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Justification of resources

The purpose of the Justification of Resources (JoR) is to help reviewers make an informed decision as to whether the resources requested are appropriate for the proposed research. The JoR should be used to justify the resources required, i.e. it should explain why the resources are appropriate for the proposed research, taking into account the nature and complexity of the research. The JoR should not be simply a list of the resources required. All resources requested in an application must be justified in the JoR.

The table below provides more information about how to justify resources, and it is recommended that applicants use the sub-headings provided in the table in the JoR:


Justification needed

Questions to consider

Directly incurred costs

Staff - directly incurred

Researcher Technician Researcher Co-Investigator

Justify why a researcher/technician is needed for the proposed work and why the proposed time input is appropriate.

Is the work of appropriate scientific content or technical difficulty to warrant employing a Research Assistant (RA)? Why has the salary level for the RA been requested?

Travel and Subsistence

Provide a full break down of the costs in the JeS form, for example number of people travelling, duration of visit, where they are going and why, cost of return flight and accommodation rate per day.

If planning to visit people, explain why those are the right people to talk to and how they can contribute to the research. If planning to attend conferences, comment on the advantages of conference attendance and give an indication of the number of conferences to be attended during the grant, who will attend, and the type of conference, i.e. national/ international/general/subject specific etc. Travel costs incurred when using facilities should be included where necessary.

Other Directly Incurred Costs

Describe what has been requested and why. Every item requested must be justified.

Justify the need for any equipment requested. Provide a breakdown of any costs which are included for bulk items.

Computers: Do not include costs associated with the University's central computing facilities. For specialised/dedicated computers explain why the computer is needed and justify the cost. If requesting a desktop and a laptop, explain why both are needed.

Directly allocated costs

Staff - directly allocated

Principal Investigator (PI)

Co-Investigator (Co-I)

Justify the time that the PI/Co-I will spend on the grant. Salary costs do not need to be justified, only time.

Note: A PI or Co-I cannot request time for supervising postgraduate research students, writing publications after the end of the project, writing grant applications or peer review.

How much time will the PI/Co-I dedicate to the project? Will the PI/Co-I be doing all the research themselves or will they only be managing the staff on the project? What work packages are the PI/Co-I involved with and why? Has enough time been factored in to work with project partners, visiting researchers and other collaborators?

Other Directly Allocated Costs

Pool staff costs Infrastructure technicians

Other DA costs

Justify any resources requested. In some cases, such as pool staff costs (e.g. workshop or laboratory technicians based at the University - usually not named), the basis of the costing doesn't need to be justified, but the need for the resources does. Infrastructure technicians cost does not need to be justified.

Explain what these are and why you need to use them. Justify the amount of time requested for pooled staff.

Research Facilities/Existing Equipment

Charge out costs for use of major or small internal research facilities

The need for the requested amount of access to the facility/must be justified, but you do not need to justify the charge out rates.

Explain why you need to use a particular facility and why you need the requested amount of time.

Research Facilities

Charge out costs for use of Research Council facilities

Only time needs to be justified, not charge out rates.

Explain why you need to use a particular facility and why you need the requested amount of time.

Animal costs

Usually maintenance costs are directly allocated and purchase costs are directly incurred

The need for animal costs must be justified.

Explain the choice of species and numbers of all animals required, and why you need animals for the research. Have the appropriate permits and approvals been obtained if animals are to be used?

Estates and indirect costs

Estates and indirect costs are calculated using the Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC) methodology and do not need to be justified.



PhD student

Justify why a PhD student is needed for the proposed work

Will a student be skilled enough to tackle the research problems, and will they in all likelihood get a thesis out of it?


Equipment over 50k

All equipment must be justified. From 1 May 2011, all equipment over £10k, the PI must make a case for the need for the equipment and the Research Councils will fund a percentage of the cost (to be determined on a case by case basis). If purchasing equipment over £10k, PIs must contact their Research Development Manager (Contact Research Services)

Why do you need this equipment for this proposed research? What will it be used for and who will be using it?


Justify any resources requested to support the Pathways to Impact. For example: include staff time, travel and subsistence, consultancy fees, publication costs, and public communication training.

Full justification (what it is and why it is needed) for each item requested. Note: Patent costs and other IP costs are NOT eligible; Universities already receive funding for these from HEIF. Estates and indirect costs should NOT be requested for Technology Transfer Officers (TTOs). These are project specific resources.

The main reasons for returning JoRs for amendments or for not funding proposals are:

Costs stated in the JeS form are not fully justified in the JoR e.g. the investigator time that has been asked for has not been justified.

Costs/descriptions stated in the JeS form do not match those in the JoR and vice versa.

Justifications of why an item is needed are not clear or are poor e.g. listing the items in the JoR without any explanation of why they are needed.

PI time includes supervision of PhD students - this is not allowed.

An example of a good JoR can be found here: Good example - JoR (PDF-61KB)

Further good examples of JoR can be found in the Library of Successful Proposals:

Successful proposal library