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You can browse the X5 FAQs by topic or search all FAQs by keyword.

Q. How long before the system times out?

X5 will time out after two hours of inactivity.

Q. How can I get access to costings within other departments?

Ask the department administrator of the department/faculty to email your research development advisor to request access.

Q. How do I change my password?

If you've forgotten your password, find out how to reset it. 

Q. One/all of my favourites have disappeared from the Favourites section on the home screen. How can I set these up?

Q. What browsers are compatible with X5?

X5 can be accessed from most web browsers. Check if your browser is compatible

Q. How do I get a user account for X5?

Fill in an X5 new user form.

Q. Why are the dates in X5 showing in the American format?

Check that your browser language is set to English (United Kingdom). Guidance on Adjusting Date Formats in your Web Browser

Q. The X5 funder inflation information I have amended has reverted back to the original information. Why is this?

The original funder inflation information is pulled through from the funder template setup and therefore defaults into the costing. If this information is amended in the X5 Rates tab, and saved, the costing will calculate on the new rates entered.

If the files are updated using the 'apply all updated files now' button within the Rates tab, the original funder inflation rates will once again pull through from the template. To prevent this, override manually update the relevant rates within the costing or select the ‘retain current file settings’ button within the Rates tab.

Q. How do we know what inflation rate is being used for funders?

Go to the X5 user guide for information about viewing funder rates.

Q. How can I allocate a sub department code to a member of staff?

If a member of staff needs to be costed within the sub division of a department, please email with the staff name and sub department code so that an amendment can be made to the HR feed that X5 derives its data from.

Q. What VAT rates should I be using?

See the X5 user guide for information about VAT. Go to the Finance section for more information about VAT

Q. Why are there two payscales for Grade 7: RES7 and RESFEL7?

The existence of both payscales on X5 is a result of bringing into line the wider University payscales a few years ago.

RES7 includes "ghost" points (points where the grades historically skipped a level), and RESFEL7 does not. New appointees are placed on the scale based on their experience and qualifications for the post: ghost points do not come into consideration when making a new appointment or for regradings. They only apply when working out subsequent incremental salary progression. So, for new staff (i.e. for Fellowships), Research Associates should be costed on RESFEL7 without ghost points.

For costing un-named staff where we do not know if they will be a regrade or new appointment on research projects, we suggest RES7 to be sure that no under costing will occur in the event of a regrade.

Q. How do I use the salary calculator?

The salary calculator page can perform simple salary calculations which can be used as a guide to the likely salary costs of a particular post. The tool allows salary costs to be calculated for a particular grade and scale for the entered FTE and duration as well as showing the resulting breakdown by COLA (Cost of Living Allowance), basic salary, NI and superannuation.

Find out more about using the salary calculator

Q. The staff costs produced by the salary calculator do not match the costing. Why is this?

The salary calculator will not take increments into account if the increment date is the same day as the start date. If this is the case, enter the spine point one above the actual spine point to include the increment.

The salary calculator page can perform simple salary calculations which can be used as a guide to the likely salary costs of a particular post. The tool allows salary costs to be calculated for a particular grade and scale for the entered FTE and duration as well as showing the resulting breakdown by COLA (Cost of Living Allowance), basic salary, NI and superannuation.

Find out more about using the salary calculator

Q. Why is the spine point missing for professorial grades?

To protect confidentiality, the scale point for named professors will not show. If a figure is required:

  1. change the grade field to DI_PRF12 (Professor Directly Incurred)
  2. select the appropriate scale point
  3. remove increments (as professorial grade staff do not automatically receive increments)

DI_PRF12 should also be used for unnamed professorial positions and within the salary calculator screen.

Q. How do I cost pooled labour?

Find out how to cost pooled labour.

Q. Where can I get more information on using the correct spine point for a member of staff?

For more information on spine points and staff members, contact the Human Resources Division.

Q. How do I add another department to my existing costing?

Find out how to add collaborating departments to your costing.

Q. The funder that I want to apply to is not available in X5. How can this funder be added?

Fill in a new funder form and send it to your Research Development Team. 

Q. Where can I find information on the exchange rates being used in X5?

The University Euro and US Dollar rates are loaded into X5 by the Research Operations Office and will default in when selected in the currency fields. You will be asked to update the rates on existing costing.  Further information on University exchange rates can be found on the Finance Division website.

