Directly incurred costs

Staff

The payroll costs of all staff, full or part-time, who work on the project, and whose time can be supported by a full audit trail may be included. When a person is contracted to work 100% of their time on a single project (whether they are working full-time or part-time) timesheets are not necessary. In all other cases, timesheets or project records are required. The need for such staff should be justified in the case for support.

Where an application includes provision for named fellow, research, technical and support staff, the EPSRC will normally expect to award funds at the level requested. Research assistants, whether named or unnamed, should be requested at a salary level commensurate with the skills, responsibilities, expertise and experience necessary to carry out the proposed research activity.

It will be for those submitting the proposal to determine the extent to which market conditions make it difficult to recruit staff of appropriate quality in areas of high market demand at the normal entry level for the research organisation. Provided the level requested has been fully justified within the case for support, the EPSRC will make the award at that level. The EPSRC reserves the right to provide support at a different level if it is considered appropriate.

Salary increments over the period of the project should be taken into account but should not anticipate future pay awards.

The research organisation is responsible, as the employer, for the contracts of employment of the staff concerned and, consequently, for any redundancy or other compensatory payments that may be required. Work permits, if required, are a matter for direct negotiation between the research organisation and the relevant Government departments.

Visiting Researchers

Support may be requested for visits by scientists and engineers of acknowledged standing from within the UK or abroad to the investigator's organisation but only as part of a larger research proposal. Funding is limited to 12 months per individual. The research organisation should include Estates Costs and Indirect Costs for any Visiting Researcher regardless of whether the support being requested includes a salary contribution or is only Travel and Subsistence.

Travel and Subsistence

A grant may provide travel and subsistence funds for investigators and staff assigned to and funded by the project where these are required by the nature of the work. Travel costs should be based on the most suitable and economical form of travel. Subsistence costs should reflect the normal rates applying in the host research organisation.

Relocation costs may be included for staff who are named in the proposal form. Relocation costs for un-named staff should be found from the Indirect Cost element of the grant.

Costs for attendance at conferences may be included, where such attendance will be of direct benefit to the research. Conferences should, as far as possible, be individually identified in the proposal and attendance justified. Costs associated with conferences etc that fall outside the period of the grant cannot be charged to the grant even if it is possible to pay attendance/registration fees or any other associated costs before the end date of the grant.

Equipment

The heading provides for equipment dedicated to the project costing from £10,000 (including VAT) up to £400,000 (including VAT). EPSRC will contribute a percentage of the final purchase price and will expect the research organisation or industrial partner to contribute the remainder from non-EPSRC funding. Contributions of the order of 50% of the full cost of the equipment will be expected.

This includes computers, laboratory/workshop equipment, major equipment spares and software, installation costs and costs of major essential modifications necessary to house equipment (for example, clean rooms or extension of air conditioning). Three quotations for the cost of any equipment costing more than £25,000 should accompany the proposal. For equipment in the range £25,000 to the current OJEU limit, quotations obtained verbally are acceptable and should be detailed in the proposal.

Three written quotations are required for single items of equipment costing more than the current OJEU limit and must accompany the proposal. Quotes should include VAT, delivery charges and incorporate any standard academic discounts. Fewer quotes are acceptable if justification is provided in the Justification of Resources. For any items or combined assets with a value above the OJEU limit a two-page Equipment Business Case must also be included in the proposal documentation.

VAT and import duty, where appropriate, should be identified separately. Universities may buy scientific or medical equipment free of VAT where it is to be solely for medical research, diagnosis or treatment. Some imported equipment is exempt from import duty. The applicant should clarify the position on tax and duty with the relevant authority before submitting the proposal.

For all equipment and services costing more than £25,000 (excluding VAT), professionally qualified procurement staff must be consulted at the beginning of the procurement process and must approve the order before it is placed with the supplier.

Other Costs

Costs sought should be specified as far as possible in the proposal and justified in terms of requirement for the research proposed.

This heading may include:

  • Consumables
  • Specialist publications (not expected in institutional libraries)
  • Consultancy fees
  • Fieldwork fees/subjects/informants
  • Computing - including recurrent costs of computing dedicated to each project only, e.g. software licences
  • Equipment - items costing less than £10,000 (including VAT)
  • Equipment-related items for items of equipment funded on the grant. For example:
    • Maintenance (external contracts/agreements)
    • Relocation
    • Rental/access charges (specify equipment or service being used and basis of charging)
  • Glass house consumables
  • Recruitment and advertising costs for staff directly employed on the project
  • Purchase/hire/running costs of vehicles if necessary for the project
  • Casual labour - resource required to undertake short term tasks to support the proposed research
  • Sub-contracting - Research Organisations must ensure that expenditure on sub-contracts are subject to robust controls to ensure value for money and propriety. All costs should be fully documented/invoiced and available to EPSRC if required.
  • The EPSRC will not fund maintenance costs for equipment that was already the property of the research organisation when the application was submitted. Under TRAC guidance, this should be included in the Estates Costs of the research organisation.

Public Communication Training

The EPSRC encourages the development of skills in public communication and will provide funding to support the training of members of the research team. Provision for training in public communication should be included in Directly Incurred - Other Costs.

Research Data Management

Support may be requested for any costs related to research data management which will be incurred during the project and not be covered by Directly Allocated or Indirect costs.