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University Service Charge

Staff involved in the tendering and pricing of goods and services (including research) provided by ECU, or who are in receipt of certain grant funding must refer to the University Services Charge Policy.

Where ECU receives external funding for activities, the charge is intended to contribute to funding the activity’s indirect costs and to support compliance with Competitive Neutrality principles.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is the charge?

The charge is 15% of gross revenue, or as determined from time to time by the Vice-Chancellor. The charge is debited to the project receiving the revenue and is distributed as follows:

  • 10% to central ECU funds to contribute to funding central and indirect ECU costs; and
  • 5% to schools under which the project is located – to contribute to school indirect costs.

Why don’t we levy the charge on all research income?

ECU is a registered Research Provider under the Industry Research and Development Act 1986. To comply with registration requirements, we commit to basing our pricing on 'ordinary commercial terms' requiring full cost recovery and no government subsidisation.

In the case of Australian Competitive Grant Funding, the Commonwealth funds indirect research costs through the Sustainable Research Excellence and Research Infrastructure Block Grant Schemes. In these cases, University Service Charges are not permitted.

Can my activity be exempted from the charge?

Exemptions are granted in exceptional circumstances only. An exemption application needs the support of the Dean/Director. In addition, research projects require the endorsement of the Director of Research Services. Once an exemption is granted, the income will not attract the charge. In certain cases, your school or centre may exempt the 5% which funds the school indirect costs. For guidelines, please refer to your Finance Team.

How do I calculate the charge to include in my budget?

Please download the Guidelines for Calculating USC document.

Can I charge more than the standard rate?

Yes. It is a broad-based charge to contribute to ECU and school indirect costs. Your project or initiative should be fully costed. In that way if you need to recover costs over and above the standard rate you’re able to do so. Your Finance Team or Business Manager can help with the appropriate way to do this as it will vary according to different funding guidelines.

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