What is Pooled Labour?
According to RCUK guidance: 'Pooled staff effort is usually taken to mean access to staff effort where the specific individuals/posts work on several projects or activities.'
Pooled Labour (PL) is routinely budgeted for in applications from lab based Departments. Whilst not presently common on applications submitted within the Schools of Arts and Humanities and the Humanities and Social Sciences, there are nonetheless examples of it being successfully awarded.
An example of the practical application of PL in AHSS, would be where an application includes a series of planned workshops or conferences. The responsibility and considerable time spent in the planning, co-ordination and implementation of such workshops or conferences could not reasonably be covered by the Indirect costs provided by RCUK; the inclusion of a budget for PL can potentially provide funds for an existing staff member to fulfil this task on an 'as and when' required basis.
This is contingent on the Department having a pool of staff who can fulfil this type of role on a project. If this is not the case, then alternatively a budget for a part time Project Administrator could be considered.
How to apply for Pooled Labour
Typically, it is costed into an application as a Directly Allocated (DA) Cost, though it is possible to apply under Directly Incurred (DI) Costs.
To include PL in the JeS application, select 'Other Directly Allocated Costs' from the left hand navigation menu, then select 'Pool Staff Costs' from the drop down menu bar.
Pooled Labour must be fully justified, including costing methodology - for example, the number of hours and the grade - in the Justification of Resources section of the application.
X5: To cost Pooled Labour in X5, the DI staff tab must be used. Firstly, select 'Pooled Labour' under the Role description; this will automatically update the 'Cost type' to DA. Continue to enter the remaining fields, such as Grade and Scale, as usual. Under 'UFS budget heading' there are four options for PL, for which the most appropriate to the tasks performed should be selected : PL Clerical, PL Technical, PL Academic and PL Other.
Managing Pooled Labour:
Pooled staff costs are not charged directly against the Research Grant in CUFS, unlike most other staff costs incurred on a project.
Instead, much like DA Principal Investigator time, the total award amount is divided by the number of months the project runs for, and this amount is automatically credited to the appropriate Department GL code on a monthly basis.
Note that unlike DA Principal Investigator time, DA Pooled Labour is not split between the Chest and Department.
Since Pooled Labour is a DA cost, there is no requirement for the completion of timesheets, and there is no audit trail required.