Project Costing and Pricing for Universities

The Product

BlackDackel is a professional solution for research costing and pricing at Universities

A detailed project budget is a central component of every research funding application. BlackDackel is a web-based solution for academics and finance administrators to capture your organization’s project bids and budgets, calculate their costs and funder prices, and make all this available for collaboration, approval, submission, and analysis in real time.


Record a breakdown of all required resources such as staff, lab time, equipment, IT, materials, and travel, and automatically calculate the total costs of these resources and associated overhead expenses over the duration of the project, with the applicable charge-out and inflation rates, currency conversions, and more.


Use customizable funder rules and templates for the quotation of the permissible costs to the funder, weighted with the respective percentage of coverage under the given funding scheme.

Collaboration and Analysis

Collaborate with your academics in shaping their application for the best possible outcome, approve and monitor the costs of research projects incurred to the institution, and forecast key research income figures on institutional level.

Key Design Aspects

Three core pillars keep the development of BlackDackel focused.


Overarching design goals for BlackDackel are ease of use and sensible defaults for the occasional user paired with high responsiveness, efficiency and productivity for the power user. Reducing the administrative burden, user experience, and performance are not afterthoughts but taken into account in every design decision, hence lowering the barrier for users and promoting adoption.


The flexible message-based integration framework allows for real-time data exchange with other corporate systems such as the HR system and offers an increased level of control over the application through API calls: whether you want to trigger approvals from external systems or surprise your academics with a command line interface - now you can.


We are following a standard product philosophy rather than a customized solution approach. This greatly reduces implementation risks and timelines, offers opportunities for collaboration and cost sharing between universities, ensures a future-proof and maintainable product, and avoids vendor lock-in.



Cost calculation using full economic costing methodology

Detailed staff costing

Accurate modeling of all salary elements including increments, uplifts, promotions, supplements, and more

Funder Templates

Out-of-the-box support for funder pricing rules using fully customizable templates


Historization of staff positions, salaries, and rates for accurate retrospective reporting


Support for multi-contract, multi-funder, multi-department, multi-partner bids


Key figures and aggregates at a glance for finance administrators

Scenario Modeling

Cost outlines and scenarios for iterative bid preparation and optimization

Easy workflows

Easy workflow and notification system for collaboration and approval


Export of budgets in funder submission formats and to internal and external systems

Who we are

Johannes Ferber

Managing Director, Founder

Prior to founding BlackDackel, Johannes was responsible for Pure sales in central Europe and the UK. Before that, Johannes worked in a strategic consulting firm. Johannes holds a PhD in Physics from the University of Frankfurt and a master in Mathematical Finance from the University of Oxford.

Ferdinand Helmer

CTO, Co-Founder

Ferdinand is an actuary with 15+ years of experience in software development. He is also partner at Neuburger & Partner. Ferdinand holds a PhD in Physics from the University of Munich and a master in Physics from Dartmouth College.


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