Fundamentals of Budget Development

Budgets. Some people love them, and some people dread them.

Program officers definitely want to see them, and the budget is almost always a major part of your application.

However, if an indirect cost rate confuses you or you are not clear about the difference between supplies and equipment, there is a team to help you. Please contact the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Compliance, and we will work with you to shape and refine your budget.

In the interim, here are some basics:

1) FICA and Fringe Benefits. If you are hiring personnel as part of your grant proposal, you will need to include fringe benefits (34% as of July 1, 2019) for all benefits-eligible employees or FICA only (7.65% ) for faculty summer salaries, non-benefits-eligible employees, and student employees during the summer. 0% for student employees during the academic year.

2) Indirect Costs. At Bates, the indirect cost rate (IDC) is 38.9% on a Modified Total Direct Cost basis. (Excluded from IDC: the full value of any equipment, the portion of any subaward over $25,000, and Participant Support Costs on NSF awards.)

3) Equipment vs. Supplies. Equipment = any item with a cost of $5,000 or more and a useful life of 1 year or longer.

4) Subawards. A subaward is the portion of an award that is re-granted to another institution or organization. Please see Subawards for the forms that need to be completed by your collaborating institutions before a proposal can be submitted.

5) Cost-sharing. Whenever possible, grant proposals should cover the full direct and indirect costs of implementing the project. If an RFP specifies a matching fund (cost-sharing) amount or formula, contact the Office of Sponsored Programs as early as possible, so we can help determine whether and/or how Bates can make such resources available. Voluntary cost-sharing commitments (i.e., those not specifically required by a funding source or an RFP) are discouraged. All cost-sharing commitments, whether mandatory or voluntary, must be approved by the Dean of the Faculty before a proposal is submitted.

6) Subrecipient vs. Contractor. A subrecipient is an entity that receives a portion of the award to carry out part of a sponsored project. It differs from a contractor that provides commercially available property or services necessary for the project’s success. If you are uncertain whether an entity should be considered a subrecipient or a contractor, please be in touch with the Office of Sponsored Programs.