Finance Guidance for Applicants to the Third Call for Global Health Research Groups
Programme Specific Information
Official Development Assistance (ODA) Eligibility
- Which country or countries on the OECD DAC list of ODA-eligible countries will directly benefit?
- How the application is directly and primarily relevant to the development challenges of those countries?
- How the outcomes will promote the health and welfare of a country or countries on the DAC list?
NIHR Global Health Research guidance on ODA guidance for Applicants and Reviewers
OECD Factsheet: What is ODA
OECD DAC Statistical Reporting Directives
OECD DAC list of ODA eligible countries
Development Co-operation DirectorateOfficial development assistance – definition and coverage
Single Stage Application process and Stage 2 of NIHR RIGHT/Global Professorships
- Applicants are required to complete the finance template and to provide a breakdown of costs associated with delivering proposed research plans.
- All funds must be requested at current price at the time of the submission and inflation must not be included. Annual inflationary uplifts may be awarded to successful applicants by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) depending on the available resources.
- The information included within the application will be used to assess value for money. It is in your best interest to undertake a thorough, realistic and accurate costing. Applicants must provide a clear and full justification for all costs within the finance template. Further itemisation of costs and methods of calculation should be included to support the application. If insufficient itemisation is provided at application stage, further details and methods of calculation may be requested. Failure to provide a sound justification for expenditure will result in costs not being funded.
- Applicants must provide a clear justification for all costs, including all costs required to secure risk management and assurance appropriate to ODA funding. Guidance on how to complete the form is embedded within the finance form.
- Programme years should be calculated starting from the anticipated start date of the proposed research. The start date should be on the first of the month, e.g. 1st September 2020.
- All costs must be reasonable, justifiable and compliant with the principles of robust financial management. Once the contract starts, expenditure must be identifiable, verifiable and recorded in accounts with applicable accounting standards. NIHR reserves the right to inspect the accounting records at any time.
- Payments will be made to the contracted organisation only and the contractedorganisation will be responsible for passing on any money due to their collaborating organisation(s) including those in LMICs.
- Please ensure that all costs are converted and presented as GB £ in the application. The exchange rate used, as well as date / source of exchange rate should also be provided.
- Appropriate sub-contracts or collaboration agreements must be put in place for any element of the research which is to be paid to another organisation.
- All applications are expected to have appropriate input from Lead / Joint-lead institutions (as applicable), Co-applicant institutions and other relevant collaborating organisations into the completion of the finance section of the application form.
- Once an award has been made, NIHR on behalf of DHSC will require Contractors to provide regular financial statements regarding the actual use of funds. As this funding must be ODA compliant, Contractors will also be required to forecast their expenditure on a quarterly basis on both a cash and resource basis.
1st Apr - 30th June
1st Jul – 30th Sep
1st Oct – 31st Dec
1st Jan – 31st Mar
The financial reports are due 1 month after the quarter end.
- DHSC reserves the right to send independent auditors to the contracted organisation and to collaborating organisations involved in the research programme to confirm the actual use of funds.
- Organisations which are unable to reclaim Value-Added Tax (VAT) should include costs inclusive of VAT, otherwise VAT must be excluded. Seek advice of your VAT expert to determine the VAT status of your organisation.
Information on Different Types of Organisations
UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
Other UK-based organisations
Collaborating organisations based in LMICs
Commercial and other collaborating organisations not based in LMICs or the UK
Travel, Subsistence and Conference costs
Equipment purchase for use in the UK contracted/collaborating Organisations would not normally be supported. If equipment is required for the use in the UK, a clear justification must be provided, including as to how the purchase will be of the direct and principal benefit to the LMIC community. Please note that equipment purchased and owned by the NHS cannot be funded by the NIHR. Please ensure no NHS equipment costs are included in your application.
Costs of computers and laptops are normally restricted to a maximum of £1000 each including associated software and VAT and a statement of justification must be included in the ‘Justification of Costs’ section for any purchase above this limit.
