These guidelines on costs have been taken from the 2013/14 guidelines issued by the RDC. The GSLS will stick to these guidelines for 2014/15.
“The following protocols have been agreed by the RDC to support the programme planning process, but they should not be treated as absolute: the intent is to fund high-quality researcher development activities that add value, based on Departments’ and Schools’ assessments of what their researchers need. Thus, where Departments feel that they have a case to make for consideration, they are requested to discuss this in the first instance with the appropriate representative [Dr Geraint Wyn Story – email@example.com].
1. Salary costs
In general, the following principles will apply:
- UTO time in supporting researcher development will not be an eligible cost. Costs for replacement teaching may be eligible if explicitly justified.*
- Postdoctoral researchers can receive the University hourly tuition rate or an honorarium for delivery or co-ordination of researcher development; this must be consistent with the regulations of the individual postdoc’s research sponsor and the terms of his or her contract.
- Other categories of staff employed by the University may receive the University hourly tuition rate or an honorarium for delivery or co-ordination of researcher development
- If recurrent funding is requested for a staff post, the appropriate PD33 should be submitted, so that the RDC can assess the extent of Researcher Development activity involved.
[* It is the GSLS policy that whilst UTOs should not be paid, involvement with researcher development activity can be counted in teaching load]
2. Induction events
If Departments are requesting funding for induction events, they are asked to make clear the component(s) of the induction that specifically address researcher development (rather than, say, a generic introduction to the department).
The Researcher Development fund should not be used to pay for researchers’ attendance at conferences, but money can be used either to support researchers in organising conferences themselves or to provide them with the learning necessary to get the most out of attending a conference [cf. PPD bite-size course on ‘Getting the Most out of Conferences’].
4. Language training
The situation regarding provision of language training is complex and requires more detailed review. For the coming year, the Committee has agreed a ‘holding position’: requests regarding language provision will be referred to the Language Centre for comment. Departments who wish to fund language training should contact their Operational Group representative(s) for further discussion [see page 6].
Funding for refreshments should be capped at £5 per head for beverages and £8 per head for lunches. Refreshments should be separately indicated in programme plans, calculated by formula on the above rate.
6. Speaker costs
When commissioning external speakers, Departments are asked to give due regard to effectiveness and value for money. Economy should not dictate quality, and you are asked to weigh up the extent to which any speaker will contribute to a researcher development need that fits with the principle of added value. If you would like any guidance about speaker costs, including whether a proposed session aligns with the purpose of the Researcher Development Fund, then please contact [Dr Geraint Wyn Story – firstname.lastname@example.org].
This refers to the awarding of prizes, such as cash, iPods and book tokens, for competitions with a Researcher Development focus. The default will be to treat these as an ineligible cost, unless a strong justification can be provided.
8. Cost per researcher
One of the measures by which programme plans will be analysed is cost per researcher. The Committee regards this as a means to promote value for money. It is intended that, in due course, benchmarks will be developed to assist Departments; in the meantime, the relevant member(s) of the Operational Group will be able to consult with you.”