Information on preparing research budgets for University of Newcastle Researchers

Research Advantage

Preparing Research Budgets

Salaries and On-Costs

Research grant applications must quote the salary rates that will be applicable in the grant year, and include the appropriate UON salary oncost rate

ARC Grants

  • ARC Salary Rates are generally set salary rates and on-costs for each round of ARC applications. Check the current application guidelines for further details.

NHMRC Grants

  • NHMRC Salary Rates are generally set salary on cost rates and on-costs for each round of NHMRC applications. Check the current application guidelines for further details.

Other funding bodies

For other applications use the most recent University of Newcastle Salary on-cost Rates (currently 30% for full-time and 16.2% for casual staff) unless specified differently in the guidelines.  

Salary on-costs are the extra taxes and costs that have to be paid under NSW law.

If you require information about the levels of duties for research staff refer to the HEW level descriptors or contact Human Resource Services.

Please note:

  • Granting bodies often cap salary and salary on-costs at a lower rate that does not meet the requirements of the University of Newcastle Enterprise Agreement, which prescribes the salary rates to be paid at the University. Any short fall in funds is to be met from other sources or by reducing the period of employment.


The University must provide significant infrastructure for the support of research, including access to the University's computing systems; libraries; networked information retrieval facilities, physical accommodation; all risks insurance and professional indemnity insurance; animal and human ethics clearances; safety clearances; financial management and auditing; secretarial and administrative support and basic services such as power and telephones.

The University does not run an activity based costing system but bases costings at a rate that is consistent with overall usage. This is done as a percentage levy on each contract with due account being taken of the nature of the research activity on the project. The University has set this central overheads charge at 15% of the contract income and recognises that this is low compared with total overheads costs.

The current overhead rate to be included in grants is as follows

Faculty of Business and Law 15%
Faculty of Education and Arts 15%
Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment 15%
Faculty of Health and Medicine 25% (includes 10% Faculty Overhead)
Faculty of Science and Information Technology 25% (includes 10% Faculty Overhead)

The Overheads Charges on University Contracts Policy is presently under review. For more information, please contact the Office of the Chief Financial Officer on 4921 5679.

Goods and Services Tax

When preparing grant application budgets, Researchers need to consider GST.

GST, at 10% of the total project budget, should be included unless the grant body provides their ATO approved position stating otherwise.

Please Note: GST does not have any net impact on either the University or the Granting Body if both are registered for GST.

If you require these documents for your application, please contact for details.

The University of Newcastle is registered for GST and has ATO Deductible Gift Register Status.

Our ABN number is 15 736 576 735

Mileage and Subsistence

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) website features information for calculating travel and meal allowances for domestic and overseas travel.

Teaching Relief

Teaching relief is occasionally accepted as a project cost, providing adequate justification is given. Previous successful cases to the ARC have been based on the researcher being physically removed from the institution for the purpose of conducting the research.

If a granting body does accept teaching relief as a project cost, follow their guidelines in respect of the amount and duration allowable and consult with your Faculty Finance Service Manager to determine Faculty policy.