners may be asked to reconfirm the validity of the Partner Review Questionnaire if the project lasts over 18 months.

During project implementation, all costs incurred by the partner organisation must be accompanied by supporting evidence and checked.

If issues of potential corruption practices arise matters should be escalated by the PI, who must follow the process detailed in the Anti-Bribery Policy. The funding body should be immediately informed and consulted on the way forward.

Further support

Training for academics from RIS, on project management and due diligence for overseas projects, will soon be available.

In the meantime, for any advice or to speak to us before starting a project, or during implementation, contact the RIS due diligence team. Email:


If you have any questions, please contact us.