The budget of any proposal is always a critical element in the success or failure of a proposal. The budget must be as accurate as possible. Obtaining estimates of costs and then accurately estimating increases in those costs is the key to a budget. The components that must be considered in any budget are the Direct Costs and Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs (also called Indirect Costs). Direct costs are those that can be charged to the general management and support of the project. F&A costs are usually in the form of a pre-negotiated rate that reflects the overhead costs to the university of providing the facilities and support to perform the grant activities. Except in cases where F&A costs are not accepted by the funding agency, all funding requests should include both direct and indirect costs.
A. Direct Costs
1. Personnel Salaries and Wages
List professional personnel, staff, graduate or undergraduate student assistants, and part-time workers. In all cases, estimated time committed to the project must be stated. If the proposal is for more than one year, or if there will be a salary increase during the project time line, such increases are to be reflected in the budget. Summer salaries and academic year salaries should be designated separately. The cost of any replacement personnel should be calculated to reflect the actual salary of the person who will be replaced. Salary figures for new positions should be calculated by FRASP staff members. The FRASP office has exact up-to-date figures for salaries and wages and will assist faculty in developing their budgets.
2. Fringe Benefits
Fringe benefits are calculated on all salaries and wages listed in the above section. The current fringe rate is determined by the Business Office. This figure can be obtained from the FRASP office.
Identify, as specifically as possible, any consumable supplies that will be needed for the project and include them in the budget with a description of each category of item. In addition, list all expendable equipment items (costing less than $1,000).
List the costs of specific equipment required for the completion of the project and for which funding is requested. An item is considered equipment if it costs more than $5,000.
A breakdown between domestic and foreign travel necessary for the personnel involved in the proposal is recommended. (This cost is not the same as travel expenses for participants in a training grant.)
6. Contractual Services
a. Consultant Services: State the total amount for such services, but give the per diem rate for each consultant.
b. Publication Costs: If publication is expected to result from the proposal, those costs may be included.
c. Miscellaneous: Items such as copying, telephone, mailings, equipment maintenance, or any other non-line item can be included in this category.
B. Indirect Costs (Facilities and Administrative Costs)
1. Negotiated Rate
Contact the FRASP office for the most up-to-date rate for the college.
2. Externally - Controlled Rate
Some funding agencies do not allow F&A costs at all or limit them. If this is the case, it will be noted in the program guidelines. Consult with FRASP staff on how to rebudget the F&A costs.
C. Cost Sharing/Matching Funds
Funding agencies often require a college to demonstrate its commitment to a project by participating in the total costs of any project supported by a research grant. Some agencies set a minimum cost-sharing amount. All grant matches or cost-sharing arrangements must be approved in advance of proposal submission. Consult with the FRASP staff members to determine cost-sharing funds available.