Costing policies (Grants)

This set of costing policies are applicable to Team Science Grants (TSG) and Clinical/Public Health Research Centres (CRCs). Total cost of a grant application includes the costs requested by the applicant(s) and India Alliance’s set contributions (including Overhead Charges and Flexible Funding Allowances).

Note: Costs requested on the application (under appropriate heads/subheads) should be commensurate with the proposed research and must be supported with scientific justification. Failure to do this may result in budget cuts. In case of an award, the Funding Committee’s would decide if the requested item/cost is appropriate. Applicants may be asked to revise budget requests at the discretion of the Funding Committee.

Directly incurred costs are actual costs that are explicitly identifiable as arising from the conduct of a project (e.g. staff salaries, equipment, materials, travel). These costs are charged as the cash value actually spent and should be verifiable by an auditable record. Costs are grouped as:

 

Ring-fenced funds

The India Alliance has set a level of personal support for each scheme.

Personal Support for Principal Investigators (PIs)

PIs (Lead PI and PIs in case of TSG, PI and co-PIs in CRCs) must hold an academic or research post and have a salary, or the guarantee of a salary, for the duration of the award period at a not-for-profit institution. If their academic or research position requires them to get full/partial salary from extramural funding, please refer to the scheme guidelines (under Eligibility and Provisions). For this, they must be based at an eligible Indian host institution and the host institution must confirm in writing that the employment contract requires them to raise their salary from extramural funding. PIs based overseas cannot seek salary from the grant.

The India Alliance retains the right to periodically review and revise its provisions for the personal support of its funded awardees.

The India Alliance will make a fixed contribution of 10% of direct costs towards indirect costs for the host institution(s). These contributions should be used to support the India Alliance funded research. This may include but is not limited to premises costs, utilities, or research management support relating to grant, etc.

 

Transferable funds

On the application, the staff categories are: Research assistants, technicians, PhD students, junior research fellows, senior research fellows, research associates, senior residents, field workers, nurses, or others.

All staff requirements must be adequately justified. In the case of an award, it is at the Funding Committee’s discretion to determine if the number or amount of support requested is appropriate. Applicants may be asked to revise these requests if recommended by the Funding Committee.

Salary costs sought for support staff should commensurate with the level of skills, responsibilities, and expertise necessary to carry out the proposed research. It should include any increments to which the individual is entitled, together with the costs of expected promotions where appropriate. The costing should be in line with recent Government of India guidelines.

As the employer, the host institution is responsible for the contracts of employment of the staff concerned and, consequently, for any redundancy or other compensatory payments that may be required. Work permits, where required, are a matter of direct negotiation between the host institution and the relevant Government of India departments. Note that these would be contractual positions, for which no claims can be made to India Alliance.

Note on CRTP: Please do not add salaries for fellowships that are being requested under this provision. This component will be over and above the budget requested for CRC. The applicants must indicate the number of fellowships in response to question “Details of the project” under section Proposed Clinical/Public Health Research Centre. There are no other funds available for this provision.

The India Alliance will meet directly incurred costs of materials and consumables required to carry out the proposed research.

Funds may be requested to cover the purchase costs of animals, food, and maintenance charges (e.g. diet, bedding, disinfectant, disposal bags) and labour costs associated with the care and maintenance of animals used in the research, and for any experimental procedures involved.

In order to ensure that animal experimentation costs are accurate, applicants are advised to complete the relevant table in the application form after consultation with their animal house or relevant point of contact at the institution.

The PIs are required to apply a consistent costing methodology when presenting cost details to the India Alliance.

In case of an award, if the PIs wish to purchase/add new animal species, additional to those already approved by the Funding Committee, they will have to seek formal prior permission from the India Alliance.

Funds can be requested for equipment essential to the proposed research project. The India Alliance would provide funds for shipping and clearance charges but not for customs duties. Equipment maintenance may be requested for the duration of funding.

The India Alliance does not normally supplement support provided by other funding bodies. However, a contribution from the host institution, or other source, will normally be expected where the application includes a substantial equipment request.

