Preparing a Budget
Salary for faculty and other personnel are estimated using the percentage of the individual’s annual salary, regardless of whether the individual is on a nine-, ten-, eleven-, or twelve-month contract. For example, if a faculty member earns $50,000 a year and will expend ten percent of her/his annual effort on a project beyond their contracted work activities, the resulting salary would be $5,000 to be paid in addition to their contracted salary. Under no circumstances should salary be budgeted as an hourly rate. If hourly rates are requested, please contact the GSR before moving forward. When given the opportunity, please include a salary escalation rate of 3 percent for each proposed consecutive grant year.
The fringe rate for all full-time MU employees is fifteen (15%) percent of the projected salary.
All costs budgeted and incurred must be in furtherance of the grant-funded project. Airfare, car rental, hotel, conference fees, etc. should be based on actual costs or estimates. Flights should be economy-fare. Federal awards require using United States-based carriers when possible and if it is an eligible expense outlined in the guidelines. Use of a personal vehicle will be reimbursed at the rate in effect, as provided by the MU Office of Business Affairs, at the time of incurrence. When given the opportunity, please include a three percent escalation rate for each project year.
PARTICIPANT SUPPORT COSTS
Participant Support Costs are those costs paid to or for participants in connection with the MU hosting of an event, meeting, or conference, etc., under a sponsored project. Applicable costs include but are not limited to event fees, food, and travel. Some sponsors, such as the National Science Foundation, have specific conditions associated with this category. Be sure to follow the stated guidelines for each proposal.
Equipment is defined by MU as any item that is $5,000 or greater and has more than one year of useful life.
COMPUTERS AND SOFTWARE
Consult with the University’s Office of Institutional Computing for hardware and software needs/quotes prior to completing this portion of the budget. Computers are a special budgeting case in most sponsored research. Because computers are used for many efforts including email, web browsing, and database management, it is rare that they are used to solely support a sponsored project. As such, computers should not be wholly budgeted on a sponsored project unless that computer is connected to a piece of equipment or other device and is only used to run that piece of equipment. Computer cost should be prorated based on the percentage of work that is to be done on the project on that computer. General computers are included in MU’s indirect cost rate.
MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES
Materials and supplies should be budgeted using quotes or costs from similar items that were recently purchased. General office supplies may not be purchased without prior GSR approval, as these costs are considered as a part of MU indirect cost rate.
SUBAWARDS AND CONSULTANTS
Subawards and Consultants are non-MU participants that support an MU project.
Subawards are those non-MU project participants that:
- Have their performance measured against whether the project objectives are met
- Have responsibility for programmatic decision-making
- Use the project funding to carry out a program of the organization
- Are subject to the project compliance requirements
Consultants are those non-MU project participants that:
- Provide goods and services as part of their normal business operations
- Provide similar goods to many different purchasers
- Operate in a competitive environment
- Provide goods or services that are ancillary to the project
- Are not subject to the project compliance requirements
OTHER DIRECT COSTS
Other Direct Costs encompass those costs that can be directly attributed to the project and that do not fit into other budget lines. Examples of Other Direct Costs include maintenance, freight, warranties, etc.