Bioresearch & Veterinary Services


Information on how we recover our operating costs, what we charge for and why. We can also help you manage your budget.

Paying for services:

Animal welfare and research support is an expensive business, and we must recover all our operating costs. We do not receive any institutional financial support, and so all our direct running costs are recovered on a fee-for-service basis. BVS has a business plan that projects recovery of all incurred costs (staff costs, consumables, equipment maintenance and repair) and also a small contingency fund each year. The purpose of the contingency fund is to protect our services against unexpected events, such as large equipment failure or an outbreak of an infectious disease.

Principles of cost recovery:

  • Animal care (maintenance) fees are billed retrospectively at the end of the month in which they are incurred.
  • The billing unit for animal care is by the pen (cage or tank) per day. Large animals are billed by the animal, per day.
  • Included in this maintenance fee are all the daily welfare checks required by law, ad libitum food and water (deviations allowed only under experimental conditions), clean bedding when required, environmental enrichment (unless specifically excluded for experimental reasons).
  • Experimental procedures can be performed by BVS staff. We have a wide range of skilled and competent technicians to support your research. The cost of this support depends on the time taken and incidental costs (consumables, anaesthetic etc).
  • Any purchases of animals must be organized with the receiving unit manager, and all costs including shipping and delivery containers will be passed directly to the purchaser. BVS is authorized to add an administration fee of 5% of the total invoice price for all external purchases. Don’t forget that animals for research are liable for VAT.
  • The cost of holding a Home Office procedural individual license (PIL) is recovered from each research group, usually in that financial year.
  • In order to ensure that research grants have sufficient funds to support the planned programme a full costing estimate is provided by BVS to the Principal Investigator and Research Support Office before the application is submitted. Animal purchases, maintenance, research technical support and Home Office license fees are accurately and fully costed. This process is a requirement before an application can be submitted to the funder. Further information on grant costing can be found here.

Ways to ensure you have sufficient funding

Plan ahead.

This begins with the grant costing process. Please describe in as much detail as possible the experimental work in the programme. The more detail you can provide, the more accurate the grant costing will be. Check that purchase costs are realistic. If you plan to use animals bred in our facilities you must check that we can supply your demand.

Plan your breeding carefully. You should have a purpose assigned for each batch of animals you hold. If you don’t have a specific purpose then don’t keep the animals ‘just in case’.

Regular review

Monitor your stocks regularly – fortnightly is ideal. Measure your research requirements against your budget – contact your local finance administrators if you do not have this information. Plan the spending over the remaining time of the project, so that you know that the budget is sufficient. If you predict that your budget will run out, please contact your School or Institute, your funder and most importantly BVS to discuss the situation.

Changes to Billing

The facility management software tick@lab (secured) is capable of collection all the information required to prepare bills. The advantages include

  • real-time overview of project spending before bills are issued so that spending can be controlled when it needs to be,
  • a single place where historical BVS spending is stored for you to review,
  • complete privacy of your data. You control who can access your financial information.

A project is underway to implement this module, with testing and validation currently ongoing. If you have any concerns regarding the changes to Billing please get in touch.