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Financial Service for Researchers

We offer our researches comprehensive financial services in collaboration with local research support at faculties and FSØ. Get help for budget approval, post-award services, and a range of forms and templates to support your research.

Getting started finance for your research project

Your budget should be as realistic as possible. For this reason, all of the costs that are relevant to your project should be included in the budget. This signals that your project is well-designed and gives a good impression of you as an applicant.

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Get your application approved

When you are ready to apply for funding the first step is to get you project approved by the university. The way to achieve that is by sending your project budget sheet for approval. The budget must be approved by the head of your department before it can be submitted to an funding application. If the funding amount is higher then 8 mil kroner then you will also require the approval of ForskerService-Økonomi (FSØ).

Costs and overhead at SDU

The costs in connection with externally funded research projects must be divided into direct and indirect costs.

Direct costs can be directly attributed to (linked to) activities in the project – e.g. laboratory analyses, fieldwork, salary and travel, and also include the administrative costs that can be attributed to the project, e.g. a project secretary or a laboratory assistant. Grant providers usually have rules for which type of direct costs can be applied for.

Indirect costs are costs that cannot be directly linked to the project. Indirect costs can be research-related – including, among other things, internet, library, operation of laboratories and experimental animal facilities, some types of archives and databases – or administrative costs, such as salary administration, rent, legal assistance, etc.

Administrative costs can therefore be both direct and indirect.

Overhead covers the project's indirect costs. Most foundations have rules on how indirect costs may or may not be included in applications. For public funders, including research councils, the overhead rates are 44% for universities and 3.1% for hospitals. For private foundations, overhead rates vary. Please note that public grant providers are prohibited by law from taking the difference in overhead costs into account in the assessment of applications.

More about Overhead at SDU:

Bench fee for external funding

The University of Southern Denmark (SDU) requires that its researchers must apply for a bench fee from the foundations whenever possible. Therefore, bench fees have been calculated for use in relation to external funding. This policy applies for all of SDU Research-related Bench fees at SDU

Research-related Bench fees consists of research-related costs and includes the following types of expenses:

  • Common or shared laboratory expenses and consumables
  • Laboratory utilities (electricity, gas, water)
  • Maintenance of essential equipment
  • Service contracts
  • Technical and IT support

For further reference read more about SDU's Bench fee policy here

Finance FAQ


Every institute or faculty has a dedicated researcher support team. In case they don't have financial staff within the team, they will gladly direct you to the appropriate contact person(s) who can provide the necessary guidance and support.

The budget is typically divided into:

  • Academic staff salaries (VIP)
  • Technical/administrative staff salaries (TAP)
  • Apparatus/equipment
  • Operations (the direct costs of operating the project/project-related costs)
  • Overhead (indirect operations, see below).

As a rule, you must itemise VIP and TAP salaried at the level of the individual project team member, and you must itemise operations in concrete budget items (materials, tuition fees, stays abroad, conference participation, publication/communication).

The definition of ‘equipment’ can vary from foundation to foundation. For example, the Danish Council for Independent Research requires equipment costing less than DKK 500.000 to be itemised as an operating expense.



Forskerservice-Økonomie (FSØ) is a finance function which exclusively deals with financial issues in connection with externally funded projects.

The tasks in Research Service Economics (FSØ) are:

  • Legality check of budgets and accounts
  • Creation of project accounts based on original grant letters
  • Invoicing of grants
  • Issuing account statements based on grant givers’ requirements
  •  Preparation of financial statements

You are always expected to contact your local research support unit for more information about economical services for researchers.


Seek guidance from the financial staff at your institute for assistance. Economic reports are provided upon approval of your research project. Reach out to your dedicated research support team for access to the reporting system and further assistance.

Post-award services for external projects

We understand the significance of efficient project management and accurate reporting. Here, you will find a range of post-award services tailored for external projects, including QlickView for seamless project transaction tracking, mTime for precise time tracking, and zExpense for managing travel and project-related expenses.

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QlikView for reporting

The financial service primarily uses QlikView for reporting.

Financial services have four categories that appear on QlikView AccessPoint. Under each category there are a number of economic applications (e.g. Finans applikationen), each of which contains several QlikView reports.

Certain categories and applications are only accessible with special rights.


For questions regarding QuickView, write to


Time registration for external projects

In connection with externally funded grants, some grant providers require documenting the hours worked. For this purpose, SDU utilizes the time registration system mTime. Contact your department if you need to register hours. You can find instructions for registering hours via the link below.


For questions regarding mTime, write to



SDU uses zExpense for the reimbursement of travel costs and expenses.

If you have any questions about zExpense, please contact the administrative staff in your department. If the administrative employee in your department does not know the answer, you can contact the employees in The Travel Office.

Process differs based on faculty

No matter which faculty you belong to, your budget must be approved by your head of department. If the funding amount is higher then 8 mil kroner then you will also require the approval of ForskerService-Økonomi (FSØ).

Below you can find information and guidance about successfully completing and sending out your project budget sheet.

Last Updated 14.03.2024