Budget Preparation

Download Budget Template

The budget is just as important as the technical proposal. It is a comprehensive planning document that integrates all of the details for attaining the objectives of the proposal. The budget should take into account long-range goals, as well as short-term objectives.

In most cases, a budget will include the following:

  • Salaries and wages for project personnel.

  • Fringe benefits, which includes benefits such as Social Security, Unemployment Compensation, Worker’s Compensation, health insurance, and retirement benefits.

  • Travel for in-state and out-of-state trips for fieldwork, attending conferences and trainings, and other purposes.
    • Domestic travel includes travel within the 50 states and to Puerto Rico.  All other travel is considered foreign travel. United States government sponsors require persons traveling under a grant or contract to travel by U.S. airlines or on airlines that operate under a U.S. airlines code share.
    • In calculating travel costs, use the prevailing approved rates for mileage reimbursement and per diem expenses.

  • Contractual services, for consultants and other services not provided by University personnel or subawardees. Consultant services must be justified, with reference to a daily or hourly compensation rates and days or hours of expected service. In most cases, per diem allowances and other travel costs for consultants should be included in the travel category of the budget.

  • Supplies and materials, which include expenses related to printing, instructional materials, office supplies, audiovisual equipment, and computers (under $5,000 or what the agency’s guidelines allow). The budget should indicate in general terms the type of expendable materials and supplies that are required to meet the goals of the project.

  • Equipment, for allowable items, such as scientific equipment unavailable to the Principal Investigator for the purpose of completing project. Generally, equipment refers to an item of property that has the acquisition cost of $5,000 or more and an expected service life of more than two years. A brief description and justification to show the purpose, function, and cost of the equipment is necessary. Include quotes from vendors where feasible.

  • Participant or trainee support costs, which can be scholarships, awards, and stipends that are provided to graduate or undergraduate research assistants to help carry out the proposed research. Stipends are taxable and must be filed as a source of income for the tax year in which the funds were received.

  • Indirect costs or Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs, which appear as a single separate item in the budget. This item represents the total costs to the University in support of the project that cannot be directly attributed to a project activity. This can include a portion of the University’s overall administrative costs, such as costs associated with purchasing and procurement, human resources, payroll, buildings, equipment, maintenance, office space, utilities, and research administration. In some cases, a funding agency will establish the indirect cost rate that all applicants must use for a project. In cases where the funding agency does not establish the indirect cost rate to be used, KSU must use the rate approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Cost Allocation, for federal grant projects. Please see the Quick Facts page for the current approved rate. 

Cost Sharing

Cost sharing, or cost matching, is the portion of the project costs that are pledged by the requestor and any other non-federal agency. Cost sharing can be a mandatory requirement by the agency. In accordance with OMB Circular A-110, cost sharing must be verifiable, documented, and auditable.

OMB Uniform Guidance dictates that cost sharing on a project must not be included as contributions for any other federally funded project or program; must be necessary and reasonable to accomplish project or program objectives; must be allowable in accordance with the applicable cost principles, the terms and conditions of the funding agency, and University policies; must be funded from non-federal sources unless authorized by federal statute; and must be incurred during the grant period.

All matching contributions must be approved at a minimum by the Dean of the relevant college prior to submission of the proposal. Other approvals may be required.

In-kind contributions are items such as donated time of faculty and staff and use of equipment, facilities, and supplies that a grantee or third-party partner contributes as its share of project costs. The value of these services must also be approved by the Dean of the relevant college. Explanations for the source(s) of funds to cover this item should be clearly identified with an explanation provided in the proposal when forwarded for review and signature to the Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs.

Principal Investigators should contact the Office for assistance with in-kind contribution and cost-sharing issues. All in-kind time and services must be documented. 

When preparing a budget, Principal Investigators should not include in-kind contributions or cash matching unless explicitly required by the funding agency. In-kind contributions or cash matching should not exceed the amount required by the agency.