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Costing the Research Project: pFACT

Costing the Research Project: pFACT

Introduction
pFACT User Guidance
Accessing pFACT and Getting Started
Creating a New Project Costing Using pFACT
Costing a Research Project
Staff Costs
Facilities and Equipment Costs
Non-staff Costs
Additional Features



At present UK universities price their research contracts on a marginal cost basis with a notional additional overhead or indirect cost rate. A sponsor will pay for additional expenditure over and above the University's current expenditure levels and make a partial contribution to indirect cost. This approach ignores the significant contribution made by existing resources, both human and physical, and has over time placed considerable strain on University finances and led to a deterioration of capital infrastructure.

A clearly defined costing approach, which builds on the Transparency Review, has been developed nationally to calculate full economic costs (fEC) on a robust basis. The approach essentially involves identifying all the current direct staff input to the contract, adding the previously identified 'additional' expenditure and then applying both an indirect cost rate and an estates cost rate. Both these are calculated on an auditable basis and are expressed as an amount per full time equivalent (FTE) staff working on the project.

The University has introduced an on-line software package, known as pFACT, to assist researchers to cost their projects using the principles of full economic costing (fEC). This system has been designed to be easily accessible and simple to use. The following sections provide an outline of how to use the system.

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