How to write a Justification of Resources

The mandatory Justification of Resources (JoR) aids reviewers assessing proposals, make informed judgements on whether requested resources are appropriate for the research posed.

Costings should be justified on the basis of full economic costs (fEC) of the project, not just on the costs expected from the Research Councils.

The JoR should be no more than two sides of A4, and be added as an attachment to the proposal. It should justify the resources required to undertake the research project, taking into account the nature and complexity of the proposal. The JoR should not be simply a list of the resources required, as this is given in the Joint electronic submission (Je-S) form. Whether the grant is a large Programme Grant or a small Travel Grant, all items requested in the Je-S form must be justified in the JoR.

NHS Research Costs should be justified under the appropriate heading. NHS support and treatment costs should be identified in the Justification of Resources document to allow reviewers to consider the overall value for money, however these will not be supported by EPSRC, details on eligible NHS costs can be found within our funding guide.

The JoR is a free text document. So you don't miss any costings from the Je-S form or justifications for the items requested, match the costs to the proposal headings in the table below.

Cost to the proposal Justification needed Points to consider and answer in the justification

Staff – directly incurred posts

Researcher/Technician

Why a researcher / technician is needed for the proposed work, and why the proposed time input is appropriate.

Is the work technically difficult enough to warrant a Research Assistant? Why has the particular level of assistant been asked for?

Have you considered the resource needed to prepare your research data for deposit/sharing with others?

Staff – directly allocated posts

Principal Investigator (PI), Co-Investigator (CoI) and Research Co-Investigator time

(please note: some universities now keep an auditable record of this effort so it may be a directly incurred post)

The time the PI and Co-I spends on the grant has to be justified.

A PI or Co-I cannot request time for supervising postgraduate research students, writing publications post project, writing grant applications, or peer review.

How much time do you intend to dedicate to the project? Will you be doing all the research yourself? What work packages are the PI and Co-Is involved with and why? Have you factored in sufficient time to work with project partners, or visiting researchers and collaborators? Are you managing the staff on the project yourself?

Travel and subsistence

A full break down of costs in the Je-S form, such as how many people are travelling, where they going, and why.

If you plan to visit people to discuss your research, explain why those are the right people to talk to and how they can contribute to you meeting your objectives. If you plan to attend conferences, comment on the advantages of conference attendance, giving an indication of the number you want to attend during the grant, who will attend, and the type you want to go to.

For example: national; international; general; subject specific and so on.

Travel costs incurred when using facilities should be included where necessary.

Other directly incurred costs

What has been requested and why?

Every item requested must be justified, however small.

All costs under £10,000 are considered consumables. Explain what these are, and why you need them.

If asking for a computer, justify why it is needed for this project, over and above a standard computer that should be provided by your university. If you are asking for a desktop and a laptop, justify why both are needed.

It is expected that the University will provide computers and laptops for PIs, Co-Is, and other research staff on continuing contracts.

You must provide a breakdown of any costs incurred for bulk items.

Impact

Justify any resources requested to support the impact plan.

For example: staff time; travel and subsistence; consultancy fees; and public communication training

Patent costs and other intellectual property (IP) costs are NOT eligible; Universities already receive funding for these from higher education innovation funding (HEIF).

Estate and indirect costs should NOT be requested for Technology Transfer Officers (TTOs). These are project specific resources.

Other Directly allocated costs

In some cases, such as use of internal facilities and shared staff costs, the basis of the costing doesn’t need to be justified, but the need for the resource does.

 

Estates and indirect costs

Does not need to be justified

 

Research facilities (at Research organisations)

Only time needs to be justified

Explain what you are using the facility for and why you need to use this particular facility.

Pooled technicians

For example workshop or laboratory technicians based at the University- usually not named.

Explain why you are using a pooled technician, and justify the amount of resource requested.

 

Infrastructure technicians

For example Health and Safety Officer at University

Cost should be displayed separately to Estate and Indirect costs in the other Directly Allocated costs box. This cost does not need to be justified.

 

Exceptions

Equipment between £10,000 and the current Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) threshold

Justify all equipment between £10,000 and the current OJEU threshold. If successful, EPSRC will fund the agreed percentage of the total cost of the equipment.

EPSRC expects a contribution to the equipment from your institution or project partner. Please note, a letter of support detailing the contribution must be attached to your grant application.

If equipment for a research proposal is needed which will cost more than the current OJEU threshold, a case for this needs to be submitted as a separate business case. This does not need to be justified in the JoR on a research proposal but reference to the equipment needed, and contingency plans for if it does not get supported, should be articulated in your case for support.

The main reasons for returning JoRs for amendments:

  • Costs stated in the Je-S form are not fully justified in the JoR, such as investigator time asked for but not justified. Please note that the investigator salary does not need to be justified, only the time asked for.
  • Costs or descriptions stated in the Je-S form do not match, or are not present, in the JoR or vice versa.
  • Justifications of why an item is needed are unclear or poor, for example listing items from the Je-S form without any description of why its needed.
  • If the PI time includes supervision of PhD students, as this is not allowed.