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Creating the Budget

FCGR can assist you in creating a realistic and accurate budget for your project. FCGR reviews all budgets prior to submission and facilitates the required approvals from grants accounting and the controller.

Our budget worksheet for Excel may be used as a guide for calculating your project budget. Using this form, you will complete one for each year of the project. Please keep in mind that the fringe and facilities and administration (F&A) rates used may vary based on the funder; plan to contact FCGR to discuss your intended application.

Typical budget categories may include the following, depending on the funding agency guidelines:

  • Personnel, including principal investigator or project director, undergraduate and graduate students, and postdoctoral associates
  • Fringe benefits
  • Participants
  • Student trainees
  • K-12 teachers
  • Travel, both domestic and international
  • Equipment (generally items costing more than $5,000)
  • Materials and supplies
  • Consultants or visiting scholars
  • Indirect or F&A costs
  • Possible subawards (a separate budget could include any or all of the above)

Make sure your budget is realistic. If applicable, see discounted prices from vendors and check travel costs online in advance. Reviewers will generally know the prices of equipment, supplies, travel, and other expenses, and unrealistic prices will be a red flag. Don’t include a contingency fund in the “other” category; most granting agencies will not fund this.

Involve the UR Office of Strategic Sourcing and Payments for prices on equipment, furniture, computers, special electrical wiring or plumbing. In some cases competing bids will be required.

Budget Justification

Often you will need a narrative statement about how you arrived at the budget figures. Address each number or category in the order that they appear on the budget form, thoroughly explaining each expense and calculation.

Cost Sharing

If cost sharing is required, it is important that commitments of matching funds are discussed with, and approved in advance by, your dean. FCGR will want a copy of this approval in writing (e-mail is acceptable). Even if not required, institutional matching can be an indicator of university support and buy-in. Some agencies (such as NSF) prohibit cost sharing; thus it is important to check the specific agency requirements.