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The budget is divided into project(s), task and then into expenditure categories. Where an award letter is received and the expenditure categories are unclear, to ensure that the award is activated correctly and costs are posted accurately, it is important the department discusses with their Finance Analyst - Research and Grants which categories are required (subject to terms and conditions) and the appropriate budget allocation, eg. travel, consumables, equipment.

Direct costs

The most often used direct cost expenditure categories are:

  • Staff costs
  • Other costs
  • Travel and subsistence

Other frequently used expenditure categories are:

  • Equipment
  • Exceptional items
  • Pooled labour
  • Research facilities
  • Overheads, where relevant

Non-Direct Costs (task 100)

  • PI costs
  • Estates costs
  • Indirect costs
  • Infrastructure technicians
  • University funded

Older awards will not have non-direct cost budget headings but there may be a budget for overheads, depending on the sponsor.

The budget on UFS will represent the full fEC of the award. If the sponsor has awarded less than 100% of the fEC, the total value of the award (taken from the Award Letter) is grossed up to the full fEC using a Research Operations Office costing tool known as the ‘Budget Calculator’. The ‘University Funded’ budget category is used to show the value not being funded by the sponsor.

The difference between the full cost (per X5 costing) and the price the sponsor will pay is  reflected by the University Funded expenditure category as a negative entry. The total budget on the award (including the University Funded category) will equal the total costs of undertaking the project.

An example is given below:



80% funded

Budget in CUFS

Staff costs




Other costs




Non Direct costs




University Funded








The Grants module generates the values for non-direct cost charges monthly. Research Accounting posts the non-direct costs to the Grants module. Departments are responsible for charging direct costs to the award. Both the Chest and Department receive a share of the non-direct costs budget; the share is allocated in accordance with the University’s Income Allocation Policy.

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