Academic Toolkit - ACT!

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Pre-PhD preparation
Funding application
Project outline
Preliminary data
Impact statement
Data management plan
Collect collaborator contributions
Collect collaborator costings
Gantt chart


Start 9 months before funding application deadline and complete by 1 month before funding application deadline

You will need budget lines for all your costs (fEC). This includes Directly Incurred Costs, Directly Allocated Costs and Indirect Costs. Further details about the types of costs can be found in the links below.


1. Ensure early discussions with your institution’s research coordination office (research design service or similarly named department).

2. Engage in pro-active discussion with your institution’s HR department regarding your salary – this may not be fixed, so make sure to negotiate where applicable. Check HR policies for requirements for honorary contracts, etc. Discuss with peers and the BMA. Make sure increments, London allowance, etc are included. Ensure you don’t lose out because of switching between NHS & university employer in any way, including parental leave.

3. Obtain quotations for budget items early – don’t forget inflation & if currency exchange is required use a conservative rate. Flights and travel should be costed liberally as you may need changeable flights etc. This guide from King's College London contains some useful generic factors to consider (but bear in mind some aspects are specific to that institution).

4. Write down all budget lines you can think of and cost (top tip: keep budget lines reasonably broad).  If you haven’t asked for it, it’s difficult to get it later, and some funders won’t let you move money about between different parts of the grant.

5. Check final list against list of ‘allowed costs’ from funder’s website – add in any items you forgot. Also check the final list against the funder's list of ‘disallowed costs’ and remove/rename any items that aren’t allowed (e.g. some charities will not cover indirect costs).  

6. This all needs to be done early as you are likely to need a member of your institution’s staff to upload your budget through your institution’s accounting software.

UK clinical academic training in medicine and dentistry: principles and obligations External link

This document sets out principles and obligations of all UK institutions and clinical trainees in receipt of nationally competitive funding for clinical academic research training.

What is Full Economic Costing? External link

Explanation of different costs incurred in research

Collect collaborator letters of support
Justify resources
Collect reference from Head of Department
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