The principle behind FEC funding is that the Research Organisations should indicate in their grant proposals the full economic cost of a project. Research Councils then pay a percentage (80% for most fund headings) of this sum, which includes an attribution of the cost of academic staff time and the institutions facilities, estates & indirect costs.

Estates costs cover those costs related to buildings and premises, including capital (depreciation), maintenance, utilities costs, cleaning, security and safety.

Indirect costs cover the costs of the Research Organisation’s management and administrative services, including the personnel and finance departments, library, central computing and some departmental services; plus elements of academic research support time.

Non-university organisations are not expected to use the Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC) methodology, but Research Councils require a validation process to ensure that non-university costing methodologies are robust. For Research Council Institutes, validation will be by the host Research Council. Default rates are available for use if non-university research organisations are unable to demonstrate that their costing methodologies are robust.

The standard default rates should be used where Research Organisations have not developed their own rates; these are publicised at:

Please select the links below for further information:

Estate Costs

Indirect Costs