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 can be found by:

  • downloading the guidance document, or 
  • searching in the text below for the relevant information.

For more information contact [email protected]

Download the guidance

Costs guidance for research grants - December 2021 (PDF, 132KB)

Please find below guidance on the types of costs that may be charged to the charity’s grants, including:

Allowable costs

Transaction Examples
Animal research costs Animal purchase and transportation costs, maintenance (including food) and experimentation costs. 
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.
Overseas costs Research expenses of up to £10,000 for overseas research work essential to the success of the proposed project can be requested. Detailed justification for this must be provided.
Patient and public involvement expenses Reasonable travel and refreshment costs for patient and public involvement advisors. Fair market value reimbursement for time and expertise. See the INVOLVE website.
 
PhD studentship costs
(as part of a wider research project)
Costs relating to a PhD studentship may be requested if it is part of a wider project and not the primary or only position funded to work on the proposed research project including:
  • A stipend of £19,919 per year (or £22,278 per year in London)
  • Full PhD tuition fees (at the UK rate)
  • Related research costs must be included in the project’s overall research expenses budget
  • Up to £500 per year for travel to other labs and / or for training.
Protective clothing above standard health and safety measures Costs for project-specific personal protective equipment (PPE) that is above the standard expected for the setting may be requested. This does not include clothing (lab coats, gloves, googles, protective clothing and shoes) to meet standard health and safety measures.
Publication costs

The Charity encourages grant applicants to include open access costs within their research grant applications. Open Access costs may be covered by any underspend on the grant, following completion of a grant variation form. Please see the charity’s Open Access Policy.

Salaries for grant staff on fixed term contracts to work specifically on the research project

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.

Please see the conditionally allowable costs for guidance on salaries for principal investigators, co-applicants or collaborators named on the funding applications.

The charity funds UK based research posts only, however research expenses of up to £10,000 for overseas research work essential to the success of the proposed project can be requested. Detailed justification for this must be provided.

Subject & 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
Overseas research costs Research expenses of up to £10,000 for overseas research work essential to the success of the proposed project can be requested. Detailed justification for this must be provided. Research posts based overseas.
Postage / courier costs If posting scientific materials, delivery costs General postage costs
Salaries for grant staff named on the funding application as principal investigators, co-applicants or collaborators  If their salaries are dependent on grant funding. In these cases the charity would require a letter from the Institute confirming this. If their salaries are NOT dependent on grant funding. 
Software If specialised software specific to the funded research (eg specialised bioinformatics software) Generic office software
Staff travel & subsistence, conferences, meetings Reasonable costs covered if the purpose of the travel relates to the grant (eg travel to see patients, collaborator meetings). Funded 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). Travel to conferences.
Training specific to scientific equipment used on the grant If the training is to use scientific equipment required specifically to carry out the proposed research. If the training is to use non scientific equipment (eg IT, computing) or equipment that is not specific to the proposed research.
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

Non allowable costs

Transaction Examples
Apprentice levy  
Archiving  
Conferences Travel, subsistence, registration fees
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 If there is insufficient breakdown of expenditure with the invoice, it will not be paid.
Insurance Laptop, travel, etc
Miscellaneous Paper wipes, laundry, reference books
Mobile phone costs Handsets, contracts, calls, texts (unless for participants to use as equipment)
Overseas research posts The charity funds UK based research posts only, however research expenses of up to £10,000 for overseas research work essential to the success of the proposed project can be requested. Detailed justification for this must be provided.
Phone / computer accessories Drives, cases, chargers, batteries
Printing / photocopying Rental of copiers
Promotional material Pens, mugs, calendars, business cards
Regulatory licences / fees Home Office licences and animal handling training costs
Salary recovery costs Staff costs of applicants, 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