Case for support – justification of resources - STFC

Part of the role of the case for support (CfS) is to enable reviewers to make an informed judgement on whether the resources requested are appropriate for the research proposed.

The CfS should explain why the resources requested are appropriate for the research proposed taking into account the nature and complexity of the research.

It should not simply be a list of the resources required as this is already provided on the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system form.

Whether the grant is a large programme grant or a small travel grant, all items requested in the Je-S form must be justified in the CfS.

Any proposals requesting items that would ordinarily be found in a department, for example non-specialist computers, should include justification both for why they are required for the project and why they cannot be provided from the research organisation’s own resources (including funding from Indirect costs from grants).

The CfS is a free text document. To ensure that justification is provided for all costings included in the Je-S form we recommend that costs are matched to the proposal headings below (where appropriate).

Researcher, technician, researcher co-investigator and other staff

Justification needed

Justify why a post is needed for the proposed work, and why the proposed time input is appropriate.

Questions to consider and answer in the case for support

Is the work of appropriate scientific content or technical difficulty to warrant employing the post at the requested level?

Principal investigator (PI) and co-investigator (Co-I) time

Justification needed

Justify the time the PI and Co-I spends on the grant. A PI or Co-I cannot request time for supervising postgraduate research students, writing after the end of the project, writing grant applications, or peer review.

Questions to consider and answer in the case for support

You should consider the following:

  • how much time do you intend to dedicate to the project?
  • will you be doing all the research yourself?
  • what work packages are the PI and Co-Is involved with and why?
  • have you factored in enough time to work with project partners, or visiting researchers and other collaborators?
  • are you only managing the staff on the project?

Travel and subsistence

Justification needed

Provide a full breakdown of costs in the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system form, for example how many people are travelling, where they are going and why.

Questions to consider and answer in the case for support

If you are planning to visit people to discuss your research, you should explain why those are the right people to talk to and how they can contribute to you meeting your objectives.

If you plan to attend conferences, you should comment on the advantages of conference attendance and give an indication of the number you want to attend during the grant, who will attend these and the type you want to go to such as national, international, general or subject specific.

Travel costs incurred when using facilities should be included where necessary.

Other directly incurred costs

Justification needed

Give a description of what has been requested and why. Every item requested must be justified.

Questions to consider and answer in the case for support

You must justify the need for any equipment requested.

Find out more about the justification of equipment and utilisation of capital assets.

Other directly allocated costs

Justification needed

In some cases, such as use of internal facilities and shared staff costs, the basis of the costing doesn’t need to be justified, but the need for the resource does.

Questions to consider and answer in the case for support

You need to explain what these resources are and why you need to use them.

Other directly allocated research facilities (at research organisations)

Justification needed

You only need to justify time.

Questions to consider and answer in the case for support

Explain what you are using the facility for and why you need to use this particular facility.

Other directly allocated pooled technicians

For example workshop or laboratory technicians based at the university – usually not named.

Questions to consider and answer in the case for support

Explain why you are using a pooled technician and justify the amount of resource requested.

Other directly allocated infrastructure technicians

Justification needed

Cost should be displayed separately to Estate and Indirect costs in the other directly allocated costs box. This cost does not need to be justified.

Directly allocated estates

Do not need to be justified.

Indirect costs

Do not need to be justified.

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