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Costing your research project

All externally funded research applications must be costed in accordance with Full Economic Costing (FEC) methodology.

All proposals for external research funding must be developed and internally approved in Worktribe prior to their submission to the external funder.

Directly Incurred (DI) Costs

Directly Incurred Staff costs

Directly Incurred Staff will work on a specific research project (either full time or part-time) and their payroll costs are charged directly to the project. All costs must be justified in the case for support when applying.

Research Staff (researchers, research nurses, clinical research fellows)

  • TRAC defines a researcher in a project as “anyone who will make a significant intellectual contribution to a research project. Typically such a person would be qualitied to carry out independent or supervised research, might provide an academic lead for research or could provide expert advice to a research project”
  • Research staff charged as DI on more than one project will need to be supported by timesheets for some funders.

Non-Research Staff

  • Technicians (if eligible within terms and conditions of Funder)
  • Administrative Staff (if eligible within terms and conditions of Funder)
  • Project Managers (if eligible within terms and conditions of Funder)
  • Non- Research staff charged as DI on more than one project will need to be supported by timesheets for some funders.
  • Unsalaried roles e.g. Honorary staff, visiting researchers and Emeritus Professors. Whilst the salary of these staff cannot be included (unless UCL is to incur a cost), their time should be so that associated Indirect and Estates costs are calculated
Directly Incurred Non-Staff Costs

Directly Incurred non-staff costs are project specific running. They should be charged as actual expenditure incurred and must be auditable. All required costs should be included in the application in as must detail as possible to avoid costs being disallowed post award

Examples Include:

  • Consumables
  • Equipment purchases and associated costs
  • Travel and Subsistence
  • Recruitment Costs
  • Biological Services
  • Data Storage Costs / IT Equipment (Data Storage Options)
Directly Incurred Research Facilities

Academic Departments should first establish the Funder’s policy regarding the inclusion of costs for research facilities within the application.  Any questions on the Funder policy should be raised with Research Services as early as possible.

It is advisable to discuss proposed facility usage with the Facility Manager (to ascertain capacity and any additional costs which may be incurred) ahead of finalising the project costing. 

If access to a FEC Charge-Out Facility is required, the appropriate published rate (FEC or Charity, Industry) should be used (these can be selected in Worktribe from the dropdown list within the Facility field).

Biological Services

UCL Biological Services Unit have developed calculators to assist researchers with costing there services on externally funded research proposals. To include Biological Services on a research proposal you must include a quote attached to the Worktribe project provided by the UCL Biological Service Unit ahead of submission for approval.

Directly Allocated (DA) Costs

Directly Allocated Staff Costs (PI/Co-I Time)

Under FEC, project costings should include an estimate of the time commitment for all investigators, irrespective of funding source with exception for those in receipt of a full-time, fully-reimbursed fellowship for the same period. Investigators should carefully consider all the direct time that can reasonably be attributed to a project with consideration given to both intellectual and practical input reasonably expected from each Investigator which will be largely dependent on the project nature and project team configuration.

Directly Allocated Estates Costs

The estates rate is calculated as part of the annual Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC) exercise. These rates are maintained within Worktribe and applied at project level using the Project FTE.

Indirect Costs

The indirect costs represent the costs of central and distributed services shared by other activities that are not project specific, e.g. Library Services, Finance, Human Resources and ISD. 

The Indirect Cost rate is calculated as part of the annual Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC) exercise. These rates are maintained within Worktribe and applied at project level using the Project FTE.

Project Partners/Collaborators

Collaborating institutions should be included under the partners tab, this includes:

  • Organisations providing an in-kind or cash contribution
  • Where an external organisation is lead applicant
  • Where an external organisation is a co-applicant.

If the organisation is not in the drop down list under the partners tab, please contact rs.worktribesupport@ucl.ac.uk with the partner name address and website so that a record can be created.

Where UCL is lead applicant the documents tab of the Worktribe must include an authorised costs report as provided by the external partner followed by the costs being included under the relevant partner costs within the budget tab.

Due diligence should be conducted on all new partners in accordance with UCL’s due diligence policy.