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Eligible Costs

Value for Money

The cost-per-researcher is a useful way in which RD activities can be evaluated, but be aware that value for money also takes into account the overall impact.  The following guidelines are designed to help make sure that RD funds are spent on RD activities with the events that the GSLS agrees to fund.  However, these guidelines should not be treated as absolute and where applicants feel that they have a case to make for consideration they are requested to discuss the matter with the Researcher Developer for Life Sciences.

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).

3. Conferences

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.

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.

5. Refreshments

Refreshments may be necessary during RD activities, especially those which are full day workshops.  The following table gives guidance on the accepted refreshments that will be supported for RD activities and the cost per attendee based on the rates provided by the University Centre.


Lecture / Group (<2 hours)



Half-day workshop (3-4 hours)

Tea, Coffee and Biscuits (each)

Water (1 bottle / 5)



Whole-day workshop (7-8 hours)

Tea, Coffee and Biscuits (each) x 2

Water (1 bottle / 5)

Working Lunch (each)

Fruit Juice (1 carton / 5)





Evening Event

Fruit Juice (1 carton / 5)

OR Water (1 bottle / 5)

Alcoholic Drinks



Please note that this table is for guidance only and the Selection Committee will decide on a case-by-case basis, especially concerning evening events.  All Refreshments should be itemised separately in bids and applicants are encouraged to seek other sources of funding to cover these non-RD costs.

6. Speaker costs

When commissioning external speakers, applicants 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. It is important to remember that any external speaker is providing the University with a service.  Therefore all costs relating to the provision of this service (e.g. speaker fee, travel, materials etc.) should be inclusive and covered by the single agreed fee.  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 the Researcher Developer for Life Sciences.

7. Prizes

This refers to the awarding of prizes, such as gifts and vouchers, 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.