Staff Timesheets and Time Recording

Funder requirements and guidance to follow for time recording on research projects

A number of funders require all staff employed on a research project to complete timesheets evidencing the time spent working on the project. 

Specifically European Commission and UKRI Research Council funded research projects have this requirement, however this is not an exhaustive list and there are also specific conditions that apply. Please ensure you familiarise with specific funder terms and conditions as well as time-recording guidance provided below as they provide explicit detailed information.

If you are unsure about timesheet requirements on a particular research project, please contact your dedicated Research Grants Administrator.

Compliance with funder conditions on time recording must be closely adhered to. If you are unable to provide properly completed and authorised timesheets or equivalent justification of time spent on the project to support the claim of staff costs, the entire amount claimed for that employee may be declared ineligible. It is a key area covered on audit checks and the impact of non compliance is significant.


Staff Timesheets Practices

  • UoE standard procedure is that timesheets need to be completed on a monthly basis.
  • Timesheets must be submitted timely, at the end of the following month of the month worked.
  • Compliance with funder terms and conditions on time recording must be closely adhered to.
  • Failure to comply with the above could result in disallowed costs by the funder - for school/centre to cover.


 Timesheets practicalities for schools/centres to follow

  • Check funder terms and conditions for time recording requirements.
  • Staff employed on research project with time-recording requirements must start submitting timesheets as soon as they commence work.
  • Ensure all staff as above have access to the University’s time recording system (SharePoint).
  • Ensure all staff employed on research projects are completing their timesheets monthly.
  • Ensure supervisors/line managers of these staff have access to the University’s time recording system and approve the employee’s timesheets, on a timely monthly basis.
  • Digital copies of completed timesheets should be kept by school for the required funder retention period.

Timesheets checklist and further guidance

Time recording system and useful information

With the launch of People & Money, new SharePoint functionality is being rolled out to replace eTime (previous time recording system) which was decommissioned on 31 July 2022. Timesheets from the 1 August 2022 should be recorded using the new enhanced Research Timesheets system.


Research Timesheets (Enhanced) - Home (


  • the system allows electronic signatures throughout the process (submission to approval).
  • the system captures the date and time of submission/approval automatically, making the whole process paper-less and providing a clear audit trail.
  • the system allows for two different sets of users, regular users and school admin users. The latter allows designated professional services staff to view and monitor timesheets for all of their staff.
  • the system includes two levels of system approver, first level system approval by the person carrying the work, and second level system approval by the employees supervisor/line manager.
  • the system is enhanced with automatic notifications, informing approvers when a timesheet has been submitted for review, and informing the originator when a timesheet has been approved or rejected.
  • the system automatically generates and stores fully approved timesheets in pdf format. Users are able to view and access their own timesheets and those they have approved directly from the system, allowing a clear audit trail.

For more information and guidance on the new system please read the User Guide.

Research Timesheets | User Guide

Please make use of the Sharepoint’s FAQs to help all system users with some common issues.

For questions not answered in the User Guide and FAQs, please contact our dedicated Research Timesheets Helpdesk.


UKRI and Innovate UK funder requirements

Directly incurred staff (e.g. research assistants; research fellows; technicians; administrative staff) working less than 100% of their time on one project must complete timesheets. Directly incurred staff who do work 100% of their time on one project require a signed declaration of exclusivity form.

Timesheets are NOT required for:

  • Staff working 100%, but charged for only part of the project duration, e.g. someone works for 6 months at 100% during a three year project.
  • Staff on part-time contracts whose salary costs are charged fully to a single project.
  • Postgraduate Research Students who are charged either full or part-time to projects.
  • Staff funded by the RCUK Academic Fellowship scheme if they can demonstrate 100% time commitment, even if not fully funded by the fellowship.  

 For Directly Incurred staff where the individual is not working 100% of their time dedicated to one project the following time records should be maintained:

  • Monthly timesheets should be retained over the life of all UKRI funded projects and these should be completed on a timely basis.
  • Timesheets should include all activities as defined by TRAC (teaching, research (by sponsor type) and other, including time spent supervising post graduate researchers) and keep a record of time spent against individual UKRI projects.
  • Timesheets should be completed on an all hours worked basis totalling the cumulative hours per month (as a minimum time period).
  • The timesheet should be authorised as a minimum by the relevant line manager.



Innovate UK Horizon Europe Guarantee requirements

The same requirements that apply to UKRI and Innovate UK awards for DI staff working less than 100% of their time on one project also apply to Innovate UK Horizon Europe Guarantee awards. However, directly incurred staff who do work 100% of their time on one project require a signed declaration of days worked form. A signed declaration of exclusivity form is not sufficient for assurance purposes. For the avoidance of doubt, timesheets can be completed, as this is the most comprehensive time-keeping record.

Under EU rules, Post Graduate Research Students who are active on Horizon Europe Guarantee awards are treated as personnel and, as such, the guidance above for directly incurred staff should be followed. Timesheets for students that cannot be completed using the Enhanced Research Timesheets System should be completed using a manual timesheet template.

Declaration of Days Worked Form

Manual Research Timesheet Template

Declaration of Exclusivity Form


European Commission specific requirements

Everyone working on an European Commission funded research project should complete timesheets or a declaration on exclusive work on action for those exclusively working (100%) on a Horizon 2020 (H2020) or a Horizon Europe (HEU) framework award.

Please read below the EC Timesheet Guidance document and EC Timesheets Factsheet for detailed requirements, but make note:

  • Hours worked require to be split by work package or activity as per Grant Agreement.
  • A brief description of tasks undertaken should be included as good practice.
  • If time allocation changes throughout reporting period from 100% to split allocation of effort, then a declaration and complementary timesheets would need to be submitted.
  • Timesheets need to be completed (submitted and approved) on a monthly basis.
  • Clear requirement from the European Commission is that no staff costs should be included in a research project’s claim or will be paid by EC in the absence of properly completed and authorised timesheets.  

EC Timesheets Factsheet


Further Information

Guidance on financial data retention periods

Information on funder terms and conditions

For any project specific questions, please contact your dedicated Research Grants Administrator


Further Resources

Timesheet Awareness Training 

EC awards Declaration on exclusive work on project 

Alternative evidence examples to support effort

Key changes to Research Timesheets submission