Monthly Timesheets

As part of the Terms and Conditions of our research funders, some of them require evidence of an individual's time worked on an award. These sponsors include the Research Councils (RC) and European Commission (EC).

We have implemented a standardised monthly timesheet system. Details of staff members who need to complete timesheets are given in the FAQs below.

There are two different timesheets depending on the project you are working on:

  1. Staff working on EC or ERC FP7 projects and Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowships should complete the FP7 timesheet.
  2. All other eligible staff should complete the standard timesheet.



Which staff are required to complete monthly timesheets?

  • All staff, including investigators and researchers, working on a European Commission Framework Programme 7 (FP7) funded research project.
  • All salaried part-time staff (excluding hourly paid staff).
  • All staff categorised as 'directly incurred' working on a fEC-funded research project for less than 100% of their time (excluding hourly paid staff). This includes staff working 100% time but working on more than one project or activity.

N.B. Full-time staff who are charged 100% to one project DO NOT need to complete timesheets

Why do we need to complete timesheets?


As part of the Terms and Conditions of our research funders, some of them require evidence of an individual's time worked on an award. These sponsors include the Research Councils (RC) and the European Commission (EC).


In the case of FP7 projects the timesheets determine the eligibility of the salary costs claimed. If timesheets are not completed we will not receive reimbursement of our costs in relation to the employee's salary.


Where do I get the timesheets from?


At the beginning of each month you will receive an email from| asking you to complete a timesheet for that month. The timesheet will be attached to the email. Please make a note of the email address as completed timesheets should be returned to it.

Why have I been sent a timesheet for a project that has not started yet?


Staff are added to our timesheet circulation lists as soon as the project is set up by the Division which, quite often, is a few months in advance of the start date. We think this is the best way of ensuring that staff are not missed from the list. Please disregard the requests until you have started work on the project.


There are two timesheets, which one do I complete?



For European Commission Framework Programme 7 (FP7) projects it is important to detail the work package where the hours have been spent. This could mean that you may have more than a single line item for a project if work is being carried out on more than one work package. 



Therefore staff working on a FP7 research project should complete a FP7 timesheet|. All other staff should complete a standard timesheet|.



I work on more than one project, should I complete a timesheet for each project?


No, only one monthly timesheet should be completed which divides the hours worked across each project.


How should I record my hours?


Timesheets should include all your productive hours worked, allocated to each project or activity.



At LSE, salary costs for directly incurred annual salaried staff are charged directly to the project through the monthly payroll system based on a pre-determined number of hours or percentage time worked on a project and as recorded on the Human Resources database. These are the amounts we will claim from the sponsor and the timesheets will provide evidence of these costs.



Research Councils will expect hours recorded on timesheets to be broadly consistent with HR records and the percentage of salary costs (or number of hours) being charged to the project over the life of the award. If you work and record more than your contracted number of hours against a Research Council project this will not increase the costs we can claim.



For FP7 projects only 'the costs of the actual hours worked by a person directly carrying out the work under the project can be charged.'  The EC will use the timesheets to verify the eligibility of costs claimed. Therefore the hours worked and recorded on the timesheet for both directly incurred and directly allocated (principal investigators) staff should be consistent with the number of standard productive hours. The LSE's standard productive hours per annum for a full time employee are 1540. If you work less than 100% time then the standard productive hours should be calculated on a pro-rata basis e.g. if you are contracted to work 50% time then your standard productive hours will be 770.



The table below shows the calculation of standard productive hours. These figures must be used to calculate the rate even though it is acknowledged that longer hours are often worked



Calculation of Productive Hours

Days in a year




Statutory/Custom Leave


Annual Leave


Total Working days


Hours Per day


Total Productive Hours







What do I do when I take annual leave or am sick?


For FP7 projects you need to include your annual leave time and sick days on your timesheets. This is not a requirement for staff completing the standard timesheet.


Do I need to get the timesheet authorised?


Yes, the completed timesheet should be printed off and signed by your manager. In most cases this will be the project's principal investigator(s). Timesheets for principal investigators should be signed by the Head of Department. Timesheets should not be self-authorised.


The Principal Investigator of the research project is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the timesheets are completed, submitted and approved for staff required to complete them.



Where do I send the completed timesheet to?



Completed timesheets should be scanned and returned by email to the

email address that relates to your department or centre (this will be the email address that sent the monthly timesheet request to you).



When should I send the completed timesheet?


Timesheets should be completed a month in arrears and sent by the 5 of the following month.

What should I do with the original signed copy of the timesheet?


The timesheet should be retained in your department or research centre for a minimum of 6 years or longer if the sponsor rules require.

I am unsure of the full project title and funder's reference, where can I find this out?


Your allocated research awards manager within the Research Division who administers projects for your department or centre will be able to provide you with this information. Contact your research awards manager.|

I do not think I need to complete timesheets, what should I do?


Please contact the research awards manager within the Research Division who administers projects for your department or centre. They will discuss your reasons with you and remove you from the circulation list where appropriate. Contact your research awards manager.|

I have another question, who should I ask?


Please direct any other questions to the research awards manager within the Research Division who administers projects for your department or centre. Contact your research awards manager.|

Explanation of Terms

Directly incurred costs - costs incurred specifically for a research project.


fEC-funded research project - a research project where all or a proportion of the full economic cost is paid by the funder. Any member of staff working on a project funded by a Research Council or other UK public body would fall within this category.