Salary costs are often the largest expenditure on research projects. For more information, see Hiring and managing staff section.
To proceed with hiring, contact your research awards manager (RAM) who will forecast salary costs under various scenarios depending on start and end dates, salary band/step, and % full-time equivalent (FTE).
Important: All staff appointments on research projects must first be authorised by your research awards manager. Thereafter, your RAM will provide funding confirmation either for you to pass to Human Resources or to Human Resources directly.
During the project, your RAM will monitor salary costs and provide a forecast for remaining salary commitments.
Travel and expenses
Any claims for expenses should comply with the LSE Travel-subsistence and personal out of pocket expenses policy and the eligibility rules provided in the terms and conditions of your research award or contract. If in doubt, please discuss with your RAM.
The following types of expenses should be routed for approval using the appropriate form in OneFinance:
- Out of pocket travel and expenses for LSE staff – use My Travel and Expenses
- Expenses claimed by non-LSE staff – use the External Expense Claim (UK only) or the AP Payment Request for overseas claimants
- LSE staff advances
Your RAM will receive and approve any expenses received through the approval workflow in OneFinance. They will review expenses for accuracy and compliance. Once accepted, your RAM will authorise, and the transaction will move to payment or the next stage in the workflow, as appropriate.
Once the approval workflow is complete, payment is made according to the Accounts Payable payments schedule.
Please discuss any local support arrangements for the expense claims process with your department or centre manager.
From 1 August 2019 all out of pocket expense claims must be submitted and approved in OneFinance. Please see the Travel and Expenses and H2020 Travel and Expenses user guides.
Remember to attach original receipts and supporting documents to your expense claims, making sure that uploaded copies are legible and can easily be matched to the expense item. The Research Awards Team will reject back to the claimant any expense claims that do not include appropriate or legible attachments.
Expenses for external project participants
For non-LSE staff expenses claims, please complete an External Expense Claim (UK only) document and AP Payment Request document for overseas claimants in OneFinance.
Attach original receipts to the claim, making sure that uploaded copies are legible and can easily be matched to the expense item.
Further information and user guides for paying External claimants can be found on Finance Division’s web pages.
Expenses incurred in a foreign currency
Convert expenses incurred in a foreign currency using the exchange rates either as evidenced on a bank or credit card statement or as found on xe.com. If using xe.com, the exchange rate used can be either as on the date the expense was incurred or as on the last date of travel.
Expense claims on European Commission projects
Claim your travel and expenses in the usual way through My Travel and Expenses in OneFinance but remember there will be additional information that you may need to provide such as coding to the associated work package/goal and separating out ineligible costs. The optional notes section is mandatory for H2020 projects, where you should provide further details of the expense as directed.
Remember to attach all supporting documents and receipts to your claim, making sure that uploaded copies are legible and can easily be matched to the expense item. Boarding passes must be included with any overseas travel expense.
For help with completing an EC expense claim form, see our H2020 Travel and Expenses user guide.
Expense payments to external claimants should be made by completing an External Expense Claim (UK only) form or the AP Payment Request for overseas claimants as appropriate in OneFinance. We will still require the H2020 Excel expense claim form to be completed and this should be attached before submitting for approval.
If you are travelling for the purposes of your research project, major costs such as hotels and flights can be booked in advance by using the School's travel management company – Diversity Travel or by using a School Purchasing Card.
However, there will be occasions where costs will be incurred whilst you are away. You can request an advance which will be paid into your bank account to cover these costs. You must then submit an expense claim in OneFinance upon your return to match the advance.
In general, no further advance will be made until a previous advance is cleared, though minor balances may be carried forward at the discretion of the Finance Director or the Head of Financial Reporting & Compliance.
We will approve advances that are reasonable for the journey and length of time you are away. To avoid rejection or query of your advance request, it is advisable to attach as much justification of the advance as you can, including a breakdown of how you anticipate spending it.
LSE Research and Innovation will not routinely follow up on unaccounted advances. It is your responsibility to make sure that you expense your advance in good time, making sure you have sufficient funds left in your project budget and before any external reporting to the sponsor or project closure takes place.
For help on how to make an advances request and how to expense your advance once you return from your trip please see the Requesting a Cash Advance user guide.
For information on advances for collaborating research partners, subcontractors or other external project participants please refer to the Advances for External Parties section.
Purchasing goods and services
From 1 August 2019 LSE has introduced a purchase requisition and ordering system. It is expected that all purchases of goods and services, including those on research projects, but with some known exceptions, will be made by raising a purchase requisition.
Please note: Purchase Orders will eventually become compulsory. For the interim transition period, if you need to process an invoice which does not have a Purchase Order, please see Invoice authorisation without a Purchase Order.
Contracts for collaborating research partners will continue to be managed by the LSE Research and Innovation teams and for the time being will be outside the scope of purchase ordering. For further information, please see our Managing research collaborative agreements and other contracts section.
If the service relates to subcontracting of research and other services or contracts for overseas researchers, please refer to our procedure for requesting a contract and purchase ordering in Managing research collaborative agreements and other contracts.
To create a Purchase Order to buy goods on your research project, a purchase requisition should be created in OneFinance. Once approved the Purchase Order will be transmitted to the supplier.
Remember, any purchases of goods or services should meet the School’s financial regulations and the eligibility rules provided in the terms and conditions of your research award or contract. If in doubt, please discuss with your research awards manager.
LSE financial regulations require evidence of value for money when payments in excess of £8k are made to external consultants or organisations. Written pricing quotations from three (or more) suppliers are required
Contact LSE's Procurement Team for assistance with undertaking competitive tenders, managing EU procurement activities and day-to-day procurement matters.
Purchase Order User Guides:
Introduction to Procurement
Buying from the Internal OneFinance Catalogue [Training guide]
Buying from the Web Catalogue - Office Depot [Training guide]
Buying Ad Hoc Items [Training guide]
Raising a Blanket Order [Training guide]
How to Approve or Reject a Requisition [Training guide]
Goods receipting [Training guide]
Procurement - Advanced guide [Training guide]
Employees will only be reimbursed expenses incurred solely and necessarily in the performance of their duties. No flat rates or ‘per diem’ rates will be paid. Expenditure should be kept to the minimum consistent with the effective performance of work on behalf of the School and recognising that the School is a public body, in receipt of public funds.
If you would like to discuss this further, please contact your RAM.
For queries on any of the following, contact your RAM:
- Further help on expense claims for external project members
- Requisitions and Purchase Orders
- Claims for hospitality
- Supplier payments
- Expenditure of funds over more than one financial or project year
- Correction of errors on your account (GL journals)
- Year end and annual accounts
- Payments against research projects
- Expense claims
- Purchasing equipment