Our research is funded by a mix of public and private organisations. We are
hugely grateful to all those who contribute, directly (e.g. companies) and
indirectly (e.g. taxpayers) as without such funding, the breadth and quality of
research we aim for would be impossible.
We believe that we have a moral duty to spend the money we are given
wisely. In order to demonstrate that this is so, we make information about
how we spend money public. We believe that this transparency will help
funders gain confidence in the way we work and provide a continual reminder
to us that all our activities must be justifiable in the court of public
At the time of writing, we are not aware of other research groups
publishing expenses online, though we hope this will change in the future.
Because of this, we are, by necessity, pioneers of sorts. We will make
mistakes, small and large, while we feel our way towards a good solution, and
we ask for a degree of patience in this process. We welcome all comments on
how we publish our expenses.
How funds are organised
University research funding is organised in ways that sometimes
baffle even those of us who are in control of it. We therefore simplify
things somewhat into two main cases.
The first case - and the most common - is that funds are given for a project of
a defined duration (e.g. 3 years). Typically such funds are split into 3 main
- Overheads and indirect costs. This is money which is taken by
the University and put into a central(ish) pot. We do not see any of this
money directly nor do we have any control over it.
- Salaries. Research Associate (RA) salaries, for example, are wholly paid by project
funds. Funds for salaries include tax, pension contributions, annual
increases, and so on. Apart from small adjustments to a new recruit's initial salary
to reflect their expertise, we have no control over salary spend.
- Discretionary spending. This is typically broken up into sub-categories
(e.g. travel, equipment), with some restrictions on how money in any given
sub-category is spent. Apart from those restrictions, this money is entirely
under our control.
Since we have no control over overheads, indirect costs, or salaries,
there is nothing to itemise under these categories. However, we provide a
full itemised breakdown for all discretionary spending, which we abbreviate
The second case is what we call
general funds, which are not
assigned to any specific project. These funds are typically small and come
from a variety of sources, such as underspend on completed projects. Such
money can be spent in the same manner as
expenses can on a project.
How to read the expenses
Individual project expenses funds are generally broken into
sub-categories: we refer to these as budgets
. In general, each budget has some
restrictions on what money in it can be spent on, though in some cases
money can be moved between budgets over time. Expenses can span more than
one budget (i.e. part will be paid from one budget, part from another) and
can span more than one project. Inevitably, some expenses are slightly hard to
categorise, and could be partitioned in more than one way: we caution against
interpreting the budget names too literally.
Last statement should match the amount currently stored in the
University system as recorded in the last monthly statement (which is, by
definition, often somewhat out of date).
Current balance is the most
accurate figure we know (including expenses incurred but not yet repaid).
Where to find itemised expenses
- For individual project expenses, go to the projects page, click on a project, and then click on
- The expenses for the general funds are available here.