How to write a good Justification of Resources (JoR)

The role of the JoR is to aid reviewers when assessing proposals so that they can make an informed judgement on whether the resources requested are appropriate for the research posed.

The JoR should be a single side of A4 which is an attachment to the proposal.  This statement should be used to justify the resources required to undertake the research project and is mandatory.  The JoR should explain why the resources requested are appropriate for the research proposed. It should not be simply a list of the resources required as this is already given in the Je-S form.  Whether the grant is a large programme grant or a small travel grant, all items requested in the JeS form must be justified in the JoR.    

The JoR is a free text one page document.  So that you don’t miss any costings from the Je-S form or any justifications for the items requested, we recommend that you follow the cost to the proposal headings below (where appropriate).

Cost to the proposal

Justification needed

Questions to consider and answer in the justification

Staff – directly incurred posts

Researcher

* need to justify why a researcher is needed for the proposed work

Is the work of sufficient technical difficulty to warrant employing a Research Assistant (RA)?  Why has the level requested for the RA been asked for?

Staff – directly allocated posts

Principal Investigator (PI) and Co-Investigator (CoI) time

 

(please note: some Universities with prior consent from EPSRC put these costs in directly incurred posts)

* The time that the PI and CoI spends on the grant has to be justified.

* A PI or CoI can not request time for supervising postgraduate research students, writing publications after the end of the project, writing grant applications or peer review. 

How much time do you intend to dedicate to the project? Will you be doing all the research yourself? What work packages are the PI and CoIs involved with and why?  Have you factored in enough time to work with project partners or visiting researchers?  Are you only managing the staff on the project?

 

Travel and Subsistence

* need to give a full break down of the costs in the JeS form for example how many people are travelling and where are they going and why?

If you are planning to visit people to discuss your research, you should explain why those are the right people to talk to and how they can contribute to you meeting your objectives. If you plan to attend conferences, you should comment on the advantages of conference attendance and give an indication of the number you want to attend during the grant, who will attend these and the type you want to go to - national/international/general/subject specific etc.

 

Other Directly Incurred Costs

(including equipment under £50k)

* need to give a description of what has been requested and why?

* listing the individual items without description is not acceptable.

* every item requested must be justified, however small.

You must justify the need for any equipment requested.  EPSRC will fund equipment under £50k at 80% FEC.

You need to explain what the computers will be needed for and also justify the cost.  If you are asking for a desktop and a laptop, then justify why both are needed.

Other Directly Allocated Costs

In some cases, such as use of internal facilities and shared staff costs, the basis of the costing doesn’t need to be justified, but the need for the resources does.

You need to explain what these are and why you need to use them.

 

Estates and indirect costs

* does not need to be justified

 

Research Facilities (at Research organisations)

* only time needs to be justified

You need to explain what you are using the facility for and why you need to use this particular facility.

Pooled Technicians

* for example workshop or laboratory technicians based at the University.  Usually not named – cost has to be justified.

You need to explain why you are using a pooled technician and justify the amount of resource requested.

Infrastructure Technicians

* for example Health and Safety Officer at University.  Cost should be displayed separately to Estate and Indirect costs in the other Directly Allocated costs box. This cost does not need to be justified. 

 

 

Exceptions

PhD student

* need to justify why a PhD student is needed for the proposed work

Will a student be skilled enough to tackle the research problems, and will they in all likelihood get a thesis out of it? If you are asking for both an RA and a student, is there sufficient work at the right technical level for both of them? Why are both needed on the project?

Equipment

(over 50k)

* need to justify any equipment over £50k.  EPSRC will fund equipment over £50k at 100% FEC.

Why do you need this equipment for this proposed research?  What will it be used for and who will be using it?

The main reasons for returning JoRs to PIs for amendments are:

  • costs stated in the JeS form are not fully justified in the JoR e.g. the investigator time that has been asked for has not been justified (please note: the investigator salary cost does not need to be justified, only the time asked for).
  • costs / descriptions stated in the JeS form do not match those in the JoR.
  • costs in the JoR which are not in the JeS form and vice versa.
  • justifications of why an item is needed are not clear or are poor e.g. listing the items from the JeS form without any description of why its needed.
  • if the PI time includes supervision of PhD students -  this is not allowed see:

https://je-s.rcuk.ac.uk/jesHandBook/jesHelp.aspx?m=s&s=751