Steps in Developing a Grant Budget
Please plan on meeting with the research administrators in the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects when developing budgets.
a. Salaries and Wages: Salaries are calculated for all TAMIU personnel involved with the project: administrators, faculty, technicians, clerical and students. Rates vary according to discipline and experience. Stipends for graduate and undergraduate students can be determined by contacting your department chair, the Career Services Office ext. 4473. Checking with these sources will ensure that rates are consistent with University policies.
All proposals that include personnel whose salaries are to be paid by the funding agency should include funds for salary increases. The estimated rate for salary increases may vary, but a 3% merit increase is typically used. For multi-year grants, annual step increases need to be included for personnel who are to be paid by the funding agency. The research administrators in the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects will assist in developing your budget. Please contact them for information about the estimated rate for step increases as well as any other help you might need.
Extracted from Title 2 CFR, Part 220 – Cost Principles for Educational Institutions also known as OMB Circular A-21 (current as of 12/13/2013)
Salary rates for faculty members
(1) Salary rates for academic year. Charges for work performed on sponsored agreements by faculty members during the academic year will be based on the individual faculty member's regular compensation for the continuous period which, under the policy of the institution concerned, constitutes the basis of his salary. Charges for work performed on sponsored agreements during all or any portion of such period are allowable at the base salary rate. In no event will charges to sponsored agreements, irrespective of the basis of computation, exceed the proportionate share of the base salary for that period. This principle applies to all members of the faculty at an institution. Since intra-university consulting is assumed to be undertaken as a university obligation requiring no compensation in addition to full time base salary, the principle also applies to faculty members who function as consultants or otherwise contribute to a sponsored agreement conducted by another faculty member of the same institution. However, in unusual cases where consultation is across departmental lines or involves a separate or remote operation, and the work performed by the consultant is in addition to his regular departmental load, any charges for such work representing extra compensation above the base salary are allowable provided that such consulting arrangements are specifically provided for in the agreement or approved in writing by the sponsoring agency.
(2) Periods outside the academic year.
(a) Except as otherwise specified for teaching activity in subsection (b), charges for work performed by faculty members on sponsored agreements during the summer months or other period not included in the base salary period will be determined for each faculty member at a rate not in excess of the base salary divided by the period to which the base salary relates, and will be limited to charges made in accordance with other parts of this section. The base salary period used in computing charges for work performed during the summer months will be the number of months covered by the faculty member's official academic year appointment.
Faculty members should consider reviewing Title 2 CFR, Part 220 – Cost Principles for Educational Institutions also known as OMB Circular A-21 (current as of 12/13/2013) for additional information related to allowable cost under federal grants.
b. Fringe Benefits: Fringe Benefits are calculated using the established TAMIU rates. Please contact the ORSP or Office of Grants & Contracts for assistance in developing budgets with the current benefits rates.
For personnel who are to be paid by the funding agency, both salary and fringe benefits should be requested from the funding agency. In other words, do not charge salaries to the funding agency and cost share the fringe benefits.
c. Travel: Since travel costs may change from the time the proposal is submitted, it is important to request the standard rate and avoid special rates in order to ensure adequate coverage of your travel costs. Also consider full costs when determining hotel or room and board expenses, especially for international travel. The University will reimburse the allowable cost (as per established Texas state rates) for subsistence costs based on actual expenses for in-state travel. For out-of-state travel, the reimbursement rate changes from one state to another. It is important to check current travel rates when projecting travel costs.
Personal mileage as well as in-state lodging is also reimbursed based upon current Texas state established rates. Please review the Business Office website for guidelines relating to travel.
d. Equipment Costs: The definition for equipment, as stated in 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92, is an article of tangible nonexpendable personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit.
Items of equipment should be listed in detail on the budget. Be sure to check the Request for Proposal (RFP)/Request for Application (RFA) guidelines to determine if equipment purchases are allowable. Also be sure to check whether indirect costs can be charged to equipment, whether matching funds are required, and if there are restrictions for use of the equipment. Please consult with the Purchasing Department for guidelines related to Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) vendors. If your proposal includes the purchase of computers, check with the OIT Department for price quotes.
For research projects, this type of description tells reviewers that the funds will not be used to support office functions, but those of the project only, “Funds are requested for supporting activities in the development and implementation of questionnaires for project baseline data.”
Participant Cost - Some projects will involve supporting participants on the project by providing stipends, travel and/or subsistence. Participants are defined as those who will participate in the project as opposed to those who plan, develop, or direct the project, i.e., teacher and/or student training personnel; guest lecturers; conference invitees. Calculating costs for participants will be based on the current reimbursement rates of the University, the funding agency's requirements and/or where the activity takes place (i.e., in the U.S. or another country).
Consultants - Many funding agencies, particularly at the federal level, have specified consultant rates, and these should be used. If no rate is specified, use rates that are reasonable and based on the going-rate for similar types of work.
Service Contract - Services provided by University employees beyond normal duties are compensated using a Service Contract. PLEASE contact the Office of Grants & Contracts for processing instructions.
Publishing Costs - These include printing, layout, mailing, graphic design costs and other costs associated with publishing or disseminating your results. Consider the costs of printing and mailing by the piece. Our Print Shop in Secretarial Services can provide you with estimates. If you are developing a highly sophisticated report, brochure, or document, the costs can be substantial for the graphic design, layout and printing. The Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services can provide you with estimates.
g. Indirect Costs: Funding sources usually indicate whether or not indirect costs are allowable. The indirect cost rate for each institution is determined by prior negotiation with an agency of the Federal Government. Our rate has been negotiated with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The indirect cost rate covers all expenses incurred by the institution which cannot be directly attributable to the contract/grant (such as overhead expenses, support services and/or use of facilities).
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