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Research - Budget advice

Does my project need a budget?

All projects that incur costs to the Auckland DHB must have a completed budget detailing all of the costs associated with the research and the expected revenue. 

Contact your Auckland DHB research accountant

An authorised Auckland DHB research accountant must approve your budget. Contact them to develop the budget. Your research accountant will use the Research Office budget template – budgets completed on any other template will not be accepted. The budgets must be presented as GST exclusive and MUST be approved by your research accountant before submission. 

Deficits not allowed

While there may be temporary deficits during the life of the project due to timing, at project completion there must be no deficit. Therefore, any project incurring costs must have a source of funding to cover those costs.

What should my budget include?

When completing the budget, you should include the following information:

Direct costs:

Working expenses – costs incurred directly as a result of the research activity and are over and above the costs which are standard treatment. These costs include, eg, materials, consumables, laboratory, pharmacy radiology costs, any new equipment and advertising costs.

Staff costs – all costs related to staff employed for the purposes of the research. This includes research-only staff and clinical staff with ring-fenced research time. The costs should include ACC, holiday, superannuation and CME (where applicable).

Equipment – all equipment purchases >$500 need to go through a Capex system. However, if a piece of equipment is donated, the ongoing costs, ie, depreciation, maintenance etc, need to be considered as part of the direct costs.

Other costs – includes items such as travel, publication, storage, patient related costs, eg, travel, parking, koha, gifts etc.

Indirect costs:

The indirect costs associated with the research are the overheads. The indirect costs must be GST exclusive. The overhead charges outlined below cover those costs of research that relate to administration of the project, eg, legal, research office support, finance department review and ongoing involvement, and costs of employment and supporting of research staff, eg, HR, facilities, payroll, library, IS support and security.

The spreadsheet (template) will calculate the overhead costs associated with your research depending on who the funder is.

  • Level 1: For simple investigator initiated public good (non-commercial) funded projects with total Value (revenue) below $10,000, no fees or overheads are required in the budget.
  • Level 2: For simple investigator initiated public good (non-commercial) funded projects, a fixed fee of $1500 will be applied for budgets greater than $10,000.
  • Level 3: For investigator initiated research funded by a non-commercial body that contributes to indirect costs in New Zealand (e.g. Health Research Council of New Zealand), overheads are charged at the percentage of the total value of the research allowed by the funder (e.g. 20% for Health Research Council) and a fixed fee of $2500 is applied.
  • Level 4: For industry sponsored research overheads are charged at 20% of the total value of the research and a fixed fee of $6500 is applied.

Payment details for research funding

Please ensure you use the following name and account:
All cheques should be made out to: Auckland Hospitals Research and Endowment Fund*
Account number: 03-1509-0022063-00
GST Number 66-934-136
Physical address: Britomart Branch, 53 Galway Street, CBD, Auckland 1010, NZ 
Postal address: P O Box 934, Auckland, New Zealand
BSB Code 03 1509
Swift Code WPACNZ2W


Auckland  Hospitals Research and Endowment Fund has been delegated authority to enter into contracts with third parties on behalf of and as agent for Auckland DHB and to accept obligations for Auckland DHB in relation to clinical trials for studies to be undertaken at Auckland DHB facilities and by Auckland DHB employees

About GST

Goods and services tax (GST) is a tax on the supply of most goods and services in New Zealand. The budgets that are developed are, unless specified, GST exclusive and GST must be added to invoices raised.

Who is liable for GST?

In research projects, we are providing a service to the sponsor / funder that is in the form of research findings / outcome. Providing treatment to the patient is collateral to that service. Therefore, when we issue invoices for research, we are charging to a customer for the provision of research and NOT on the treatment provided to research volunteers. The majority of research sponsors are located overseas thereby making it an exported service. The GST Act allows zero-rating of exported goods or services.

The exception to the above is the PE rule. We cannot zero-rate a service once the sponsor has any form of establishment in NZ (i.e. branch office, representative, etc). All companies or organizations with offices or bases in NZ that are conducting a taxable activity must register for GST. Please note that the presence of an employee of an overseas company in NZ for the purposes of routine intermittent monitoring of a research study does not mean that the company has a base in NZ.

The extent of involvement of employees from an overseas company when the company does not have an actual physical presence is critical to the question of “is the company outside NZ at the time the services are performed” and hence exempt for GST or zero rated. In this circumstance, the issue of GST would need to be examined. This issue needs to be considered before contracts are entered into and decisions on GST will be made on a case by case basis.

Then comes the question of how much due diligence is required on our part in ensuring that those zero-rated customers do not have an establishment in NZ (while providing us with an overseas address). The rule of reasonableness applies for this purpose.

Obtaining service quotes

When research requires extra tests or examinations, these form part of the research direct costs in the budget. The process for identifying these costs is to ask for a quote from the relevant service. The following people are the main services where extra service needs for research generally come from. Please contact them directly with your request. A quote must accompany your budget and application form for research approval.


Clinical Trials Coordinator
Phone: 09 307 4949 ext 7553


Clinical Trials Coordinator
Department of Pharmacy
Level 6, Support Building
Auckland City Hospital
Phone: ext 5499


Zubin Dalal
Phone: ext 24547


The position has yet to be filled.
Temporary contact: Sonia Darlington, Secretary
Phone: ext 23319

Clinical records

VRAM Clerk - External Requests
Grafton Clinical Records Department
Building 21, Ground Floor
Park Road, Grafton, Auckland
Phone: 09 307 4949 ext 5484

Medical Photography & Graphic Design

Phone: 09 307 4949 ext 25166