Items of equipment valued at £250 or more (or equivalent in local currency) must be itemised separately; however grouping of the same type of equipment is permitted.
NIHR considers any equipment and/or supplies purchased in part or fully from ODA funds as programme assets if they have a useful life of more than one year; and either
- the purchase price or development cost of the asset is in excess of £500 or equivalent in local currency; or
- is a group of lower value items (e.g. pharmaceutical products, food, relief packs, etc.) where the combined value is in excess of £500 or equivalent in local currency; or
- can be considered an attractive item regardless of cost (e.g. mobile phones, cameras, laptops, tablets, satellite phones, vehicles, etc.).
NIHR Contractors are expected to keep an up-to-date asset register, and report this to the NIHR on an annual basis.
At the end of the programme the equipment will remain the property of the relevant Collaborator or the Contractor and must continue to be used for ODA-eligible activities.
Community Engagement and Involvement
- Payments in recognition of time, skills and expertise
- Out of pocket expenses such as travel and subsistence
- Training and learning costs – training and induction for members of the public may be required for many involvement activities, payment for time for policy makers and other stakeholders and any relevant support costs. All costs should be itemised and described.
UK Standards for Public Involvement
Briefing notes for researchers
Payment and recognition for public involvement
Outputs funded by NIHR must be shared on open access platforms. Articles submitted to an open access publication may be subject to an Article Processing Charge (APC). If applicable, please include the costs of APCs. APC rates vary but are usually within the range of £300 and £3000. Open access publications usually list their APC rates on their websites.
More details about the NIHR Open Access policy is available.
Risk Management and Assurance
GFGP audits and accreditation costs can be requested. Please consider that these costs can only be requested once per organisation, and should not be claimed across multiple NIHR programmes/calls.
Costs specific to safeguarding activities are also permitted.
Breakdown of all costs and activities must be provided. Any large costs should be further detailed with a breakdown of constituent parts or a timescale profile of the costs. (e.g. due diligence cost would be expected to be profiled within the early stages of the programme).
UK statutory audit costs are not eligible direct costs.
Audits conducted in LMICs may be eligible direct costs, provided these are project audits (PA) / formal Project Expenditure Verifications (PEV). Where a PA/PEV is done as part of a statutory audit, the cost can be claimed if there are substantial project specific audits (PSA) which are referenced or embedded in statutory accounts or as a stand-alone PEV report.
Training and Development Costs
- Full or partial formal training posts (including but not limited to BSc, MSc, MPhil, MRes, PhD, Post docs)
- Training in technical research skills and personal development skills
- Other wider institutional capacity strengthening activities such as finance management, research management, data management, legal compliance and assurance training
- Institutional systems for coaching, mentoring and/or peer-mentorship.
Events to share best practice and training workshops such as sending out colleagues to provide specific training to their counterparts in ODA eligible countries can be requested within this section.
English language training in the context of all studentships is an eligible cost, provided clear justification and a strong value for money argument are given.
It is expected that studentships are co-terminus with the award. Therefore, where PhDs are being included as part of formal training plans, funding awards should be for a minimum of 48 months to allow time for recruitment and completion of training within the funded award period.
Stipends can be claimed by students from ODA-eligible countries, regardless of whether they are registered at a HEI in an ODA-eligible country or HIC.
Students from ODA eligible countries undertaking formal training course delivered via distance/remote learning registered at a UK or other HIC HEI may have to attend residential training in the HIC as part of their course. Where this is the case, stipend costs can be claimed only for the time spent in the HIC as part of the course as follows:
- UK HEIs: pro-rata stipend, calculated as a proportion of the annual UK stipend figure may apply. Applicants must provide a full justification.
- Other HIC HEIs: the stipend policy of the sponsoring organisation will apply. Pro-rata stipend, calculated as a proportion of the annual stipend figure, may apply. A copy of the policy should be submitted to NIHR and applicants must provide full justification.
