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Research Operations Office


X5 Upgrade in October 2020

X5 - the costing and pricing tool for research projects is due to be upgraded in early October. The upgrade will include improvements to the interface, fixes to known bugs and enable us to remain supported by the supplier.  

For the upgrade to take place, there will be a few hours when X5 and other Research Office systems will be unavailable as follows

System Downtime on Thursday 8th October 2020

X5: 7am - 1pm

Research Dashboard: 7am – 1pm

ROO Portal: 7am – 11am 

Once X5 has been upgraded you will be able to log in as normal. If you have any immediate queries, please email 

Why do I need X5?

  • The University requires all research grant applications to be costed and its approval captured via the X5 costing tool.
  • The program allows a consistent approach to research costing and pricing including data input, output, management information and reporting.
  • Clear audit trails through a single, shared system.
  • Supports single department research projects and also complex projects that may involve costings and authorisation from multiple institutions, and the capture of multiple funders including different currencies.
  • Ensures due diligence is undertaken at the earliest point of the process.
  • Heads of Department have greater certainty of cost recovery, informing strategic decisions on individual grants and across a portfolio of activity.

How will it help me?

  • Using salary information, non-staff costs, facilities costs, inflation assumptions, indirect and estate rates, X5 enables Cambridge University researchers and administrators to accurately determine the full economic cost of research projects.
  • Applying predetermined scheme templates that reflect different sponsor rules, X5 can calculate the price to be charged to the selected sponsor for project activity, and captures cost recovery for authorisation, policy compliance and reporting purposes.
  • The X5 triggers the due diligence process undertaken by the Research Operations Office, Research Accounting and International Strategy Office, as appropriate.
  • The X5 system records potential and actual research activity and is available to inform management decisions.


X5 Login


Useful links

X5 Login

Cambridge Enterprise

Ethics Approval

Exchange Rates (Requires Raven Password)

fEC Rates

Financial Regulations

Finance Division

Frascati Definition of Research

Grant Application Process Guidance

Human Resources


Research Equipment & Facilities

Research Grant Expenditure 

ResearchProfessional (Finding Funders)

Student Registry

Subsistence Rates

Travel Rates



For routine queries relating to X5, contact your Departmental Administrator.

If further support is needed, please contact your Research Develoment Team at the Research Operations Office.