Directly allocated costs
This heading provides for the costs of all Principal and Co-investigators working directly on a project, if their time charged to the grant will be based on estimates rather than actual costs. Where costs are actual, auditable and verifiable, they should be included under the Directly Incurred heading. Investigator time, not cost, must be justified in the Case for Support.
It is a requirement of the fEC costing methodology that, for any one investigator, the maximum amount of time that Research Councils will fund across all the projects they support is 1650 hours a year (equivalent to 37.5 hours a week, 44 weeks a year). It is the responsibility of the RO to have a process in place to monitor the time claimed by any Investigator to ensure that no more than 100% of FTE is claimed as salary for any individual across all proposals funded by the Research Councils.
Principal Investigators and Co-Investigators whose time is not fully funded on other Research Council grants, but who are not paid a salary by the Research Organisation (e.g. Emeritus or honorary staff) should show their hours attributed to the project, but with a zero salary cost request.
Salary increments over the period of the project should be taken into account, but possible future pay awards should not be anticipated.
If a Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator is retired, the expectation is that their involvement in a project would be covered by a contract with the Research Organisation. If there are costs associated with such time then these should be regarded as a Directly Incurred cost.
These costs may include building and premises costs, basic services and utilities, and any clerical staff and equipment maintenance or operational costs that have not been included under other cost headings. They will be calculated by a research organisation and a single figure will be required at time of application.
Some schemes, such as Overseas Travel Grants, do not include Estates costs as a fund heading, since the funded staff will not be expected to spend time at their Research Organisation.
Where an individual will be working away from the Research Organisation on long-term secondment for a period in excess of six months during the project, estates costs should not be charged for the period of secondment. No reduction should be made for shorter term absence.
It is the responsibility of the RO to have a process in place to monitor the time claimed by any Investigator to ensure that no more than 100% of FTE is claimed as Estate Costs for any individual across all proposals funded by the Research Councils.
Other Directly Allocated Costs
These comprise all other direct costs calculated on the basis of estimates. Items that can be included within this heading are:
- Research and technical staff whose time is shared across several projects (such as pooled technicians) and is not supported by an audit record.
- Charge out costs for major facilities.
- Charge out costs for use of existing equipment.
- Animal costs.
- Charge out costs for departmental technical and administrative services.
The need for the resources (but not the costing basis), should be explained in the Justification of Resources attached to the Case for Support.
These should include the costs of administration, such as personnel, finance, library and some departmental services.
Like estates costs, indirect costs will be calculated by research organisations and a single figure will be required at time of application. Information about the derivation or justification of indirect costs and estates costs will not be required.
It is the responsibility of the RO to have a process in place to monitor the time claimed by any Investigator to ensure that no more than 100% of FTE is claimed as Indirect Costs for any individual across all proposals funded by the Research Councils.
Other Miscellaneous Costs
There are no costs allowed by the EPSRC for new proposals under the Exceptions lines.
These costs can be shown either as Directly Incurred Costs or Directly Allocated depending on how an organisation chooses them to be attributed.
Wherever possible, researchers must adopt procedures and techniques that avoid the use of animals. Where this is not possible, the research should be designed so that:
- The least sentient species with the appropriate physiology is used.
- The number of animals used is the minimum sufficient to provide adequate statistical power to answer the question posed.
- The severity of procedures performed on animals is kept to a minimum. Experiments should be kept as short as possible. Appropriate anaesthesia, analgesia and humane end points should be used to minimise any pain and suffering.
The provisions of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, and any amendments, must be observed and all necessary licences must have been received before any work requiring approval takes place.
Investigators seeking access to major national and international facilities should apply to the relevant provider. It is the responsibility of the investigator to obtain any access needed for the research project. Planned usage should be identified on the relevant section of the proposal form.
The EPSRC may provide support for access to other facilities at universities and elsewhere. Investigators seeking the use of such services are advised to contact the appropriate provider to confirm eligibility requirements and costs prior to submitting a proposal to the EPSRC.
Research grants and fellowships may have an amount added at the time of announcement to take some account of expected pay awards and inflation over their lifetime. The value awarded is the total financial commitment entered into by the EPSRC. Indexation may be applied to all headings with the exception of Equipment and is compounded over the duration of the grant. The EPSRC reserves the right to vary the rate of indexation payable during the lifetime of a grant or fellowship.