The proposed NIHR minimum annual stipend figure applicable in the UK is set at £15,285 for 2020/21, and increased each year in line with UK inflation. Minimum stipend rates will be published on the NIHR website. Applicants offering more than the minimum stipend will be expected to provide justification.
Stipends are expected to cover living costs such as subsistence, routine travel and accommodation. Additional costs such as conference attendance, research expenses and international travel are not covered by the stipend, and should be included in the relevant section of the proposed project/programme costing, where applicable.
Please note, Student stipend costs, if applicable, should be included within the salary section of the Finance Form.
For personal development awards such as NIHR Global Research Professorships, applicants should refer to the specific scheme guidance on research training and development.
External intervention costs
Other Direct Costs
Commissioned and Responsive Funding
- These research costs must not exceed the maximum £3m budget limit for Global Health Research Groups set for proposals submitted to this call.
- Applications must clearly describe the proposed way these funds will be made available for delivery of ODA-eligible research in LMICs.
- Funds must be spent in LMICs to deliver research.
- Any research activities funded through this route must align with the application aims, be completed within the contracted award timeframes and adhere with finance guidance for the call.
- These funds may not be used as contingency i.e. a reserve of money set aside to cover possible unforeseen future expenses.
- Activities supported from this budget line will be monitored by the NIHR through routine monitoring processes.
Indirect Costs / Overheads
- General office and basic laboratory consumables
- Premises costs
- Library services/learning resources
- Finance (including audit), personnel, public relations and departmental services
- Usage costs of major research facilities
- Central and distributed computing
- Charge out rates for shared equipment
- Cost of capital employed
- Statutory audits
UK HEI indirect costs cannot be claimed on shared or support staff costs.
NHS organisations cannot claim any indirect costs through NIHR programmes.
Indirect costs of other collaborating organisations based in ODA-eligible countries or the UK can be claimed and should be charged in proportion to the amount of staff effort requested on the funding application form.
Indirect costs for collaborating institutions based in HICs (other than the UK) are not supported.
All indirect costs requested as part of application must be fully justified as to why these costs are being requested and how they will contribute to the delivery of the objectives of the programme.
- Any costs that cannot be classed as ODA-eligible as defined by the OECD
- Cost associated with lobbying or any other political or exclusively religious activities
- First and Business class travel
- Per diem costs for travel and subsistence for all staff employed on the programme
- Alcohol and tobacco
- UK NHS support and treatment costs
- Establishing and running new bio-banks
- Fines and penalties
- Costs already funded by NIHR or any other public organisations
- Payments reimbursed or to be reimbursed by other funding
- Contributions in kind (i.e. contributions in goods or services as opposed to money)
- VAT reclaimable from HMRC
- Interest payments
- Inflation or foreign exchange rate contingency
- Funding will not be provided to meet the costs of basic research
- NHS Equipment costs will not be funded by NIHR Global Health Research funding
- Capital investments in new buildings.
Justification of Costs
Please provide a full justification for indirect costs requested clearly stating the methodology used to calculate these costs and how they represent a good value for money.
The NIHR requires evidence of good value for money within the justification of costs and considers this to be the optimal use of resources to achieve the intended outcomes. ‘Optimal’ being considered as ‘the most desirable possible given expressed or implied restrictions or constraints’. Value for money goes beyond achieving the lowest initial price and includes consideration of Economy, Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Equity (as appropriate) and what these mean in the context of a research proposal:
Economy: Are we buying inputs of the appropriate quality at the right price? (Inputs are things such as staff, consultants, raw materials and capital that are used to produce outputs)
Efficiency: How well do we convert inputs into outputs? (Outputs are results delivered by us or our agents to an external party. We exercise strong control over the quality and quantity of outputs)
Effectiveness: How well are the outputs from an intervention achieving the desired outcome? (Note that in contrast to outputs, we do not exercise direct control over outcomes)
Equity: The extent to which the outputs of our interventions are equitably distributed.
The following reference resources may be useful: