Step 1: Directly Incurred Costs

These are the most obvious types of costs on a project and as such staff are likely to be more familiar with these than other types of cost. Directly incurred costs are those costs that will be spent specifically to enable the research project to be carried out. If the project didn't go ahead then these costs would almost certainly not be incurred. The costs charged will therefore be the cash values actually spent and should be supported by an audit record. (E.g. supplier invoice)

Under fEC there is no longer any concept of ‘eligible costs’ as previously defined by Research Councils (although certain other funders may still adopt this approach for applications made to them). This will mean that previously ineligible costs such as recruitment advertising can now be included in fEC grant applications as a directly incurred cost.

However, care needs to be taken when identifying costs for inclusion as some costs e.g., telephone, photocopying or stationery will already be covered by the Indirect cost charge. Also, to be classified as a directly incurred, the cost must be specifically spent to enable the research project to be carried out i.e., must be a cash value actually spent and supported by an audit record (e.g., supplier invoice).

If in any doubt as to what types of cost can be included as directly incurred, please speak to your Accounting Team.


  • Salary Cost of Research Assistants/Fellows/Dedicated Technicians/Clerical Staff
    Your Accounting Team can provide you with Salary Cost information
  • Equipment / Consumables (Purchased specifically for the Project)
  • Travel and Subsistence
  • External Consultancy Fees

Other costs e.g., Recruitment Advertising, Survey Costs

What next? Go to STEP 2. Estimating Staff Time

See a full Example of a Typical Costing