Procedures

SFI has stringent requirements for reporting on the awards that it makes. Awardees that fail to comply with these reporting requirements run the risk of having their grant payments suspended and/or the processing of any applications under review in other SFI Programme funding calls paused, until their reporting status is rectified.

It is therefore extremely important that you take the time to review the following information which summarises the reporting requirements relating to all SFI awards and observe that which is relevant to your award(s).

SFI reporting procedures are detailed below, and user guides and webinars describing SESAME and the entry of data into the Research Profile are available elsewhere on the SFI website.

Reporting on SFI awards is used to monitor the progress of individual awards against the overall objectives of the Programme under which the award is made and associated Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), as set out in SFI’s Strategic Plan, Agenda 2020.

  • The SFI Grants and Awards Management System, SESAME, is the primary conduit for all SFI reporting.
  • SFI reporting is inclusive of completion of the annual stocktake of SFI Research Outputs, annual/final reporting, and the completion of a Researcher Snapshot. C&W awardees who do not hold other SFI awards are not required to complete the annual stocktake of SFI Research Outputs or a Researcher Snapshot.
  • The SFI Research Outputs are drawn directly from the data entered into the SESAME Research Profile, which must be completed by all SFI award holders in January each year.
  • A Researcher Snapshot must also be completed in SESAME as part of your reporting requirements; this must be up-to-date and available for publication on the SFI website in January each year. Download guidelines for the completion of the Researcher Snapshot.
  • A number of report templates, aligned with specific SFI programmes, are available on SESAME. Researchers are requested to submit their annual reports by 31st January of each active year of the award, to report on progress during the previous calendar year period (January – December). Researchers are also required to submit a final report within 3 months of the end date of the award.
  • A small cohort of awards, including those made under the Research Centres Programme, do not report using a SESAME-based template. The guidelines for reporting and associated deadlines for these awards are described below.  
  • We recommend that you complete your Research Profile prior to completing your annual report, since this will ensure that data entry is not duplicated.

Frequency of reporting

Awardees are required to submit an annual report every January as long as the award is active. Awardees are also required to submit a final report 3 months after the end date of the award. The final year report should capture all progress and outputs since the previous report. This final standard report is the same as the annual standard report except for an additional table at the end which enables researchers to provide a summary of all outputs achieved for the full duration of the award.

For the majority of awards, both annual and final reports are required. However, for shorter term awards, such as Conference &Workshops (C&W), a single report only is required. Please consult the relevant programme reporting guidelines below for more detail.

Reporting templates

Reporting templates for the vast majority of SFI programmes are available on SESAME and should be completed therein. Researchers will be notified through automatic reminders from SESAME when they are required to submit their annual and final reports. The steps required to submit annual and final reports via SESAME are outlined in Module 11 of the Researcher User Guide for SESAME Award Management System. Detailed guidelines and background information on all report templates are described below.

The Standard Report Template, which is available on SESAME, is used for a number of SFI programmes, including the following:

  • Investigator Programme, Principal Investigator (PI), Principal Investigator Career Advancement Award (PICA), Investigator Project and Investigator Award (IvP)
  • President of Ireland Young Researcher Award (PIYRA), President of Ireland Future Research Leaders
  • Research Professorship Programme
  • Charles Parsons Energy Research Award
  • Research Frontiers Programme
  • ERC Development Programme
  • SFI-Pfizer Biotherapeutics Innovation Award Programme
  • Strategic Partnership Programme

Awardees under the Strategic Partnership Programme should complete the Standard Report Template unless otherwise advised. Bespoke reporting guidelines may apply to awards made under this programme, depending on the scale of the award.

Download the document for additional guidance for SFI-DEL Investigator Programme awardees.

The following awards use the Standard Report Template but also require some additional documentation which must be submitted with the annual/final report. For example, in the case of the US-Ireland programme, additional information from Northern Ireland and US partners must be uploaded. In the case of the SIRG programme, a mentor support letter is also required. Additional guidelines can be downloaded for the following programmes:

Detailed guidelines on the Standard Report Template can be found here standard reporting guidelines. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact [email protected] before proceeding with report submission. For any queries relating to SESAME, including the completion of the Research Profile, please contact [email protected].

A number of bespoke SESAME report templates are available to accommodate a number of programmes. Guidelines specific to each of these templates can be accessed through the links below: 

Reports for awards of scale are submitted through an upload function on SESAME. Guidelines specific to each of these awards can be accessed below.

Progress against awards made under the Spokes Programme should be reported on through the relevant Research Centre award. Awards made under the Advance Award and Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW) programmes should be reported on through the relevant parent award.

For other awards made under a Competitive Joint Funding Partnership Programme that are not covered in the above guidance, the following guidance should be noted. Where an award is made with a partner agency as lead, a report WILL NOT be submitted via SESAME. Such programmes include the HRB-SFI Translational Research Award (TRA) Programme, the Royal Society – SFI University Research Fellowship Programme and the SFI-HRB-Wellcome Trust Biomedical Research Partnership. Recipients of awards made under these programmes are required to complete a Research Profile in SESAME as part of the annual stocktake of SFI Research Outputs, and a Researcher Snapshot.

