One of the main functions of the University Research Support Unit is to advise members of academic staff on the costing of research activity using the appropriate indirect and estates rates which are calculated annually according to fEC rules. It is important that applicants should cost projects using the software costing tool, pFACT, and should seek advice on this if needed from the Research Support Unit at an early stage. All projects must be costed in this way regardless of whether the funder will pay the full cost. Understanding of the full cost of research is essential in order to set a price for the work and prior to starting negotiations with those sponsors, such as industry, who can apply discretion over whether to fund in full or not, in order to ensure that both the Academic Department and the University achieve the best possible financial support for the research to be undertaken.

It is the responsibility of the Head of Department to ensure that all Research Grants and Contracts are costed in full. Grants which do not make full recovery of overhead costs may only be accepted with the authority of the Faculty Dean, and must be explicitly justified. Such decisions must be discussed fully with the Research Support Unit to ensure that future applications to the same sponsor are not prejudiced.