Q. Clinical consultant pay scales are not available in X5. Why is this?

Due to the complexity of calculating these costs the pay scales are not available in X5.  Should you need to include Clinical Consultants costs as a Directly Incurred salary contact the Clinical Schools Finance Advisor, Rob Williams If you are not applying for actual salary costs, use CCMAN to cost a banded salary in the DA staff tab as Directly Allocated PI time. Find out more about directly incurred staff costs.

Q. How do I change the funder on my X5 costing?

When you set up a project and costing type, you specify the funder. In some cases you may need to change the funder.

Q. How do I delete an external partner in my X5?

Learn how to delete an external partner and other parts of a project after it has been set up.

Q. What are the costing types in X5?

Find out about the various types of costings that can be selected in X5. 

Q. Adding inflation to equipment and non-staff costs

Find out about adding inflation to equipment or non-staff costs.

Q. What is the Apprenticeship Levy?

Find out about the Apprenticeship Levy, a tax on salary bills introduced in 2017. 

Q. I need to enter a member of staff that will have different FTE values each year. How do I do this?

On page 3 of this document Adding DI Staff, you will find an explanation of how to add different values for each successive year for a staff member using the Person by Period tab. 

Q. The DA staff tab does not show any salary costs. Why is this?

The DA staff tab will only display banded salaries.  Example; if the staff member selected is a Grade 9 Researcher the salary will not display as it is not a banded salary.  To calculate the salary enter the Grade 9 Researcher in the DI staff section and change the cost type to DA.

Q. The copy post button is not working as I expected. Why is this?

The system is unable to copy a post that has been pulled through from CHRIS.  This is due to the position being assigned to a staff record with a position reference number.  The copy post button will only work for positions that have been manually entered in X5.

Q. I need to use old FEC or salary rates on my costing. Am I able to do this within X5?

Yes. Ensure that the costing you wish to use old rates on is checked out to you. Go to the rates tab and click into the date field next to the file that you wish to change. Delete the value in the field and then press the space bar. You can then select the appropriate file from the list that appears.

Q. How can I amend the Estates rates?

Information on how to amend estates rates can be found here: Amending Estates rates

Q. When I run a report, I get the error message 'Divide by zero error encountered. Failed to GetDataTable2'. Why is this?

This error is triggered by incomplete information within the costing.  Check all costing lines to ensure that a 0.00 value is not present, amend, save, validate and then re-run the report.

Q. When running the generic submission report why is the funder contribution higher than the FAC column within the summary, but the breakdown adds up to the FAC figures?

The summary on the generic submission report shows the price the funder is paying which may be over 100% FEC or include overheads. Check the price tab within the costing to review the actual % or whether there is any figures within the overheads row.

Q. Why do those with delegated authority have to approve costings twice?

If you have delegated authority to approve on behalf of another role within workflow you will need to approve for a second time. Find out more about reviewing and approving costings.

Q. Where has my costing gone?

Find your costing by using advanced search.

Q. My costing is at the workflow status ‘Amendment Required’, what does this mean?

The costing has entered into Workflow but somewhere in the approval process it has been rejected and returned to the creator.

Search for the costing through 'Advanced Search' and refer to the Workflow tab for information on why the costing has been rejected as well as where the costing is in the Workflow process.

In the Amendment Required status, the costing can only be amended and approved by one user. Their details will be displayed on the Workflow map in the yellow outlined square at the bottom.

Q. My costing is at the Workflow status ‘Wait step’, what does this mean?

If the costing is a collaboration between multiple departments, each department’s costs are sent to the Department Administrator and Head of Department for approval first. As each department submits their costs, the costing is held in a “wait step”. Once all the departments have approved their part of the costing, the whole costing is submitted to the lead Department Administrator and Head of Department for overall approval.

Find out more about the approval workflow.

Q. How will I know when a costing requires my attention in Workflow?

When a costing is submitted to you for approval you will receive an email notification. Find out more about reviewing and approving.

Q. What is the difference between Withdraw and Reject?

Useful links

X5 Login

Exchange rates 

fEC rates

Financial regulations

Human Resources


Research facilities and equipment

ResearchProfessional (finding funders)

Subsistence rates

Travel rates



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

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