Costs guidance for research grants

This page provides guidance on the costs that we cover in our funded research grants.

Parkinson’s UK only funds directly incurred research costs (costs that would only be incurred if the project were to go ahead). 

Further guidance on the types of costs that may be charged to the charity’s grants is accessible in the tables below.

Allowable costs


Transaction Examples
Animal research costs Animal purchase and transportation costs, maintenance (including food) and experimentation costs. Home Office Licences and animal handling training costs are not covered.
Cell line authentication costs Costs to support the authentication of cell lines. We will also cover purchase of cell lines from cell banks.
Data sharing costs Archiving, repository fees, data storage costs and data management services. Data management and sharing costs must be reasonable and proportionate in the context of the overall grant. Data sharing costs do not include open access publication costs.
Equipment access costs Access fees charged by usage or size of grant where the equipment has not been purchased on a Parkinson’s UK grant.
Equipment purchase costs Costs may include purchase and delivery of scientific equipment where that equipment is specific to the grant.
Human tissue costs Costs charged by tissue banks for the preparation of samples, administration of requests and postage.
Laboratory expenses Laboratory chemicals and materials (eg reagents, isotopes, peptides, enzymes, antibodies, gases, proteins, cell/tissue/bacterial culture, plastic ware and glassware), as well as any associated charges for shipping, delivery and freight. Please note that ‘bench fees’ will only be covered if they are for named researchers on the grant, and only if the Host Institution confirms that they do not include charges for non-allowable costs.
Protective clothing Gloves, lab coats, goggles, protective shoes.
Salaries for grant staff Researchers on fixed term contracts to work specifically on the research project. This may include fellows, research assistants, data managers, students (except overseas student fees), technicians and nurses. Salary costs may be used to fund salary (but not the apprentice levy), the employer’s national insurance contribution, and an employer’s pension contribution which will not be higher than the rate used by the University Superannuation Scheme (USS) or NHS pension scheme.
Subject and volunteer expenses Recruitment, reasonable travel and refreshment costs for subjects and volunteers in population studies.

Conditionally allowable costs


Transaction Allowable Non-allowable
Catering / hospitality May come from grant underspend if for collaborative meetings relating to the grant and not excessive in cost If for reasons unrelated to research (eg staff parties)
Recruitment: post advertising, relocation costs, interviewee expenses If relating to recruiting patients/participants on a clinical trial If relating to recruitment of posts to a grant
Postage / courier costs If posting scientific materials, delivery costs General postage costs
Publication costs If the Host Institution does not have access to the Charity Open Access Fund (COAF), grant underspend may be used to fund open access costs Where the Host Institution receives a block grant from COAF, open access costs should be charged to the fund
Software If specialised software specific to the funded research (eg specialised bioinformatics software) Generic office software
Telephone conference call costs If in lieu of travel expenses for attending a meeting (NB infrastructure costs remain the responsibility of the host institution) All other cases
Travel & subsistence, conferences, meetings Reasonable costs covered if: they come out of underspend, and the person travelling is funded by the grant, and the purpose of the travel relates to the grant. Funded PhD studentship and Fellowship holders may apply for travel costs specific to those schemes First class travel. Meetings organised / hosted by Parkinson’s UK where attendee costs are reimbursed directly by the charity (these costs should not be charged to grants)

Non-allowable costs


Transaction examples
Apprentice levy  
Fees to professional organisations Journal subscriptions, professional membership
Furniture Chairs, desks, lab furniture, telephone handsets and conference call hubs
General estate costs Key cutting, electrical point installations, waste disposal, cleaning services, removal costs, etc
Gifts / Payments Gift vouchers or payments for study participants
Health and safety First aid kit, hazard signs
Insufficiently evidenced costs No copy of invoice or receipt available
Insurance Laptop, travel, etc
Miscellaneous Paper wipes, laundry, reference books
Mobile phone costs Handsets, contracts, calls, texts
Phone / computer accessories Drives, cases, chargers, batteries
Printing / photocopying Rental of copiers
Promotional material Pens, mugs, calendars, business cards
Regulatory licences / fees Home Office licenses and animal handling training costs
Salary recovery costs Staff costs of principal investigators, co-investigators, departmental support staff (secretarial support, librarians, general lab support staff) and other staff currently funded full-time by HEFCE or the employing institution. Exceptionally, a contribution towards the salary of HEFCE-funded departmental technicians may be charged so long as the time spent on the project by the technician can be supported by a verifiable audit trail.
Shared catering Coffee, milk, water, vending machines and maintenance
Standard IT charges Standard per unit IT costs
Standard telephone & internet costs Broadband, mobile line rental and calls
Stationary Paper, pens, toner, office postage

For more information contact

Media name
Cost guidance for research grants (PDF, 303KB)