Staff and investigator costs - STFC

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Researcher posts

Directly allocated or directly incurred?

Research staff, full or part-time, who will work on the project and whose time can be supported by a full audit trail during the life of the project should be requested under the directly incurred: staff fund heading, including where the post is currently unnamed. For staff dedicated to one project, the payroll system provides a full audit trail. Staff whose time is dedicated to more than one project should use other time recording systems (timesheets, for example).

Where researcher time cannot be audited the post will need to be requested as directly allocated, including named posts. You must include the post details and costs in the staff section of the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system rather than included in the pooled staff costs. This will ensure that their full-time equivalent (FTE) is included in the total driving the estates and indirect charges being requested. Costs for these posts will map to the directly allocated: other directly allocated (ODA) fund heading and the posts will not have the benefits of directly incurred staff in terms of being able to claim maternity, paternity, adoption, parental or sick leave costs. Provision for expected promotions will also not be applicable. However, there is not a requirement to provide an audit trail for their work on the grant.

The total salary costs for any individual on all research councils grants and fellowships must not exceed 100%.

Salaries and allowances, including employer’s liability for national insurance and superannuation, should be at the current rates.

Salary increments over the period of the project should be taken into account, but possible future pay awards should not be anticipated.

Named research staff

Funds for named research staff will normally be awarded at the level requested, although STFC reserves the right to offer support at an alternative level or to reduce the hours requested.

STFC may replace funding requested for named research staff with funding for unnamed staff at a lower salary banding, if either:

  • the post is a new named staff post and the reason is scientifically justified
  • the programme of work has changed and requires a different set of skills and experience

Proposals for funding for named research staff, funded as directly incurred posts, may seek provision for expected promotions during the lifetime of the research grant where the possibility is foreseen by the employing research organisation. The grounds have to be justified in the proposal and the promotion must be made in accordance with the policies and procedures of the employing research organisation.

See the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.

Unnamed research staff

Funds for unnamed research staff will normally be awarded at the relevant salary banding normally awarded by the research organisation for a newly qualified post-doctoral research assistant (PDRA).

Provision may, however, be made for an appointment at higher banding where the proposal so requests it and has made explicit, to STFC’s satisfaction, that the research responsibilities would justify such an appointment and that the project would offer the opportunity for the future career development of a more experienced individual.

See the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.

Last updated: 17 August 2021

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