Justification of Resources (Cross Council Guidance)

How to write a good Justification of Resources (JoR)

The role of the JoR is to aid reviewers when assessing proposals so that they can make an informed judgement on whether the resources requested are appropriate for the research posed.   

The JoR should be no more than 2 sides of A4 which is an attachment to the proposal. This statement should be used to justify the resources required to undertake the research project and is mandatory. The JoR should explain why the resources requested are appropriate for the research proposed taking into account the nature and complexity of the research proposal. It should not be simply a list of the resources required as this is already given in the Je-S form. Whether the grant is a large programme grant or a small travel grant, all items requested in the JeS form must be justified in the JoR. Costings should be justified on the basis of full economic costs (fEC) of the project, not on the costs expected from the Research Councils.    

The JoR is a free text document. So that you don’t miss any costings from the JeS form or any justifications for the items requested, we recommend that you match the costs to the proposal headings below (where appropriate).

Cost to the proposal

Justification needed

Questions to consider and answer in the justification

Staff – directly incurred posts

Researcher/Technician

- Need to justify why a researcher is needed for the proposed work and why the proposed time input is appropriate.

Is the work of appropriate scientific content or technical difficulty to warrant employing a Research Assistant (RA)? Why has the level requested for the RA been asked for?

Staff – directly allocated posts

Principal Investigator (PI)

Co-Investigator (Co-I) and Researcher Co-Investigator time

 

 

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

- A PI or Co-I can not request time for supervising postgraduate research students, writing publications after the end of the 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 enough time to work with project partners, visiting researchers and other collaborators? Are you only managing the staff on the project?

Travel and Subsistence

- Need to give a full break down of the costs in the JeS form for example how many people are travelling and where are they going and why?

If you are planning to visit people to discuss your research, you should 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, you should comment on the advantages of conference attendance and give an indication of the number you want to attend during the grant, who will attend these and the type you want to go to – national/ international/ general/subject specific etc.

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

Other Directly Incurred Costs

- Need to give a description of what has been requested and why?

- Every item requested must be justified

You must justify the need for any equipment requested

You need to explain what the computers will be needed for and also justify the cost. If you are asking for a desktop and a laptop, then justify why both are needed.

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

You must provide a breakdown of any costs which are included for bulk items

Impact

- Need to justify any resources requested to support the Pathways to Impact.. For example: including staff time, travel and subsistence, consultancy fees, publication costs, and public communication training.

Full justification (what it is and why you need it) of each item requested. 

Please note: Patent costs and other IP costs are NOT eligible; Universities already receive funding for these from HEIF.

Also estates 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 resources does.

 

Animal costs

You need to explain what these are and why you need to use them.

 

 

 

Have the appropriate permits and approvals been obtained if animals are to be used?

 

Estates and indirect costs 

- Do not need to be justified

 

Research Facilities (at Research organisations)

- Only time needs to be justified

You need to 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

You need to 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

PhD student

- Need to justify why a PhD student is needed for the proposed work

Will a student be skilled enough to tackle the research problems, and will they in all likelihood get a thesis out of it?

Equipment over 50k

- Need to justify all equipment over and under £50k.   

Research Councils will fund the first £50k of the cost of the equipment at 80% and the remaining amount at 100% FEC.

Why do you need this equipment for this proposed research? What will it be used for and who will be using it?

For large Surveys to be treated on the same basis as Equipment, the applicant will need to confirm that the Survey outputs will provide an ongoing resource for use by the research community and therefore contribute to the national science base. Applicant should also note for Surveys that 100% funding only applies when survey work is sub-contracted to a third party following competitive purchasing processes and in compliance with EU tendering rules.

  

The main reasons for returning JoRs to PIs for amendments or for not funding proposals are:

 - costs stated in the JeS form are not fully justified in the JoR e.g. the investigator time that has been asked for has not been justified (please note: the investigator salary cost does not need to be justified, only the time asked for).

- costs / descriptions stated in the JeS form do not match those in the JoR.

- costs in the JoR which are not in the JeS form and vice versa.

- justifications of why an item is needed are not clear or are poor e.g. listing the items from the JeS form without any description of why it is needed.

- if the PI time includes supervision of PhD students - this is not allowed see: ../../../pages/GuidanceonCompletingaStandardG/Applicants/EstimatingInvestigatorsTime.htm