5.3 Directly Allocated Costs

These are the costs of resources used by a project that are shared by other activities. They are charged to projects on the basis of estimates rather than actual costs and do not represent actual costs on a project-by-project basis. They include:

  • Investigators: The costs of the Principal Investigator and any Co-Investigators will need to be included under Directly Allocated if their time will be charged to the project based on estimates rather than actual costs. Researcher Co-investigators, however, should be dedicated to the project and therefore included under Directly Incurred costs.
     
  • Estates: These costs may include building and premises costs, basic services and utilities, and any clerical staff and equipment maintenance not already included under other cost headings.
     
  • Other Directly Allocated: These costs may include, for example, the costs of technical staff or access to institutional research facilities such as equipment, IT systems and clean rooms.

Index

 

5.3.1 Investigator Posts

  • It is a requirement of fEC costing methodology that for any one investigator, the amount of time that Research Councils will fund across all the projects they support is a maximum of 1650 hours a year (equivalent to 37.5 hours a week, 44 weeks a year).
     
  • The total salary costs for any individual on all Research Council grants and fellowships must not exceed 100% FTE across all grants.

    If an investigator already has all or part of his or her salary met through other externally sponsored projects supported from public funding, the proposal should not seek to duplicate this funding. Relevant forms of external funding include research grants and fellowships funded by the research councils, government departments or publicly funded learned societies such as the Royal Society. In such cases, the level of involvement in the proposed grant should be indicated, but with zero hours charged to the grant. If the investigator is unpaid, or receives salary wholly funded through non-FEC sources, their time can still be charged to the grant for the purpose of determining estates, infrastructure technicians and indirect costs. In this case, the relevant amount of time to be charged to the grant should be shown, but with a zero salary.
     
  • Research grants or fellowships will not be funded on the basis of replacement teaching costs.
     
  • All investigators for whom funding is sought must be named in the proposal. STFC will not provide funds in respect of unnamed investigators, for example where an appointment is expected but the identity of the appointee is unknown at the time of application.
     
  • 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 indicate the number of hours attributed to the project, but with 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.
     
  • Where it is expected that individuals will be promoted during the lifetime of the grant, provision may be made in the grant proposal.
     
  • If a Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator is retired, the expectation is that their level of involvement in a project would be covered by a contract with the Research Organisation. The cost of their time attributed to the project is thus likely to be a Directly Incurred cost.
     
  • Co-investigators named in a successful proposal might not be named by STFC in the ensuing grant if no funding has been provided for them.
     
  • Where an individual will be working on the grant-funded project away from the Research Organisation on long term secondment for a period in excess of six months (in total) during the lifetime of the project, estates costs should not be charged for the period of secondment.
 

5.3.2 Estates

  • Estates costs may include building and premises costs, basic services and utilities and any clerical staff and equipment maintenance not already included under other cost headings.
     
  • Estates costs should be shown as a single figure (£ total for the project) and do not need to be justified in the Case for Support.
     
  • Research Organisations that have passed the Quality Assurance (QA) process and implemented the TRAC costing methodology should apply their own estates rates.
     
  • Those Research Organisations whose implementation of TRAC is not considered robust by the QA process, and who are not eligible for dispensation, must not charge estates costs.
     
  • Research Organisations that adopt the dispensation available to institutions with very low volumes of research income from public sources should apply the dispensation default rates for their estates (laboratory and non-laboratory) costs.
     
  • Non-university organisations that are not required to implement TRAC must have a robust costing methodology in place that has been validated by the Research Councils in order to apply their own estates rates.
     
  • Non-University organisations that have not yet had their costing methodology validated by the Research Councils should apply the dispensation default rates for their estates (laboratory and non-laboratory) costs.
 

5.3.3 Other Directly Allocated Costs

These costs may include the costs of shared resources including:

  • Specific (named or unnamed) technician posts.
     
  • Pooled staff: technicians, secretarial and computing staff who are part of a staff pool supporting a range of facilities and projects. Where these costs cannot be separately identified they should be included under the Estates heading.
     
  • Infrastructure technicians: staff providing general non-project-specific support for the research infrastructure, charged on the basis of a per-research FTE rate.
     
  • Research facilities: charge out costs for access to shared major and small research facilities. Note that, if the facility was purchased from Research Council funding, the relevant depreciation element in the charge out cost should, in accordance with TRAC, be deducted from the estates charge out cost so that the total FEC of the project includes no net charge for this depreciation.
     

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