Grant Costing Guide

We provide funds for the directly incurred costs of research projects. These are the actual costs that are explicitly identifiable as arising from the conduct of the project. We do not fund on a proportion of full economic costs (fEC) basis. This document provides guidance to finance officers and applicants prior to submitting grant applications on the types of cost that may be requested on BHF grant applications. It should be read in conjunction with our Standard Conditions of Grant.

General Costings

 Item Allowed Not Allowed

Salaries for staff employed on fixed term contracts to work specifically on the funded project including research assistants, data manager, technicians, nurses etc.

Basic salary on the appropriate national pay scale, NI, SA, LA if applicable.

The level of salary must be appropriate for the work. Senior posts must be fully justified.

Posts of less than 0.2FTE may be challenged/removed with the exception of CTU staff where justified

(See notes on costing salaries below)

Redundancy, child care

Non clinical PhD students (may not be funded on grants other than PhD studentships)

BHF student stipend, university tuition fees at the home rate

(See stipend rates below)

Overseas tuition fees

Clinical PhD students (may not be funded on grants other than clinical research training fellowships)

Basic salary on the appropriate national pay scale, NI, SA, LA if applicable

University tuition fees

Laboratory expenses

Laboratory chemicals and materials required specifically for the research project and where fully justified. A breakdown must be included

Animal research costs (eg purchase, transportation, maintenance)

Home office licences capped at £250 per year for named individuals.

Where BHF has provided significant funding towards animal housing facilities we expect this to be reflected in reduced costs to the grant

Training costs


Small items of equipment essential to the research project. Quotes must be included for Items costing £5,000 or more

VAT, maintenance, service (except for large items where included as part of the purchase quote)

Personal computer

Where justified for named individuals when integral to an item of equipment, for mathematical modelling or work specifically on the grant up to a maximum £1,000

Standard per unit IT charges

Computer accessories (eg drives, cases, chargers, batteries)

Not allowed

Software in excess of personal computing cost

Costs of specialised software specific to the proposed research

Generic office software


If relating to patients/participants on a clinical trial

If relating to staff employed on the grant

Furniture (eg desks, chairs, lab furniture, telephones)

Not allowed

Utilities costs (eg electricity, gas, water)

Not allowed

Departmental support staff

Not allowed

Clothing (lab coats, gloves, protective clothing)

Not allowed

Standard telephone and internet costs

Not allowed

Fees to professional organisations

Not allowed

Insurance (eg travel, IT equipment)

Not allowed

Training courses

Costs related to the science of the award eg training on scientific equipment, techniques required specifically to carry out the proposed research.

Up to £500 for Applicants and Fellows to undertake formal training in experimental design and methodology and understanding drug development. Course details and full justification must be provided

Non science specific, IT, personal development etc


Refreshments for participants on a clinical trial

Research/collaborative meetings


Advanced economy return fares specifically to carry out the research project.

Remote conferencing should be used whenever possible to minimise carbon output

Travel to conferences (a separate fund may be provided by BHF if applicable)

Overseas subsistence

For overseas travel of up to 6 months on fellowships.

Use the university’s normal subsistence rates (we reserve the right to challenge/reduce)

MHRA fees

Trial registration, clinical trial authorisation

Costs of maintaining a facility to MHRA standards and inspections

Access charges for use of equipment and facilities

Where BHF has provided significant funding towards infrastructure and /or core facility support reduced access/charge-out costs should be requested

Publication costs

Open Access costs may be claimed from the Charities Open Access Fund (COAF) if applicable, not the grant

Page charges, costs of colour printing, reprints


Travel/registration/subsistence etc for conferences (a separate fund may be provided by BHF if applicable)

Costing clinical imaging scans

Read our guidance about how to cost a clinical research imaging scan, including magnetic resonance imaging scans, CT scans and Echocardiography. 

Costing Salaries and stipends

  • Salaries should be calculated from the start date of the project based on national payscales or recognised local pay models.
  • Salaries applied for should show basic rate (with grade and scale point), employer’s National Insurance, superannuation and London Allowance (if applicable).
  • Salaries for named individuals must state their current basic salary, source of funding and contract end date.
  • Salaries should allow for normal increments during the term of the grant. The increment date should be given.
  • We will honour nationally or locally agreed cost of living increases only on approved salaries. A provision for this should not be included in the costs.
  • We will not pay the UK apprenticeship levy.

PhD studentships - stipend rates

We set our own rates for PhD Studentships. The rates with effect from 1 October 2019 until further notice are as follows:

Year 1

  • Within London £22,278
  • Outside London £19,919

Year 2

  • Within London £24,093
  • Outside London £21,542

Year 3

  • Within London £26,057
  • Outside London £23,298

We will cover the cost of University fees at the home rate providing these are applied for at the time of application. International fees will not be covered.

It is extremely unlikely that any supplements will be given over the original grant award.  However, if a supplement is required for any reason, then a written application must be made to us in advance.