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Research Operations Office


You'll need to work on your costing with your Department. To start with, they'll ask you about your project, and the resources you'll need.

You'll need to consider the following questions:

Staff, subcontractors and project partners/collaborators

  • how many staff do you need?
  • what will their job roles be?
  • how long do you need them for?
  • how much of their week will they dedicate to the project?
  • are you going to be hosting overseas Researchers and paying for their accommodation, travel, food, or access to events?
  • will you be working with any external agencies or partners during the project?
  • are there any costs associated with recruitment?
  • will you be spending money on training?

Research participants

  • are you going to be spending any money on researching with human or animal participants? This includes setting up the research, buying lunch for research participants or providing incentives

Equipment, infrastructure and facilities

  • what equipment will you need? (before you ask for money for new equipment, check the Cambridge Equipment Sharing database and the National Equipment Portal to see if it's already available)
  • what facilities will you need access to?
  • will you need to make any changes to existing facilities, for example to install equipment?
  • will you need to create a new building for your research?



  • how much do you need for consumables?

Consumables are small items that you may need to buy several times during your project, such as lab materials.


  • will you be travelling as part of your project?
  • what method of transport will you be using?
  • will you be attending any conferences or events?
  • what other costs will you have while travelling? (food, accommodation, petrol etc.)

You should think about whether your travel is necessary. If it is, you should use the greenest method of transport possible. You may also want to think about whether you can offset your carbon.


Publishing and data management

  • what are your data storage needs?
  • do you need to spend any money on publishing?
  • do you need to spend any money on promoting your research?


What happens next

Your Department will:

  • check your costs
  • make sure that you've asked for everything you need to complete your project
  • make sure that the costs are acceptable to the funder and the University
  • work out the VAT

You might also need to provide supporting documentation. Your Department will let you know if you need to do this.