Funding for the Major Research Project
This document outlines how to obtain reimbursement for research expenses. There are two possible avenues: departmental support and external grants.
The course can contribute up to £250 for research project expenses. We are unfortunately unable to support projects costing more than this: additional sources of funds must be found if such projects are to go ahead.
For all expenses, we need an itemised proposal, submitted at the start of term 2 of the 2nd year (date to be notified) on the course research expenses form, which is then passed to the research committee for approval. Well-argued, itemised budgets of up to £250 will almost always be funded, although we can obviously only fund expenses directly related to your project. Some examples are given below. If in doubt, consult the Research Administrator first.
Please note that claims must be made within three months of incurring the expenditure and that all receipts must be retained (see below).
Common types of expenditure
Payment for participating in a study. You can pay participants a moderate amount for their participation in the study (if this has been approved by an ethics committee). If you are giving them cash, you will need to use the departmental 'subject payment form', which each participant must sign. An alternative is to pay them with a store voucher (e.g. HMV), in which case you just need to retain your receipts for buying the vouchers.
If you are paying participants for taking part in your study or reimbursing their travel expenses you need to pay them directly (either cash or vouchers) and then claim the money back yourself through the expenses system outlined in the Reimbursements section below. Please note that the subject payment form alone is not sufficient to get reimbursed, you must also complete a UCL expense claim form.
Payment of participant's travel expenses. If participants are travelling to you, then you can reimburse them for their travel expenses. To do this, you will need to use the departmental 'subject payment form'. If you are doing the travelling, this goes on your normal travel claim form (see below).
Postage. This is usually for those projects which involve sending out questionnaires with SAEs. Stamps should be purchased in advance and receipts submitted for refunding. Post can also be put through the College system. If this involves a bulk mailing you must liaise with the Research Administrator before you send it through.
The administrative arrangements for receiving mail at UCL are as follows. All incoming mail should be addressed to you. If you are using UCL headed paper, you should indicate a phone number, other than that of the general office, where you can be contacted. You should notify staff in the General Office that there will be quantities of mail arriving for you and arrange where you would like it left. Please remember that we cannot store large quantities of mail in the general office for long periods so you should ensure regular collection of any bulk post.
Stationery. If your project involves large amounts of paper or a large number of envelopes then these should be obtained through UCL (see section below for examples of costs). Contact the Research Administrator in advance: there is often a lead time for stocks to be ordered.
Printing and duplicating. If you need to make multiple copies of questionnaires etc., the cheapest option is to use a reprographics company. The closest one is the University of London Union Print Centre. You should get a quote for your work (specifying the number of sides, size (A4, A5, etc.), whether you want the pages backed or stapled, and how many copies are needed). This quote should be included in your research expenses form.
Forms for psychological tests. Almost all psychological tests are copyrighted, and if you need to administer a test to your participants, you will need to use original record forms. When completing your Proposal for Research Expenses, please contact the Research Administrator for a quote on the forms: we have arrangements with some suppliers where we may be able to get a discount.
Recording your research interviews. You can borrow a digital voice recorder from the Department to record interviews and transfer audio files to your computer. You can then transcribe the interviews using a transcription program such as Express Scribe which can be freely downloaded.
Other items of equipment. As far as is possible, all small items of equipment should be purchased through UCL. Please contact the Research Administrator giving details of the product, cost etc. so that we can check whether it can be ordered through the UCL approved supplier. All equipment items purchased are the property of the department and must be given back when your study is completed.
The cost of all items purchased through the Department (e.g. stationery and equipment) will be deducted from your research budget.
Expenditure not usually funded through the Department
Travel. Your own travel within the Region can be added to your normal monthly travel claims. We cannot usually refund travel outside the Region. If you have a query regarding travel claims, please ask the Research Administrator.
Phone calls. You can make phone calls concerning your research at UCL, but we cannot refund personal phone statements. You could possibly budget for a cheap pay-as-you-go mobile if you don't want to use your own phone for research matters.
Employment. We are unfortunately prevented by College from using your research money to employ people. This prohibition also extends to paying for transcribing or translating.
Conferences. We are normally unable to fund conferences. The UCL Graduate School has a Student Conference Fund to which you can apply. Some conferences may offer students reduced rates.
After your research expenses request has been approved, we cannot advance you any money; you must keep the receipts for all expenditures – no receipts, no reimbursement! You must submit expenses claims within 3 months of expenditure - failure to do so means that you are unlikely to be reimbursed.
All receipts must be attached to a UCL expense claim form (available via the Project Support Moodle site). It will obviously be easier if you claim for several items at once. Please note that reimbursements are made by College and not the Department. Reimbursements are by cheque, not cash, and arrive from UCL Finance approximately two weeks after your claim has been submitted.
The last date for putting in claims is just after you complete the project. You will hand in your thesis in June; we would like any claims with receipts to be submitted before the first of July (this is because funds must be allocated well before the end of the financial year, which ends in August).
Note that you are responsible for keeping track of all expenditures: you must keep copies of all receipts and invoices.
There are many potential sources of external funds. The most commonly used is the UCL Graduate School Research Projects Fund, administered by the Graduate School Office. The deadline is usually in April, although applications for small grants (up to £250) may be submitted at any point during the year, as long as they are submitted at least one month before the research is set to begin. They state that the fund is "to help meet unforeseeable but necessary research expenses". They expect applicants to obtain matching funds from their department (the allocation you get from the course will count as matching funds).
Other external sources are too numerous to list. They include the research councils (such as the MRC and the ESRC), charities, drug companies and commercial benefactors. However, the workload, time delays and the stiff competition usually make these funding sources unsuitable for DClinPsy projects.
Finally, the NHS Trust in which you are doing your research may be willing to help with funding, especially if matching funds are being obtained from elsewhere.
Note that funds must be applied for in advance: they are never awarded retrospectively. Furthermore, competition is fierce, so you must ensure that the project is viable without external funding.
Examples of costings
The standard rate agreed by UCL psychology researchers for "healthy volunteer subject fees" is £6 per hour. This is kept at a uniform rate to avoid competition between researchers. It applies only to cases where you are advertising for participants from within UCL; if you are recruiting from, say, a community group where you are not potentially in competition with other studies, you may pay slightly more.
Envelopes through UCL
100 DL (letter size) envelopes £0.47
100 B5 (A4 folded once) envelopes £1.29
100 C4 (A4 flat) envelopes £1.44
Copier paper through UCL
A4, 80gsm £5.00 per ream (500 sheets)
A3, 80gsm £10.00 per ream
Normally 6p per copy, but less for large print jobs.
20 sides, A4, backed and stapled - 100 copies £65.80
(Example) 25 WASI forms £72.00 including VAT.
Research Expenses Proposal Form
You need to download and complete a hard copy of the research expenses form. Your internal supervisor will need to approve the costings and sign the form, which is then submitted to the Research Administrator.
Page last modified on 10 dec 12 16:37