Staffing Costs

A key consideration when working out your trial budget is staff salaries for all staff who will be involved in your trial such as the Principal Investigator, Research Coordinator, Research Nurse, Data Manager, Biostatistician, Pharmacist, and administrative staff.

Establish the following for each staff role:

  • Salary level – refer to your institution’s salary scales for detailed costs
  • Time spent on your study – calculate the projected amount of time in minutes/hours to complete protocol tasks plus any additional time for follow up (if applicable)
  • On-costs – typically calculated at 25% to cover leave, superannuation, workcare and similar
  • CPI indexation

Example of FTE calculation for a data entry staff member role

VCCC steps to calculate resources

Download example of FTE calculation

Breakdown of staff time

Things to consider in calculating staff time are:

  • study visit complexity – number of assessments per visit/number of blood tubes to be collected/number of time points per visit
  • patient group – age/behavioural issues/ambulation – these impact the time requirement
  • The time spent on tasks varies over the duration of the study

An example of Study Coordinator tasks that should be cost-recoverable in the trial budget follows.

Study Coordinator Tasks

The Sponsor-Investigator and central trial coordination team should identify the source of all trial costs during the trial planning stage. 

While applying for grants and writing the trial protocol, identify costs associated with personnel, participants and non-participant related processes/procedures.  Common expenses that are incurred for most trials are highlighted below.

VCCC study coordinator tasks

Download Study Coordinator tasks