Travel and subsistence - STFC

Travel and subsistence (T&S) costs for journeys, conferences and workshops that are directly related to the research project and will be undertaken within the grant duration can be sought as a directly incurred cost. Under some circumstances, they may be funded as exceptions.

T&S funds on consolidated grants may be used by members of a department not directly funded by the consolidated grant.

Travel costs should normally be based on the most suitable and economical form of travel with the expectation that these should only include travel by standard class by train and economy class by air. STFC will consider funding more expensive, but less carbon emitting forms of travel where this is permitted by the research organisation’s policies. However, the cost of carbon offsets is not an admissible cost on research grants.

The costs of travel insurance should normally be included in the indirect costs of the research organisation. But they may be requested as a separate directly incurred cost where it can be shown that the cost:

  • arises specifically as a result of the project funded by the grant
  • is not covered by the existing organisation policies
  • is separately identifiable and audited

Examples of T&S funded as exceptions

Costs to support T&S for overseas partners – those schemes that allow this have a tick-box in the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system to flag the requirement to fund specific items as an exception.

STFC Public Engagement Nucleus Awards are funded under full economic costing. However, organisations who are not eligible under standard policy and have therefore not undergone the TRAC process can apply for costs under Exceptions. Examples of organisations who are not eligible under standard policy include schools, astronomical societies and theatre groups.

Travel only grants such as those funded under the Panel for Allocation of Telescope Travel (PATT) scheme.


The costs of additional childcare, beyond that required to meet the normal contracted requirements of the job, and that are directly related to the project, may be requested as a directly incurred cost if the organisation policy is to reimburse them. However, childcare costs associated with normal working patterns may not be sought.

Last updated: 17 August 2021

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