All budgets included in external grant applications must be costed on a Full Economic Cost basis using X5, the University's costing and pricing tool.

FEC overview

FEC is a methodology for calculating the total costs to an institution of undertaking a project or activity in a sustainable manner. It is a development of TRAC (the Transparent Approach to Costing) to provide a forecast of the full economic costs of undertaking a research project.

FEC is defined as 'a price, which, if recovered across an organisation's full programme, would recover the total cost (direct, indirect and total overhead) including an adequate investment in the organisation's infrastructure'.

Under FEC, all higher education institutions (HEIs) in the UK are required to identify all direct and indirect costs for each research project, including space/estate charges, depreciation, an adequate recurring investment for infrastructure, equipment, consumables, travel and the cost of all staff working on the project (including principal investigators, research assistants, technical and administrative staff).

The FEC of each research project is calculated on a reliable and comprehensive basis. This is then used to set the price for grants made by the government (the Research Councils and other government departments) and informs the price on projects for other funders.

For more information about pricing, please see the pricing page.

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