For my CV, I want to mention the budget size of third-party funds I helped to raise, but I do not know the financial details. So:

What's the rough cost for one person year in academia, including personal costs, travel costs, overhead costs, etc.

Update: Since the budget seems to depend on the location: It was a German project ("DFG Einzelantrag auf Sachbeihilfe") and I computed the personal costs per year to be about 60 thousand Euro. But I have no clue how much the travel and overhead costs are per year.

  • 1
    This is very localized. You might at least want to promote the "in detail" content to the main question, since an answer needs to be Germany-specific.
    – Suresh
    Nov 27, 2013 at 0:06
  • It seems odd that if you've helped raise these funds that you wouldn't know what the exact values are. Is there a reason that you need to calculate the costs per person rather than just listing the value of the award?
    – Irwin
    Nov 27, 2013 at 1:01
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    It seems very silly to try to guess the number. Either ask the PI who knows the financial details, or leave them out and let people make their own guesses. No one is going to be impressed by the amount of money you guess you helped to land. Nov 27, 2013 at 4:49
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    Vaguely related recent post out in the blogosphere: science-professor.blogspot.com/2013/11/price-check-you.html . The kind of rule of thumb that floats around the business community in the US is that taxes, benefits and overhead about double the "pay" figure (exclusive of all that travel and so on). Nov 28, 2013 at 15:43
  • I'm not sure it's possible to provide an acceptable answer to this, as it will vary so much by field and country. For example, I work at a research institute with high containment facilites which operates a full economic cost model, so the per-capita overheads are very high compared to many comparable facilities in other countries, or academics in other fields in the UK.
    – arboviral
    Jan 25, 2018 at 11:20

1 Answer 1


The total amount of funding is difficult to guess. If you can't get detailed information, it's better to just state the number of positions in the grant and the total duration. Even that could be left out. If you're applying within Germany, everybody will know what a "typical" DFG grant includes. For applications somewhere else, I'm not sure how relevant this information would be.

The personnel related funding received from the DFG is standardized. See for example there for rates in 2012. The important question here would be wether it's a full-time or part-time position. That is field-dependent.

Overhead cost is standardized at 20 % of the total funding (at least for recent grants, it has been less earlier).

Travel costs and other is really dependent on the project.

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