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The Centre for Genomic Pathogen Surveillance (CGPS), based jointly at the Oxford Big Data Institute and the Wellcome Sanger Institute, has supported the Bangalore-based Central Research Laboratory at Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences (CRL KIMS) to become the first organisation in the world to be certified under the Good Financial Grant Practice (GFGP) international standard (ARS 1651).

Harry Harste, Finance Implementation Manager at the CGPS, said, “We are thrilled to have successfully supported our CRL KIMS partner to achieve this landmark certification. The benefits that this will bring to CRL KIMS are huge in terms of enhancing their ability to attract and manage international funding, as well as the significant operational and grant management capacity that this has developed.”  

The GFGP standard is the world’s first international standard in grant management, developed by the African Academy of Sciences’ Global Grant Community through extensive consultation with grantees from across Africa and with support from some of the world’s largest public and private sector funders.

“This first GFGP certification is a huge milestone for us and a great achievement for CRL KIMS. Our vision for the GFGP Standard is for it to be a globally accredited standard under the international standards organisation or ISO framework”, said Prof Tom Kariuki, the Director of Programmes at the African Academy of Sciences.

The UK-based CGPS supported CRL KIMS through the certification process by working as collaborating partners in a UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded Global Health Research Unit on Genomic Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance.

Dr Ravi Kumar, Principal Investigator at the CRL KIMS said “Our laboratory and research practices are at an internationally recognised standard (ISO 1589:2012). However, as with many global research organisations, our financial management and operational practices were lagging behind. This initiative has therefore been of huge importance to us in ensuring all areas of our operation are aligned with international best practice.”

Due to worldwide lockdowns and travel restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, GFGP certification was successfully completed remotely by a globally licensed certifying body (BDO LLP).             

Dr Geetha Nagaraj, Senior Scientific Officer at CRL KIMS stated that “The process of working towards and achieving GFGP certification has brought so many benefits to CRL KIMS, including giving the whole team confidence that the structures we have in place are in line with best practice and are at an internationally recognised standard. We are especially pleased to achieve this milestone given the challenges created by the global pandemic.”

Professor David Aanensen, Director of the CGPS, said “GFGP is a truly equitable initiative that levels the playing field for institutes globally. We are delighted to have been involved in spearheading the initiative and thrilled that CRL KIMS have achieved the world’s first certification’.

For more information on this work and the work of the CGPS in supporting other global partners to GFGP certification visit the CGPS website