How to Write a Budget

Getting Grant Funding & Getting the Most
Out of It:
A Three-part Workshop Series for
Graduate Students
How to Write a Grant Budget
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Office of Research Development & Assessment (RD&A):
Responsible for providing assistance to enhance the competitiveness of researchers,
dissemination of research related communications & for conducting assessment of the
research infrastructure.
Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP):
Responsible for all pre-award activities (e.g., proposal preparation, review & endorsement,
contract negotiation & approval, establishment of funded awards, etc.)
Office of Grants Management (OGM):
Responsible for all post-award activities (e.g., review and approval of expenditures to
ensure sponsor terms/conditions are met, financial reporting to sponsors, etc.)
Office of Research Compliance (ORC):
Responsible for providing administrative & regulatory support for the federally mandated
committees that review research involving humans, animal, and recombinant DNA.
Office of Technology Licensing and Industry Relations (OTLIR):
Responsible for identifying and assessing the commercial potential of new technologies and
disclosures, and seek protections for intellectual properties generated at SBU.
OVPR Website:
Every budget should….
Reflect the project/scope of work you are
- Reflect your project timeline (e.g., equipment needed
in Yr.1 only, data analysis costs in final year only,
Be as realistic as possible.
Comply with the requirements in the Req. for
Application (RFA)/ Program Announcement
What governs what & how we can
Office of Management & Budget (OMB)
Circular A-21
Establishes principles for determining costs applicable
to grants, contracts, and other agreements with
educational institutions.
Office of Management & Budget (OMB)
Circular A-110
Sets forth standards for obtaining consistency and
uniformity among federal agencies in the
administration of grants to and agreements with
institutions of higher education, hospitals, and other
non-profit organizations.
Any costs being charged to a sponsor must
satisfy the following criteria:
Allowable - As defined by A-21 and/or by the
terms of your award.
Allocable - The project that paid the expense must
benefit from it.
Reasonable - The cost reflects what a “prudent”
person might pay.
Where/how do you start?
Request for Proposals (RFP), Request for Applications
(RFA), Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA),
Program Announcement (PA) , Program Solicitation
Many terms, but whatever the name – READ, READ,
 Terms dictated in the RFA honored even if A-21 and
institutional policies allow/disallow certain items.
(e.g., F&A costs, foreign travel)
 Specifies maximum budget and project period you can
request. (if not specified, different sections of the
RFA will give you a “ballpark” of budget)
Examples of
What’s in a budget?
Direct Costs
Costs that can be identified specifically with a particular
project relatively easily with a high degree of accuracy.
(e.g., personnel effort)
Facilities & Administrative (F&A) Costs
aka Indirect Costs (IDC) or Overhead
Costs that the institution incurs for doing research but
cannot be identified readily and specifically with
a particular sponsored project.
Typical Direct Costs:
 Personnel Costs
Salaries & Wages
Fringe benefits
 Equipment (defined as $5,000 or above at SBU)
 Travel (domestic & foreign)
 Supplies
 Consultant Services (external, non-employees of performing organization)
 Computer Services
 Publication Costs
 Participant support costs (Trainees or participants of conference/symposium)
 Subaward(s) (only $25K subject to F&A)
 Other/ Misc.
Direct Costs - Personnel Costs:
Salaries & Wages:
1) Determine project personnel needed to carry out the proposed project (e.g., key
personnel, postdocs, graduate students, technician, biostatistician, etc.)
2) Determine the level of effort required from each personnel.
3) Budget each person’s salary (base institutional salary @ xx% effort)…more on
Fringe benefits:
Determine what kind of “employee” each project personnel is, then apply the
appropriate f.b. rate.
(for further info:
Facilities & Administrative (F&A) Costs:
 SBU’s F&A rate agreement is negotiated with our federal
cognizant agency, Dept. of Health & Human Services
 Sponsor policy on F&A supersedes SBU’s F&A rate.
 Current main SBU rates:
 Appropriate F&A rate is applied to MTDC (Modified
Total Direct Costs)
Total direct costs become modified by excluding direct cost items
that are exempt from F&A (e.g., equipment, tuition, patient care,
subaward in excess of $25K, scholarship/fellowship).
Budget Justification
 Personnel justification:
Include name, project role, effort & brief description of
project responsibilities.
Albert Einstein, Principle Investigator (2 SM): Dr. Einstein
will be responsible for the overall project management. He
will also do xyz as proposed in specific aims 1, 3 and 5.
 Other
than Personnel Costs justification:
Include brief but clear explanation for each budget
Equipment: Funds are requested in Yr.1 to purchase a Leica
Stereo Microscope (Model 123, $13,000) with accessories and
a Perkin-Elmer 9600 PCR machine ($7,000). The microscope
is required for……. The PCR machine will be used to……
Putting it all together....
Sample #1:
Simple Budget without Personnel Costs
For your dissertation project, you are proposing to:
Go to Kenya for two weeks to collect fossil samples. You will work with a field
team to collect samples, then go to Washington, D.C. for three days to analyze
samples collected with help from a paleoanthropologist at the Smithsonian’s
National Museum of Natural History.
What you will need to carry out this project:
1) Airfare from NY to Kenya ($1,100 based on travel sites)
2) Bed rolls & nets ($200) - OTHER
3) GPS unit ($200) - OTHER
4) Digital camera ($300) - OTHER
5) Sat phone ($1,000) - OTHER
6) Vehicle hire ($100/day @ 10 days = $1,400) - OTHER
7) Misc. supplies/accessories for field work ($250) - OTHER
8) Airfare from Kenya to D.C. ($1,100 based on travel sites) - INT’L TRAVEL
9) Fee to use the museum facilities ($150) - OTHER
10) Per diem while in D.C. ($ 53.25/day @ 3 days = $159.75)- Domestic Travel
11) Hotel in D.C. ($89 @ 2 nights = $178) - Domestic Travel
12) Train ticket from D.C. to NY ($65) - Domestic Travel
Sample #2:
More Involved Budget with
Personnel Costs & a Subcontract
You are proposing to:
Find an efficient and accurate method to detect biological
contaminants in water.
What you will need to carry out this project:
1) 2 mos of your summer salary
2) 10% of your colleague’s salary (Co-PI on this project)
3) 50% of your postdoc, 75% of your lab technician & your Co-PI’s
graduate student at full (100%) time.
4) Equipment – a mircroscope ($13K) & a PCR machine ($7K).
5) Lab supplies (~5K per year)
6) Travel expenses for you and your team will rotate to attend a
conference (two people per year, $3K per year)
7) Publication costs in the final project year ($3K)
8) Per institutional policy, tuition for your graduate student
9) Allocate funds to your colleague and his team at Univ. of
Maryland for sample collection and analyses ($50K per year)
Resources / Useful Links:
Graduate School Policy Manual:
Graduate Student Employment Limitations (see pgs.31)
Tuition costs charged to sponsored research (see pg. 35)
Div. of Laboratory Animal Resources (DLAR):
Responsible Conduct of Research & Scholarship:
Environmental Health & Safety:
School of Medicine – Research Core Facilities:
Questions/ Comments?
Jin Bentley
Research Development Associate
Office of the Vice President for Research
Research Development & Assessment
Ph: 631-632-8589
Email: [email protected]
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