Project closeout is a critical component of all research projects. If it is done well, closeout can provide the platform for future research projects and research funding, but if it is done poorly can potentially make it difficult to gain future funding for the individual and the organisation or even have punitive consequences.
There are several components to project closeout, and these are usually set out in the funding agreement or contract that was executed prior to the start of the project. These components usually include:
- Final progress reporting, whereby the lead investigator provides a progress report encompassing the entire period of the grant, a listing of any research outputs such as journal articles, conference presentations, RHD completions. In some cases, the funding agency may also require publication outputs to be available via open access;
- A final financial report or funds acquittal, where it may be a requirement under the funding agreement for any unspent funds to be returned to the funding body;
- Any special requirements that may have been detailed in the original funding agreement. Each funding agency will have their own specific requirements in this regard, so familiarity with the individual agreement governing the project is important.