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Research Operations Office


International Working Policy – Employer Compliance Costs

For grant applications:

PIs and their Departments are expected to include certain qualifying International work/research related compliance costs in grant applications where possible (see guidance - Justification of Resources for International Working related costs for more information).

For active grants:

Advice from UCAM’s auditors confirms that certain qualifying International work/research related compliance costs can also be charged against currently active research grants.

The table below provides a summary of the costs which can be charged against the research grant (active or new), and those which are not accepted under the grant and will therefore be covered by the central fund for International Working (see Costs and Budgeting for further information) .  Please ensure that the ineligible costs in the column on the right are never charged to research grants.

Research Grant

Central Fund for International Working

Visa / Work permit applications and renewals

External Tax / payroll Advice

Employer contributions to overseas social security schemes

External Employment law Advice

Employer contributions to mandatory pension schemes

Overseas payroll set up and running costs

Mandatory medical insurance


Mandatory accident / work place insurance


Supporting researchers with Elements Video

Do you support a department or research group? Did you know that you can help manage your colleagues' Elements accounts on their behalf?  

We have created a new Supporting others with Elements video, showing how colleagues and administrators can be authorised to access and manage researchers' Elements accounts.  You'll learn how to:

  • Upload accepted manuscripts to meet REF and funder open access requirements.
  • Set Elements to automatically add publications listed in other sources to your colleague's profile.
  • Link publications with grants to help with Researchfish reporting.
  • Work out what you can do in Elements to best help researchers in your department.

If you have any questions or comments please contact

USS Pension Rate Updated in X5

Please be advised that changes to the USS pension rate have been updated in X5, from 21.6% to 14.5% with an effective date of 1st January 2024, as per USS guidelines.

For existing costings in X5, the appropriate staff costing lines will have to be re-added so that they can be re-calculated with the new pension rate. Whilst any new costing lines will use the updated pension rate automatically.

Please be aware that your costs will change due to these new rates.

Open Access at Cambridge: Supporting researchers with funding and compliance

Most major research funders are committed to open access, but have varied policies, requirements, and funding sources. Grants admins, research facilitators and contracts managers will often deal with Open Access funding and queries throughout the grant lifecycle and the Open Access Team are here to help. Please join us on Monday 29th January 12pm - 12:40pm for this online session where they will:

  • Explain what is expected of researchers regarding open access,
  • Outline open access funder policies, including the recent UKRI policy update on open access for books, book chapters and collected works,
  • Give information on open access costs for grant applications,
  • Highlight the resources available to support you and your team

The presenters will be Lynne Meehan and Debbie Hansen from Office of Scholarly Communication. They have got many years of experience in Open Access publications and requirements and will be happy to answer your questions.

Further details on

Large Grant Applications – Information Session on Thursday 29th February 2024

Working on a large, complex grant application? Our online information session is a great opportunity to improve your knowledge, get guidance and ask questions. The Research Funding team offers application support services such as coordination of bid preparation, organisation of peer review and practice interviews to gather feedback focused on your needs.

Date: Thursday 29th February

Time: 11:30am - 11:50am

Link: Click here to join the meeting

Presenter: Sarah Lamont, Senior Research Funding Coordinator, Research Strategy Office

The presentation will be recorded and shared through the CoP for those who are unable to attend the live session.

Lump Sum Funding in Horizon Europe - Information Session on 8th February 2024

The European Commission is organising an information session about Lump Sum Funding in Horizon Europe. This will be an online event on Thursday 8th February, 10am-12noon (Brussels Time). It is aimed at all applicants and beneficiaries interested in forthcoming Horizon Europe calls that will be funded on a lump sum basis. The session should provide some key information from the EC on how this simplified approach to funding will be used more widely in Horizon Europe, as well as details about how to write a lump sum proposal and a Q&A session.

The event will be shown as a YouTube live stream and you do not need to register in advance.

Symplectic Elements Link to Researchfish available until Friday 26th January

The annual submission period for UKRI, NIHR, BHF, CRUK and other funders is 5th February 2024 to 14th March 2024, during which time PIs need to use their Researchfish account to submit a return on their research outputs. Prior to the submission period, please encourage PIs to enter their research outputs into Symplectic Elements and link them to relevant funding by 26th January 2024. These links can then be included in the bulk upload from Elements to Researchfish, which will happen at the end of the month.   

After 26th January 2024, any additional links and the outputs themselves, will need to be inputted directly in Researchfish during the submission period.

Note that the links being uploaded from Symplectic Elements to Researchfish are from journal articles, conference proceedings, book chapters and data sets where they have a unique identifier (DOI) and have been linked to a grant in Elements which matches a University of Cambridge affiliated award in Researchfish.