External Grants Indirect Research Cost (IRC) Recovery

Indirect Research Cost (IRC) is levied to meet the additional costs incurred by the University in accepting externally-funded research projects, no matter where the research is conducted. In contrast to direct research costs which can be accurately attributable to an individual research project, IRC are costs not readily identifiable to a specific research project but associated with the cost of doing research and/or training. The University incurs substantial IRC expenses from the provision of general resources and facilities such as utilities, space and core scientific equipment. In addition, the University provides support in IT, library, finance management, human resource, grant administration, and research governance (such as intellectual property management, safety compliance, research ethics and animal welfare), all of which incur costs.

A minimum rate of 20% is levied on the total research project direct cost awarded by all external agencies, grantors and companies supporting scientific research. A rate of at least 60% of total project direct costs is applicable to all Contract Research ("Fee-for-Service") projects in which the contracting party, typically an industry partner, is funding all costs required to conduct the project and expects to own all IP and reports arising from the research.

The following table summarises the respective minimum rates levied:


Project Type MINIMUM rate of IRC
Research Projects funded by external Grants (including grants from public sector agencies or industry partners) 20% of total research project direct cost
Contract Research ("Fee-for-Service") projects commissioned by industry or other external parties 60% of total research project direct cost