Office of Sponsored Programs
Three columns of figures: total cost of a budget item, the sponsor contribution, and the ECU contribution in covering the cost. This presentation clearly shows to the sponsor how ECU is contributing to the project, and also alerts chairs and deans to the specific commitments they will need to make.
Each ECU person (faculty, staff, or student) associated with the project is listed separately with his or her percent effort, salary requirement and benefits.
A budget for each individual budget year is developed (including inflationary increases), as well as a consolidated budget for the entire project period.
Advertising / Periodicals
Animals / Postage
Audio-Visual Instruction /Publications
Auditing / Recruitment
Binding / Registration. Fees
Books / Relocation
Computer Time / Rent
Consultants / Repairs
Dues / Salary/Wages
Equipment / Security
Fringe Benefits / Subcontracts
Indirect Costs / Supplies
Instruments / Telephone
Insurance / Travel
Legal Services / Tuition
1. Don’T construct a 'bare bones budget'. You will short change yourself. It will also diminish your credibility in the eyes of the prospective sponsor if you do not have a realistic budget.
2. Estimate your budget needs realistically but generously.
3. Request only budget items allowed by the sponsor. Asking for a disallowed item creates a poor impression of your application.
4. Write justifications for each personnel position and major piece of equipment requested. Write general justifications for all other items. Don't give the sponsor an opportunity to cut your budget due to a poor justification.
5. Request faculty salary in 25% increments for the academic year. 25% is the course equivalent in most units.
6. Where feasible, include support for Graduate Assistants, as aids for research training, etc. The university has very limited funds available for graduate assistantships.
7. General office supplies should not be included as they are covered by FA&A costs.
8. Salaries for faculty and staff in Year 1 of the budget should be based on the best estimate of what the salary will be at the time the grant begins. The first year salary may or may not be higher than it is during the current period. OSP recommends building in a 3-4% annual salary increase to account for increases in salaries and attendant fringe benefits. Budgets that do not include such increases will not be rejected. However, be advised that the grant will be charged for such increases by the ECU financial systems regardless of whether funds were budgeted.
9. Include hidden costs when purchasing equipment, e.g., shipping, renovations, setup, initial supplies, training of personnel to use equipment, manufacturer's technical support and maintenance.
10. Include something for your unit that can be justified. For example, equipment that can be used in courses or by other faculty, a unit administrative fee or part of a secretary (non-federal applications only).
11. If your project requires alterations or renovations of university buildings, request funds for facilities renovations in your proposal. (Note: Some sponsors do not permit renovations so check the sponsor's guidelines.)
12. When requesting salaries for new personnel to be hired, request a salary in the middle of the range allowed by the NC state personnel regulation. This will allow you to hire a more qualified person.
13. If you need to use 'creative accounting' in your budget construction, contact OSP well before the submission date of the proposal. Your chair and dean might approve the budget, but approvals at the University level may take time.