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The TRAC Guidance is made up of six chapters and has been developed in a consistent format to improve accessibility and readability. 

How to use the new TRAC guidance






Full TRAC Guidance download Download
1 Introduction 1.1 Introduction Download
1.2 Principles and standards
1.3 TRAC activity definitions
2 Governance & Quality Assurance 2.1 Governance and quality assurance of TRAC Download
3 TRAC Process 3.1 Data required for TRAC Download
3.2 Sustainability adjustments
3.3 Direct cost attribution
3.4 Allocating departmental and central costs
3.5 Income allocation
4 TRAC Reporting 4.1 Annual TRAC return Download
4.2 Research charge-out rates
4.3 TRAC for Teaching return - TRAC(T)
5 Application of Charge Out Rates 5.1 Calculation of research project costs Download
6 Glossary 6.1 Glossary of Terms Download
Annexes    1.2a Materiality Download
  1.2b Dispensation Download
  2.1a  Requirements and processes for changes in compliance status or institutional status Download
  3.1a  Academic time allocation survey form Download
  3.2a  Infrastructure adjustment template Download
  3.2b Return for financing and investment template Download
  3.5a Income allocation table Download
  3.5b Guidance on the allocation of Funding Council grants Download
  4.1a Annual TRAC return template Download
  4.1b Peer groups Download
  4.2a Facility costing template Download
  4.2b Technician survey template Download
  4.2c HM Treasury letter – University Research: Costs to Government Departments (13 February 2004) Download 
  4.3a TRAC(T) return template  Download
  4.3b HESA Academic Cost Centres Download
  4.3c Funding proxy for non-subject related activities (HEFCE) Download
  4.3d Funding proxy for non-subject related activities (SFC) Download
  4.3e TRAC(T) Removal of non-subject-related costs (worked example) Download 
TRAC for EC Framework 7 projects  

TRAC: A guide for senior managers and governing body members

The TRAC Development Group have developed a guide on the Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC) that is tailored for senior managers and governing body members.

TRAC practitioners should be familiar with the guide and promote it to senior management within their own institutions.

New TRAC statement of requirements

In response to feedback from the sector, we have published the TRAC requirements in each chapter and section of the TRAC Guidance in a single document below. Institutions may find this useful in assessing their compliance with the TRAC requirements as part of designing their TRAC process, and in the sign-off process for the TRAC returns.  Note this is a carbon copy of the requirements in the guidance above and does not contain any new, different or additional information.

TRAC Guidance navigation card

This card illustrates the contents of each section within each chapter of the TRAC Guidance. This should enable users to recognise the different stages of the TRAC process and to navigate between chapters and sections.

Download the TRAC Guidance navigation card as PDF (71 KB)

TRAC Guidance - Mapping of new to old

The new TRAC statement of requirement has a different structure to the previous guidance version, so comparison between the two documents is not a simple task. A cross-mapping exercise was undertaken during the development phase between the old guidance and the new. This cross mapping is made available to TRAC practitioners to aid transition to the new guidance for the 2014/15 submission period.

Download the new TRAC statement of requirements mapping document

Download the SoR_mapping_to_the_new_guidance_map_June2015 as PDF (862 KB)

TRAC EC-FP7 Guidance

TRAC Guidance was further developed in 2008 for use in costing European Commission Framework 7 bids. This page provides access to the current Guidance for the institutions that adopted this method. Note: This guidance does not apply for Horizon 2020 bids.

The redevelopment of the new TRAC Guidance has not required this guidance to be substantially changed, but the following documents have been updated to reflect current EC rules and to incorporate what were previously standalone updates:

The Guidance consists of:

Guidance title Document
TRAC EC-FP7 Guidance (April 2014) ‌‌Download the TRACECFP7-Guidance as PDF (418 KB)
Annex 1 - TRAC EC-FP7 Endorsement letter  Download the Annex 1 as PDF (565 KB)
Annex 2 - Model Form E Download the Annex 2 - Model Form E (to be confirmed as final version) as PDF (262 KB)
Annex 3 - Irrecoverable VAT example calculation Download the Annex3 as PDF (81 KB)
Annex 4 - Additional Audit Procedures (April 2014) Download the Annex4 as PDF (123 KB) ‌
Annex 5 - Frequently asked questions Download the Annex5 as PDF (179 KB)
Annex 6 - Note about the irrecoverable duties from indirect costs Download the Annex6 as PDF (100 KB)

Page last updated 29 January 2016