The BDSG offers several methods of fee-for service charging, to allow us to be sufficiently flexible to respond to different levels of service request, ranging from a few hours for a one-off piece of routine analysis, through to providing full CO-I level participation and part or full posts for dedicated bioinformaticians or bio-software developers on your grants. We can also offer external (i.e. for non-Imperial) rates for consultation and analyses in some circumstances. Depending on funder rules for specific projects, one or more funding methods may be possible.

You may find the following summaries helpful, but if you would like more specific help, please get in touch directly. If you have a query regarding what is ‘allowable’ on a specific awarded grant or when applying for a particular call, please also check in with your local Research Services representative.

Hourly rates

The BDSG is currently operating as a college-wide facility with a centrally-calculated TRAC facility rate. This figure is annually updated and allows us to offer an hourly rate for staff-time spent on specific projects. In common with other college TRAC charges, this can be used to simplify charging in certain circumstances, but is not always allowable on externally-funded projects.

The hourly TRAC facility charge CAN:

  • be used on projects that are internally funded – for example for work paid from College G code accounts, for BRC-funded work.
  • be included in directly incurred costs in grant applications for RCUK, charity-funded and EU grants.
  • be used to cost bioinformatics support on fellowships or other types of grant where the number of fundable staff are specifically limited.

But cannot be used to calculate costs and pay for services on awarded RCUK and EU grants where it was not included as an item in the original awarded costs.

Please see 'Writing a new grant proposal' for further  information on how to include an hourly costed TRAC facility charge for BSS in a grant proposal.

Charging as part-posts for named researchers

When writing a grant proposal that will require help and support from the BDSG of a more substantial nature (e.g. 0.1FTE and above) a preferred method of seeking funding is to ask for a part-post for a named BDSG researcher. For projects where bioinformatics plays a substantial role, the head of the BDSG is able to act as a CO-I as required. In some instances, BDSG are also able to provide full-post PDRA’s to work directly on a project. 

Funding for hardware and software

We provide access to free-for-academic use and open source software centrally installed on our servers free of charge. We also host selected commercially available software with floating licenses that we charge users to access in order to recoup purchase costs. We may also help with purchase of bulk-discount single user licenses for these items. The costs vary on an annual basis. Please see 'Commercial software' for Information on current costs for these items and how to access them.

We currently offer up to 100GB backed up disk storage on our login server as part of a standard user login account. We can also make scratch space (not backed up) available for temporary working space at no charge. For projects requiring more storage than this, we have a charging system that can cost for storage at a flat rate per TB per year or part-year of use. This is calculated periodically based on the total cost of ownership of existing hardware, total configured useable storage volume and the associated staff time for installing, configuring and maintaining it. The current flat-rate charge (2015-16) for storage (including backup and/or replication) £200 per terabyte per year.

For larger storage projects (e.g. for other facilities or projects requiring in excess of 10TB storage) we can also offer quotations for purchase and maintenance of dedicated storage volumes.

At the end of projects, for retention of data files when researchers leave College, and/or for long-term retention of inactive data, we also offer a tape archiving service. Data can be written to LTO 5 or 6 tapes. We recommend 3 copies for data only retained on tape media. Cost is calculated per TB per copy. The current 2015-16 tape archive cost is £46 per TB per copy and includes secure storage of tapes (so to archive 3TB data to 3 tape copies will cost 3 x 3 x £46).

Please note that tape media versions change regularly and are only back-compatible for a limited number of years. For data retention times on tape beyond 5-6 years we would recommend considering ear-marking a similar cost for funding the move of your data to new format tapes periodically. 

Summary of 2017-18 rates
 Individual staff time hour  £130
 Configured, backed-up stroage per TB per year £200
 Tape archiving per TB per sepate copy  £46 
Summary of the table's contents