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Budget Development

Forms & Tools
Sample Budget Justification
Sample Budget Worksheet

The budget tells the sponsor how you plan to use the funds you are requesting.  The budget reflected should be fair and reasonable and be the best estimated cost to complete the project.  If awarded, CCU will be required to adhere to the budget’s structure for the life of the project. The ORS staff is available to work with you to create a budget that is as accurate and complete as possible prior to submission.

Important Note: Even if the sponsor does not require a budget, the Office of Research Services will still need an internal budget in order to set up the award.

Basic Budget Elements

  • Salaries and Wages – determine total salaries and wages and list the amount of time spent by each person on project
  • Fringe Benefits – direct cost to a sponsored project based on salaries and wages to be paid
  • Consultants – some sponsors do not permit payments to consultants
  • Capital Equipment – an article of nonexpendable, tangible personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5000 or more per acquisition
  • Expendable Equipment and Supplies – These are items costing less than $5000.  Normally, a research project will consume expendable supplies such as laboratory items, teaching aids, computer software, and office supplies.  A reasonable amount should be budgeted for these items.
  • Publication Costs – Budget the anticipated cost of publishing the results of the research, keeping in mind that page charges may vary from journal to journal.  Consider both page charges and reprint costs.
  • Travel – If foreign travel is anticipated it must be specified.
  • Computer Time – Computer time costs should be included as a budget item, if appropriate.  If non-sponsor-funded computer time is needed, arrangements must be made in advance with your academic department or research unit.
  • Subcontracts/Sub-recipient Agreements – When a proposal includes a subcontract/sub-recipient agreement to a named subcontractor, the subcontractor's authorized institutional representative should be provided with the "Proposal Review Form."  If the principal investigator(s) has any direct or indirect financial or other interest in the subcontractor/sub-recipient organization, a disclosing statement must be submitted as well.
  • Other Elements – Consider, as appropriate, costs for copying, long-distance telephone calls, postage, reference books and materials, tuition and required fees for participating graduate students, equipment maintenance, and contracted services.  Revision of OMB A-21 relevant to office supplies, postage, local telephone costs, and memberships:  The principal investigator needs to justify the need for these items in relation to the project.
  • F&A Rate (Facilities & Administrative or Indirect Costs) - A percentage established by the HHS which CCU uses in computing the dollar amount it charges to the grant to reimburse itself for common or joint objectives of the university and the sponsored program, and which, therefore, cannot be identified specifically in reference to a particular project, such as building operations and maintenance, laboratory space, library service, utilities, and administrative services.
  • Cost Share and Matching Funds - A non-cash donation of labor, facilities, or equipment to carry out a project. 
Online Resources

How to Develop a Budget for your Grant Proposal

Writing Tips for Budget Proposal Writing

  • Sites for writing a grant proposal
    Guide for Writing a Funding Proposal by Dr. S. Joseph Levine
  • Make your budget realistic (Do not inflate your budget)       
  • Ask someone else in your organization to review your budget
  • Check with the agency to see if it has required budget categories for you to use in your proposal