Costing your public engagement activity
This 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.
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.
||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|
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|
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
- 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.