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Financials for Year Four Students

Research Support Costs

Your studentship comes with a budget to support project mobility, attendance at national/international conferences and research bench/project costs.

Setting a Budget for Year 4

You are required to work with your supervisor to draw a projected outline budget for Year 4, which will go to the CDT Management Board for approval. This important aspect of your PhD training gives you valuable experience of financial planning and budgeting.

The following illustrates the maximum funding for Year 4. Please read the notes which follow 

 Project Mobility £1200 (£600 travel and £600 accommodation); Conference £700; Research Bench/Project Costs* £3000-4000

*Project costs will vary depending on the nature of the project and most should fall within the range outlined. Your projected costs should accurately reflect the required funding to complete your research plan. We do not expect that all projects will require funding in the upper end of the range shown. A basic principle of the CDT is that you as a member of the cohort should be looking to maximize what you can get for the budget. Ways that you could do that include; forward planning visits between Universities to maximize time and save of near to journey price increases; augmenting the conference budget by applying for supplementary/leverage funding elsewhere and in Research Support engaging with each other in the cohort and in the various groups you work in to maximize value e.g. if someone is using a microscope can they occasionally look at your samples in their booking? Can you do something for them? Can you provide them with additional samples from your project?

Given the diversity of facilities available there is a diversity of charging and access rates in use between the two Universities. Rates vary by department and your supervisor/facilities manager should be able to help you with estimating costs.

Additionally, where projects might incur significant costs the supervisory team is expected to augment the CDT support from resources they have (e.g. external grants, University support etc).  One face-to-face meeting of the entire supervisory team is required per annum and an additional £250 will be made available to support the costs of supervisor travel to the far-site institution (contact Brenda Morris for information).


Managing Your Research Budget

Once approved, you are responsible for managing and keeping track of all expenditure against your annual budget. 

All procurement must take place in line with established procedures at the School of Maths & Physics at QUB. Please read the following guidance carefully:


Project Mobility

This budget allocation is to support mobility between the two partner institutions, the CDT industrial partners; any surplus may be used to supplement conference attendance. You are not permitted to use any underspend for other research costs.

All bookings for travel and accommodation must be made through the CDT Administrator at QUB. You must allow sufficient time for bookings to be made on your behalf. A minimum of 10 working days’ notice is normally required. Please note that it is not possible to make any bookings using Airbnb.

Please forward an electronic copy of the Purchase Order Requisition approval form signed by your supervisor to You must use the Project Code and the Sub Analysis Code provided to you by the CDT Manager. These are unique identifiers and should not be shared. You may find it useful to refer to the examples of completed requisitions here.


Subsistence Allowance

CDT students may claim a subsistence allowance when required to work/study at a location which is more than five miles away from both their home and their normal place of work. 

In order to comply with HMRC rules, a subsistence allowance can only be claimed if expenditure has actually been incurred. It is not permissible, therefore, to claim a subsistence allowance if no expenditure has been incurred, which may be the case if all meals and drinks are provided to you at an event, at no cost.

Under HMRC guidelines, sufficient information must be provided to justify the number of hours being claimed and proof provided to demonstrate that expenditure on a meal has been incurred. Therefore, it is a requirement that receipts should be attached to support the allowance being claimed as proof that a meal has been purchased after starting a business journey to a temporary workplace. HMRC consider a meal to include both food and drink and, for claims for the £25 allowance, must be something more substantial than, for example, a drink and a chocolate bar. One meal receipt per day is needed to validate a subsistence claim.

In the event that a receipt cannot be obtained, or has been lost, then this should be noted on the claim together with full details of the expense. This may be subject to checking by the Payments Office and claims may be rejected where there is a reasonable expectation that a receipt would have been issued.

Subsistence Allowance Daily Rates: If travel is completed within a single day one of the following allowances may be claimed (i) for absences more than 5 hours £5 or (ii) for absences more than 10 hours £10 or (iii) for absences more than 15 hours (extending beyond 8.00 pm, and including dinner) £25

Subsistence Allowance Overnight Rate: If an overnight stay is required the following overnight allowance (to include dinner) may be claimed £25

Only one subsistence allowance (daily/overnight) may be claimed in respect of a specific period.  It is not permissible to claim receipted expenses for the same period (other than travel costs such as bus and train).

Expenses based on a subsistence allowance may not be claimed where a meal is provided, reimbursed on an actual basis, or included in the cost of an overnight stay.

It should be noted that the overnight allowance is payable in respect of nights spent away from home; for example, if you travel away from home on a Monday and return on a Wednesday, you would consequently be away on both the Monday and Tuesday night, and the allowance claimable would be 2 x £25 = £50.

All subsistence claims must be made to the CDT Administrator within 8 weeks by submitting a completed Subsistence Claim Form.  If you have incurred travel expenses i.e. bus or train you should also complete the expenses spreadsheet and submit the electronic copy to the CDT Administrator by email to - a hard copy of the spreadsheet along with original receipts must also be submitted.