Budget Information for Proposals
The ORSP and the Office of Grants & Contracts will help you develop your budget. All budgets need to be reviewed by the Office of Grants & Contracts before a grant can be submitted.
Things to keep in mind as you develop the budget:
- Funding agencies review budgets and know what the appropriate costs should be to complete the project. Promising to do "more for less" does not
enhance your application. This gives the appearance that the Principal Investigator has not put sufficient thought and research into determining the actual costs necessary to complete the proposed project.
- Facilities and Adminstrative (F&A) costs (also referred to as "indirect costs" or " overhead") are things the institution provides like staff to do the paperwork and training for new employees, business office and purchasing office staff, OIT support, costs associated with lighting and building maintenance. These F&A costs are based on a negotiated rate and requesting the full F&A cost is something funding agencies expect as part of the costs of doing the project. Requesting a lower rate does not make the project more appealing, it simply reduces the amount of funds TAMIU has available to provide these kinds of services to Principal Investigators. Not all funding agencies accept F&A costs as part of a budget, they may instead expect the institution to contribute those F&A costs as a "cost-sharing" expense. The ORSP and the Office of Grants & Contracts will assist you in determining the correct place to put F&A costs in your budget.
General information - has institutional numbers and information, quick reference and links to most budget areas
Steps in Developing a Grant Budget
Budget justification or narrative - need to justify why the expenses in your budget and address the issues below
For the Primary Investigator, key personnel, student research assistants/employees, and consultants:
- Why are they necessary to the success of the project? What skills, credentials, qualifications or experience do they contribute to the project?
- Detail the specific responsibilities and role for each person funded on the grant. If you have not identified a person yet for a key position, state that "x key personnel" will be decided later and detail the responsibilities for this position.
- Specify how much time and effort each individual will spend working on this project.
- Benefits - State the University benefit rate for full-time, part-time or student workers as appropriate.
For equipment (any single item $5000 or more), supplies, printing/copying/mailing, travel, hospitality (food):
- For all the items listed above, detail what and why this item is necessary for the success of the project?
- Equipment, often requires obtaining a quote for an accurate pricing.
- Be as specific as possible for printing/copying/mailing costs. Contact print shop for pricing, USPS for postage costs.
- For travel, include plans for specific conferences/destinations, include specific costs
- Verify hospitality is an allowable expense, things like hosting a conference or meeting frequently will permit hospitality expenses. Some funding does not allow these kinds of expenses at all, read your guidelines carefully. NOTE: Alcohol is NEVER an allowable expense.
Sample Budget Justification - located about halfway down the page (St. Catherine's University)
Sample Budget Justification - (Rice University)
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