The host institution is required to use the best procurement practices when purchasing equipment funded with India Alliance funds.

Access charges may be requested for the use of equipment or facilities, originally funded by the India Alliance or other sources, once the initial funding period of such facilities has ended. The use of the equipment/facilities must be essential to the proposed research. The applicants should provide Page 3 of 4 GCP_V1.0 details on how the charges have been calculated stating the cost per experiment or the percentage of time and number of hours the equipment/facilities will be used for the project.

This list (provided below) is indicative rather than exhaustive but is intended to provide guidance on the types of funds that may be requested. For the request to be considered by the India Alliance office, the requested costs should be as specific as possible, and justified for the proposed research.

These costs may include:

 

  • Specialist publications (not found in institutional libraries). Please specify journals in the justification. This is mandatory for the cost to be considered by the India Alliance office.
  • Consultancy fees directly associated with the execution of the research. This should clearly indicate the number of hours that the consultancy firm or individual will spend on the India Alliance-funded project.
  • Fieldwork fees for subjects/volunteers and/or expenses incurred by volunteers involved in a research project.
  • Computing – including recurrent costs of computing-related items dedicated to the project (e.g. software licences).
  • Recruitment and advertising costs for staff employed on the grant.
  • Hire/running costs of project-dedicated vehicles. The use of these vehicles will be the sole responsibility of the host institution and the India Alliance cannot be held responsible for any damage or loss that might arise due to such use. Note that purchase of vehicles is not allowed.
  • Subsistence funds for collaborative visits.
  • The cost of printing questionnaires, recruitment material, newsletters, etc. for clinical, epidemiological, and qualitative research studies.
  • Indemnity insurance: Insurance cover against claims made by subjects or patients associated with a research programme. It is understood that India Alliance will not be liable to pay indemnities directly to the participants being recruited on its funded studies. By agreeing to pay insurance premium, India Alliance will also not be held liable for any injuries caused during the study. It is for the investigator and the host institution to ascertain that the study is conducted in a manner that is safe and to the highest ethical standards.

This can cover cost for lead applicants and support staff employed on the grant to:

 

  • attend research meetings/conferences/symposiums;
  • collaborative visits;
  • field work and sample collection.

 

India Alliance contributions

The India Alliance recognizes that unanticipated costs might arise during the tenure of the project. Therefore, the India Alliance will provide contingency funds called Flexible Funding Allowance of INR 4 Lakhs per annum for the duration of funding.

This may be used at the discretion of the PIs to fund unanticipated costs on their grant. For example:

  • To purchase consumables or equipment.
  • To supplement salaries of support staff on the grant, including provision for discretionary or merit awards.
  • To pay page charges or other non-Open Access publishing costs directly related to the research carried out on the grant.
  • To cover the PhD (and MSc) fees of individuals employed on the grant e.g. postgraduate research assistants, technicians.
  • To cover the costs of formal transferable skills and personal development training courses for the support staff or PIs. Examples: in the areas of communication skills, intellectual property rights, project/finance management, etc.

 

Disallowed Funds

The Alliance will not provide funds for the following:

  • Inflation or cost-of-living increases.
  • Charge-out costs for major facilities; departmental technical and administrative services.
  • Indirect costs, including general administration costs such as personnel, finance, library, and some departmental services.
  • Redundancy costs for research staff.
  • Waste disposal costs.
  • Radiation protection costs.
  • Customs duty on equipment.
  • Publication charges.
  • Relocation costs for PIs or support staff.

 

Note:

  • The grant will be cash-limited at the point of award.
  • Ring-fenced funds should be used only for the purpose(s) stated. The budgets under transferable funds are indicative only and movement of funds among transferable budget headings is allowed, without prior permission from the India Alliance [see above: exception for animal costs].
  • Publication costs for anticipated publications (output from India Alliance-funded projects) cannot be requested on grant applications. These should be covered by transferable funds.
  • The Open access fees for anticipated research articles cannot be requested on individual grant applications as the India Alliance will provide supplementary funding for the same.