Budget Preparation

Budgets for grants can either be headaches or guides to achieve the aims and goals of your project. When preparing the budget, ask yourself what you need to accomplish the goals you established.

  • Do I need a research assistant?
  • How much time should he/she work?
  • How much is standard salary?
  • What materials do I need?
  • Will the equipment I have suffice?
  • Do I have any long-term maintenance costs?
  • Do I need to travel for this project?
  • Do I want to present at a conference?
  • Does the grant allow me to ask for travel?
  • What are my publication costs?
  • Do I need a website?
  • Do I need a consultant or should I arrange a subcontract for my collaborator?
  • Do I need time off from teaching?
  • How many credit hours?
  • What about paying myself during the summer?
  • What are the budgetary constraints of the guidelines?
  • Are there limits on indirect costs and what is the policy that I need to follow?

ORSP can help with all these questions, but only if you start the process early enough. Preparing your budget shouldn’t be the last thing you do. It is the next step you make after you’ve outlined what objectives are going to be proposed and accomplished. Your budget will become clear after you have seen your written objectives and talked with one of the grants officers. In addition, ORSP can help you interpret the sponsor’s guidelines and navigate the college policies and requirements regarding released time and indirect costs, and the RF policies on hiring personnel and consultants which will make the transition from proposal to post-award much easier.

Please contact us as early as possible to prepare your budget for the approval process (involving your chairperson and dean at the minimum), and at least 10 days before the grant is due if you think your project will require cost-sharing of any kind, including released time.

To assist you with the budget process, we have created an excel template to use so that you can get a rough estimate of your costs before you decide on the final numbers. Keep in mind that budget variables, including indirect costs restrictions and changes in personnel policies, will factor into each project.