Pricing Your Project

This page and associated JCU Connect Pricing Tool helps you to accurately cost your research proposal, tender response, or consultancy project in accordance with JCU’s financial policies.

This tool is used to estimate the full cost of a project or your involvement in a project including the components that will be funded by external parties and, on occasion, by JCU. The Pricing Tool should be completed for each project and used when seeking your College or Institute sign-off on the Research Funding Approval Form (RFAF) before it is submitted to JCU Connect.

The tool can be tailored to the individual circumstances of the project. Where costs are not to be charged to the client or lower overhead rates are to be applied, the difference will be highlighted as a JCU in-kind Contribution. For contract research and consultancy arrangements, where a higher Profit Margin may be achieved, this will provide additional funds that may be able to be used to support other research.

The tool enables Researchers, with the assistance of Grants Finance or the JCU Connect Business Development team, to estimate the direct salary costs for completion of the project based on either a fraction of an FTE or the number of days to be spent on the project. The classification and step level for each staff member will need to be estimated.

Direct non-salary costs can be grouped around research activities (or milestones), such as field trips or laboratory work. This includes the use of other Research Facilities (e.g. Advanced Analytical Centre or Orpheus Island Research Station).

The tool estimates the indirect costs based on University policy. This includes Overheads, a Competitive Neutrality margin and a recommended minimum Project Surplus of 25%. Competitive Neutrality is a regulatory obligation for government entities and cannot be varied. Both overhead and project surplus can be varied from the standard rates, subject to the appropriate level of sign-off, noting that a reduction will lower the amount of funds that back to your College or Institute and will be considered as being part of the University’s in-kind contribution.

Once approved, the Pricing Tool summarises the budget for the project and can convert it into foreign currency if required. The output can be uploaded as part of the contract paperwork in Finance@JCU (COGNOS). A summary is also available for the client where direct costs are ‘grossed up’ to take into account the indirect costs. JCU’s In-Kind Contribution is also highlighted. An output tab has been included to partially complete any details that are also required in the RFAF to further streamline the administrative process.

For assistance with completing the tool, please contact the Grants Finance Team or the JCU Connect Business Development team.

Once you have priced your project, your next step is developing and writing Research Contracts for your project.