September update on the Research Costing Tool project

by | Aug 19, 2020 | Costing, Projects | 0 comments

Research Costing Tool project

The research costing tool project aims to improve the University’s ability to accurately cost research activity and will allow staff to model costs throughout the lifecycle of a research project. A product called BlackDackel, a web-based tool will be implemented at the University of Manchester.


Project update

Initial testing of pricing templates, workflows, currency conversions and reporting has been completed. Testing will continue as updates and new functionality continues to be added to the tool.

An additional number of requirements being submitted to BlackDackel has resulted in an enhanced integration Request for Change (RFC). In consultation with BlackDackel and the project team, additional integration requirements have been discovered in order for the costing tool and subsequent systems to share all required budget lines. An RFC was submitted to the Research Costing Tool Project Board as well as the Research Lifecycle Programme Board in July, which has now been approved. The RFC will result in a sophisticated method of moving budget information from the costing tool, to Pure and Oracle financials thus reducing the burden of multiple data entry on support staff.


Forthcoming developments

  • Training programme continues – a training programme is being developed to include guidance material and training videos
  • Roles and permissions are being finalised – to be incorporated in to the system shortly


Additional communications

The project team have commenced a series of update meetings for Research Services teams. FSE and Humanities teams have been provided with a demo of the product and a further update of the project. FBMH will receive an update in the coming weeks.



Due to the acceptance of the RFC, the Research Lifecycle Board has agreed to delay the launch of BlackDackel. This delay will allow the enhanced integration to be completed as well as provide an extended testing period. The new launch date is planned for the beginning of 2021.



Find out more about the Research Costing Tool project and how it will benefit you:


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