Costs grantholders can claim on a grant
These are the costs we will pay if you hold a Wellcome grant.
This information is for grantholders and Discretionary Award applicants. If you are applying for a grant, you should read the 'What we offer' section on the relevant scheme webpage to see which costs you can ask for.
Wellcome funds must not be used to supplement support from other funding bodies.
All costs charged to a grant should be auditable. Your administering organisation must be able to justify and account for all expenditure incurred. You must get invoices for any expenditure on your grant, unless it's for travel and subsistence costs in remote locations.
Costs you can claim
Staff salary costs
Covers staff working full or part-time on your project, including:
- research assistants
Costs can include:
- basic salary
- employer's contributions, including any statutory obligations (for example, National Insurance contributions if you're based in the UK) and pension scheme costs
- Apprentice Levy charges for UK-based salaries
- any incremental progression up the salary scale
- locally recognised allowances such as London Allowance.
Cost of living (for grantholders only)
Grantholders can use their existing Wellcome funds to provide a one-off payment per staff and/or student on their award to help offset the current cost of living crisis, provided it aligns with their organisation's existing policies and is approved by them. This may include payments made from block award funding.
Grantholders can move funds between budget headings to cover these costs and they do not need to ask us for permission. They must ensure that they have enough funds available to meet the remaining costs of their research – we will not supplement for any shortfalls that may result (except what is covered by our supplementary funding policy).
Costs are only applicable to existing grantholders and are not to be included in any applications.
We will review this approach in November 2024.
Visa, work permit and immigration health surcharge costs
Covers visa and work permit costs for researchers whose salary is funded by your grant. Costs can include:
- visa costs for the researcher’s partner and dependent children
- essential associated costs, such as travel to attend appointments at a visa application centre or embassy, and essential English language tests
- Immigration Health Surcharge costs for the researcher, their partner and dependent children if they will be in the UK for six months or more.
Disability-related adjustment support costs
If we provided funding for this in your award letter, you can claim these costs.
If we did not provide this funding in your award letter, you can ask for a supplement to your grant.
Covers charges from an external supplier to deliver a piece of work (for example, sequencing costs, antibody production, large-scale data storage or providing expert consultancy advice).
- interviewees’ travel expenses.
Materials and consumables costs
- laboratory chemicals and materials (for example, reagents, isotopes, peptides, enzymes, antibodies, gases, proteins, cell/ tissue/bacterial culture, project-specific personal protective equipment (PPE) that is above the standard expected for the setting, plasticware and glassware)
- associated charges for shipping, delivery and freight
- archival photocopying
- printing associated with fieldwork.
Animal research costs
You can claim for:
- buying and transporting animals
- animal maintenance, food, procedures, licences, relevant staff training, estates and equipment depreciation (but not building depreciation). You should include these in your organisation’s Wellcome charge-out rates for animal house facilities.
You can claim for:
- purchase, delivery, installation, maintenance and training
- VAT and import duties on equipment only where the usual UK exemptions on equipment used for medical research do not apply.
Equipment maintenance costs
- equipment purchased on our grants for up to five years
- existing equipment over five years old that is essential to the research project and cost effective to maintain.
Equipment access charges
- service contracts
- materials and consumables
- staff time associated with running a piece of equipment, once the original funding awarded for maintenance has come to an end.
You can’t claim for depreciation costs.
Facility access charges
Covers use of research facilities at the administering organisation if they’re essential to the project. Cost calculations may include:
- materials and consumables
- maintenance and service contracts
- staff item costs for dedicated technical staff.
Costs should not include:
- estates and utilities
- depreciation and insurance
- contributions towards other staff time.
- computing hardware, for example, laptops up to a maximum of £1,500 for each item, unless more expensive items are specifically justified
- software, software licences and other recurring computing costs linked to the project.
Publication costs (academic papers)
You can claim for page charges and the cost of colour prints if they were included in your award letter.
If your organisation receives open access block funding, you can ask them to cover your open access article processing charges.
If you're at an organisation that doesn't receive open access block funding, we'll supplement your grant when your paper has been accepted for publication.
Publication costs (specialist publications)
Research-relevant publications that aren't available in institutional libraries.
Clinical, epidemiological and qualitative research studies costs
- questionnaires, newsletters and other materials associated with clinical, epidemiological and qualitative research studies
- dissemination of the results from these studies
- clinical trial registration costs.
Subject and volunteer expenses
- recruitment of participants and patients
- participatory fees
- travel for subjects and volunteers
- interviewee expenses.
Public engagement, patient involvement, and dissemination activity costs
Covers costs that are essential to the project. This includes:
- materials, including printing and publishing
- other costs relating to engagement activities essential to carry out your research, such as patient involvement and community engagement
- dissemination of research results and findings arising from Wellcome-funded research and workshops.
Data management and sharing plan costs
Covers costs associated with delivering data management and sharing plans.
Patent and registered design filing costs
Covers the costs of drafting, filing and prosecuting applications for registered IP rights to the point of grant, to protect Wellcome-funded IP.
You can't claim costs for renewing, exploiting, or asserting IP against third parties.
- project-specific working lunches and meals
- project-focused team retreats.
