Five keys to improving research costing in low- and middle-income countries

An ESSENCE good practice document

ESSENCE on Health Research

Publication details

Number of pages: 32 (EN); 38 (FR); 32 (ES)
Publication date: 2012 (EN,FR); 2017 (ES)
Languages: English, French and Spanish



This is a good practice document on research costing available in English, French and Spanish. It includes a review of the funding practices related to the definition and funding of direct and indirect costs. Research costing has been highlighted as a major challenge for institutions in low- to medium-income countries (LMICs) that are seeking to develop and maintain sustainable research environments. The report was developed by members of ESSENCE on Health Research (TDR supports the secretariat) and the research institutions they support. It provides information that will:

  • help all parties to better understand the challenges and requirements of research costing;
  • develop appropriate mechanisms for costing future research accurately and sustainably; and
  • act as a channel for further engagement between funders and institutions.