Finally, for reporting guidelines relating to the Research Infrastructures programme, please contact [email protected]. If you are involved with a programme which is not listed above and have concerns about reporting procedures, please contact [email protected] for further clarification.

Standard annual and final report template

The Standard Annual and Final Reporting Templates, which are available through the SESAME Grants and Awards Management System, ensure that progress on awards can be monitored against the specific objectives defined for the programme in which the award was made. The ‘deliverables’ on these objectives will contribute towards relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) outlined in SFI’s Agenda 2020. The Standard Report Template has been designed to cover awards arising from a wide range of programmes which are active in the SFI portfolio. 

There are a number of sections to the Standard Report Template; some are self-explanatory and some require additional guidance, provided below.

Current Irish government policy mandates that the majority of public research funding is aligned with areas identified in the report of the National Research Prioritisation (NRP) Steering Group published in 2012. Therefore SFI request that all awardees select the most relevant NRP area from the drop down list provided.  The research undertaken as part of your award may be in direct support of the area you chose. SFI acknowledges that the NRP areas may not be applicable to a small subset of awards. If this is relevant to your award, then select ‘Other’ which denotes Basic Biomedical Research, Minority Research or simply, another area not specified. Please familiarise yourself with the report before you complete this section.

In this section, a field exists to track information on where team members gain employment once they leave the SFI award.  This is relevant to the following KPI outlined in Agenda 2020. “By 2020, 50% of SFI trainees will be moving to industry as a first destination”.  There are also questions relating to maternity leave of team members. 

In this section of the report, awardees are asked to report on scientific progress made over the year both in scientific and layman terms and to provide details on any deviations from the original work programme. 

Awardees are asked to report on all refereed journal and conference publications and international presentations directly supported by the grant.  SFI funding has produced high quality, high impact publications which have resulted in Ireland rising to the top 20 in international bibliometric rankings of repute.  SFI’s Agenda 2020 sets a target for Ireland to maintain its position in the top rankings.  SFI’s Agenda 2020 also sets a clear target for a SFI funded researcher to win a top tier international prize by 2020.  In this section of the annual report, awardees are asked to report on all scientific awards received during the reporting period.

Awardees are asked to input details on education and public engagement (EPE) activities performed during the reporting period. Awardees are asked to provide details on any EPE activities which were run as part of the core SFI Discover programmes, including but not limited to: Discover Primary Science and Maths, Smart Futures and Science Week. In addition to this, any key accomplishments in EPE activities during the reporting period should be detailed. Gathering of this information will enable SFI Discover to develop case studies and exemplars of good practice for EPE activities amongst awardees and to establish a baseline of EPE activity within the community

In this section, awardees are provided with a list of 10 Impact ‘declarations’ or statements.  At least one statement must be selected but awardees are encouraged to rank up to 5 statements, starting with the number 1 (being the most relevant). Awardees are then asked to provide more details justifying the statements selected.  The Impact statements will help SFI to quantify the types of impacts coming from the various SFI programmes. In this section, awardees are also asked to provide details on any industry engagements.

  • The research conducted through my award has enabled me to leverage international funding through industry/collaborative research
  • The research conducted through my award has resulted in the start or expansion of a company which has resulted in the creation of high value jobs
  • The research conducted through my award has attracted developing and nurturing businesses, through for example, the licensing of technologies
  • The research conducted through my award has attracted international scientists and talented people
  • The research conducted through my award has resulted in a new policy being implemented and/or an improvement to the delivery of a public service
  • The research conducted through my award has resulted in societal impact by enhancing the quality of life and health of Irish citizens
  • The research conducted through my award has developed the country’s international reputation
  • The research conducted through my award has resulted in the creation of employment through the production of a highly educated and relevant workforce in demand by industry and academia
  • The research conducted through my award has impacted in other areas not reflected in the choices provided, for example by enhancing the creative output of Irish citizens
  • The research conducted through my award has not yet realised any significant Impact

Awardees are asked to input details on Invention disclosures filed; patents filed, granted or exploited; licensing agreements signed; ICT standards and spin out companies created. Gathering of this information will enable SFI to report against the following KPI: By 2020, the proportion of invention disclosures, patents, licenses, and spin outs recorded by Enterprise Ireland that are linked to SFI research, will be doubled. 

The funding diversification fields in the annual report have been updated to include the most up to date funding streams such as Horizon 2020. Gathering of this information will enable SFI to report against the following KPIs:

  • To increase the average research income secured by Ireland based PIs from international funding entities such as the EU and in doing so reduce the number of researchers that rely on SFI for the majority of their funding:
  • To increase the level of leadership roles held by Ireland based PIs in major European Initiatives, in particular Horizon 2020
  • To increase the number of ERC grants secured by Ireland based PIs

Final report template

This final standard report is the same as the annual standard report except for an additional table at the end which enables researchers to provide a summary of all activities for all years of the award. The final report (free text fields) should reflect any additional activities or updates which have not been reported on previously, for example, have arisen since the last calendar year report was submitted.