Covers costs of producing, displaying and presenting posters (for example at conferences).
Continuing professional development costs
You can claim for:
- project-specific skills training as required by your research
- career-based continual professional development of up to £500 per person per year
Both types of continuing professional development support can be claimed for you and staff employed in a post of 12 months duration or more, and working on the grant for at least 50% full time equivalent.
Covers costs for you, staff employed on the grant or others contributing to the research to:
- attend research meetings and conferences
- visit collaborators and facilities
- collect samples and undertake fieldwork
- visit neutron sources and synchrotron radiation facilities.
Mandatory Covid-19-related travel costs
You can claim for you and any staff employed on your grant. Examples include hotel quarantine charges and testing. You can also claim these costs if you need to move to another country to take up your Wellcome award or a post on a Wellcome grant.
You can claim for:
- essential travel costs, even if the low carbon option is more expensive (for example travelling by train instead of flying)
- project-related resources or activities that provide an alternative to travel, such as video conferencing, communication and file-sharing software
- costs to offset the carbon emissions generated by the essential travel. If carbon offsetting for travel is not part of your organisational sustainability strategy you can claim a similar level of costs for other sustainability initiatives, if your organisation has got our approval for them.
We won't pay for the core infrastructure that your administering organisation should provide, unless you're eligible to claim these costs under our overheads policy. Examples of these costs include:
- organisation-wide video conferencing packages
- high-speed broadband
- HD screens.
See our carbon offset policy for travel for information on what you and your organisation need to do.
You can also claim costs to cover caring responsibilities if you or any staff employed on your grant attend a conference. This includes childcare and any other caring responsibility you have, provided:
- Wellcome is paying your salary
- the conference is directly related to your grant
- the costs are over and above what you’d normally pay for care
- the conference organiser and your employing organisation are unable to cover the costs.
You can claim up to £1,000 per person for each conference to cover caring costs.
Covers you, staff employed on your grant or others contributing to the research to work away from their administering organisation for less than 12 months.
Costs can include:
- a daily allowance for living expenses
- airfares and freight
- health insurance if travelling overseas
- visa and vaccination costs.
See the relevant scheme webpage guidance for details.
If your travel and subsistence are for remote locations where receipts are not available, you can claim up to £20 a day for each person. Subsistence is only available on trips of up to one month.
Covers surveys, data collection and statistical analysis.
Costs you may be able to claim
You can only claim these costs if:
- they're necessary for the type of research you're undertaking, for example, for clinical, epidemiological and qualitative research studies
- they were included in your award letter.
Phone, iPad and tablet costs
- iPads and tablets
- mobile and landline phones and contracts
- phone cards and other ad hoc charges.
Stationery and other miscellaneous office expenses
- diaries, notepads and files
- pens and Post-it notes
- staples, rubber bands, hole punches
- glue sticks and laser pointers.
Printing and photocopying costs
- printers, printer toner and cartridges
- photocopying charges.
Removal and relocation expenses
Only provided on certain awards, for examples Early Career Awards.
For you, staff employed on your grant or others contributing to the research to work away from their administering organisation (and for accompanying partners and dependants).
See the relevant scheme webpage for details on the allowances you can claim for.
You may be able to claim a contribution toward your overhead costs depending on your location. Costs may include:
- estates, for example building and premises
- research, technical and administrative staff whose time is shared across several projects
- administration, such as personnel, finance, library, and room hire.
Read our overheads policy.
VAT and import duties
You can only claim these if the usual VAT exemptions for UK biomedical research don't apply.
- postage and courier costs
- capital and refurbishment costs.
Costs you cannot claim
We won't pay for:
Salary costs for lead applicants, co-investigators, departmental administrative staff and other staff who are funded full-time by a higher education institution, research institute and non-academic healthcare organisation based in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
Cleaning and other ad hoc estate costs (excluding animal research related costs)
- cleaning, waste and other disposal costs, waste containers and bin bags
- key cutting
- wall brackets, installation of electrical points.
Shared catering costs
- coffee machines, kettles and vending machines
- coffee tins, teabags, milk and water
- kitchen rolls and washing up liquid.
Non-research related activity costs
- catering, room and venue hire for 'Happy Hours'
- Christmas parties, staff leaving parties and miscellaneous social events
- team-building or other non-research related activities.
Equipment insurance and disposal costs.
Open access costs
You can’t claim for this on individual research grants unless we've provided supplementary funding for this purpose. If your organisation receives open access block funding, you can ask it to cover these costs. If not, we’ll supplement your grant when your paper has been accepted for publication. If your grant has ended, we have an alternative method for paying these costs.
Publications and journals available in institutional libraries.
Insurance cover against claims made by subjects or patients associated with a research programme.
- furniture such as chairs, desks, filing cabinets, foot rests, coat hooks and miscellaneous laboratory furniture
- utilities such as electricity, gas and water costs
- standard IT charge - per unit IT costs
- ethics reviews
- studentship-related costs, for example thesis binding and viva-related costs
- central HR staff costs, for example redundancy
- health and safety, for example, radiation protection costs, first aid kits and signage
- clothing such as laboratory coats, shoes and protective clothing.