Costing your public engagement activity

ApplicationThis toolkit is for University staff and students who are looking for guidance on costing public engagement

This page covers:

  • The costing and pricing system for research funding applications
  • The Costing Tool
  • Examples of public engagement costs

Costing and pricing

When submitting a research proposal you must first calculate the full economic cost (fEC) of the proposed research, determine an appropriate price, and gain institutional authorisation for that price. The fEC is the true cost of all the resources needed to undertake and complete the research project, including any related public engagement activity.

Calculating the cost of a research proposal is done in two steps. You must first identity all the resources that you will require to undertake the research, before then calculating the cost of those resources.

Under fEC there are three types of costs:

  • Directly incurred costs
  • Directly allocated costs
  • Indirect costs

Directly incurred costs are those spent specifically to enable the research project to be carried out. They are "marginal" and so will not be incurred if the proposal is not funded.

Directly allocated costs are those that are shared with other projects. They would exist for the University whether a particular grant or contract is awarded or not. Such costs include academic salaries, research facility charges, estates costs and pool technicians.

Indirect costs are those incurred by the University in support of research. They include the University´s infrastructure costs that enable research to occur, e.g. Library and other central facilities; CiCS; departmental administration; professional services (HR, Finance, R&IS). It is calculated by the Costing Tool (see below) based on the number of FTE academic and research staff on a project.

For further guidance on fEC, please contact the Pricing & Contracts Team.

Costing Tool

The University has a web based tool for pricing research applications called the Costing Tool, which is accessible via myResearch in MUSE. For FAQs and guides to using the tool, please see the Costing Tool webpages. Have a go on the system to see how it works - you can't break it! Costs for public engagement and impact activities are not yet on the system but will be added later this year, in the mean time you can use our example public engagement costs as a guide.

Public engagement costs

We have produced a guide for costing public engagement activity which provides examples of a range of typical event costs. See our tables below, or download the full guide.

These examples are all 'directly incurred costs', when costing your public engagement activity for a research grant application you should also consider 'directly allocated' and 'indirect costs' which will be calculated in the same way as the other research costs using the Costing Tool system.

Event costs

Period/ Unit Approx. Cost Recommended Suppliers / Examples
Room hire for a large event – on campus Per day Free to £800 St George’s Church / The Octagon / Students’ Union Auditorium
Room hire for a smaller event – on campus Per hour Free Bookable via the University’s room bookings system
Room hire for a large event – off campus Per day Up to £800 Cathedral / Town Hall / City Hall

Room hire for a smaller scale event – off campus

Per half day £130 to £200

The Circle / Montgomery Hall / Kelham Island Museum

Associated event costs

Period / Unit Approx. Cost Recommended Suppliers / Examples
Professional film production
i.e. editing & filming
Per minute of film £1,000 Contact the PEI team for advice
Speaker fees Per event £50 to £500 Contact the PEI team for advice
Overnight accommodation Per night £55 to £90 Leopold Hotel / Jury’s Inn

Marketing and communication costs

Description Period / Unit Approx. Cost Recommended Suppliers / Examples
Not including design
500 £500 Print & Design Solutions
Pull-up banners
Not including design
Each £90 to £120 Print & Design Solutions
Design work Per hour £55 Print & Design Solutions
City centre poster campaign Two weeks £500 to £1,200 Contact the Marketing Team for advice
Flyer / brochure distribution Per run £320 to £600 Opus Independents

Other costs to consider

  • Evaluation costs
  • Catering
  • Additional staff / overtime costs
  • Other professional fees
  • Hire of specialist equipment
  • Licensing fees (e.g. for film, music)
  • Staff training
  • Staff subsistence for any associated travel – see guidance from Finance

Please note that prices may vary depending on your exact requirements – if in doubt, please contact the Public Engagement team for further guidance.