Proposal Budgets

The budget should list all cost details for the year or another appropriate period of time. It should include any applicable salaries & wages, fringe benefits, services, supplies, equipment, publications, travel, other direct expenses, and any facility and administrative costs. A brief outline for developing a budget is included in Michigan Tech's policies and procedures manual.

Sample budgets are available for Michigan Tech researchers in the RD Toolkit.

You can download a budget worksheet (Excel) to help you with this process. Refer to the Guidelines for Budget Development for additional calculation help and information.

Follow these cost considerations when developing your budget:

  1. Direct Costs — Costs that can be specifically linked to your project.
  2. Fringe Benefits — Compensation made to an employee beyond the regular benefit of payment for work. Fringe benefits are charged using a negotiated rate approved by the federal government in accordance with Michigan Tech’s fringe benefit rate agreement.
  3. Indirect costs / F&A / Overhead (these are all the same thing) — Costs that cannot be attributed to a particular project. Examples include utilities, facilities maintenance, library support and general departmental and university administration. These costs are covered in the Current Rate Agreement. Indirect costs may be limited by the sponsor. Be sure to check for this in the solicitation.
  4. Cost Sharing and Matching — Cash or in-kind support provided by Michigan Tech or a source other than the main sponsor. Cost-sharing or matching can be prohibited or required by the sponsor. Check for this in the solicitation.
  5. Allowable and Unallowable Costs — Allowable costs can be budgeted and expensed under a sponsored agreement, while some costs are simply unallowable. Cost allowability is determined in accordance with federal guidelines and Michigan Tech policy.
  6. Subawards / Subcontracts / Vendors — Costs for payment to an organization outside of Michigan Tech to conduct a portion of the sponsored project activity. There are different use cases for these different categories, and with each comes implications in the budget. Subawards and subcontracts have the applicable indirect cost rate applied to the first $25,000. Vendors have indirect cost rate applied on the entire amount. See this Subaward, Consultant, and Service page for more in-depth info.
  7. Employees / Independent Contractors — Costs for individuals who are not paid with salary lines in the personnel section of the budget. There is a helpful questionnaire to determine whether someone should be paid as an employee or independent contractor.
  8. Student and Postdoc Support — Costs for supporting students can vary by type of student (undergrad, masters, PhD, postdoc) and by department. See the current rates for tuition, stipends, and salary or hourly wages in the “Resources” section of this page. Supporting students may be limited or required by the sponsor. Check for this in the solicitation.