Any budget should be realistic and understandable. Your proposal budget should restate the goals, objectives, and activities of the project as well as the resources required to complete it in fiscal terms. Before starting to draft your budget, read the funding agency guidelines, noting if there is a minimum/maximum budget, allowable/non-allowable costs, and if matching funds (cash or inkind) are required. It is UCA policy that you must fill out the UCA Budget Spreadsheet in addition to the funding agency's budget. (Only if you are applying for non-federal grant; Cayuse will automatically upload your budget to NSF Fastlane or Grants.gov).
If you're new to the proposal-writing process, you might consider making an appointment with your chair to go over your proposed project. Additionally. you are welcome to make an appointment with Sponsored Programs for guidance in completing any of the budget worksheets necessary to completing the process.
1a. Personnel–Salaries/Wages: Project Director, CoPIs, Staff/Technician: Calculate salaries for the summer and/or release time for the academic year. Discuss the request for release time with your department chair. Add a yearly cost-of-living increase/raise for each year one will be received.
1b. Fringe Benefits: Calculate fringe benefits as a percentage of salaries/wages for full-time faculty/staff for each year. Students do not receive fringe benefits even if they work full time.
1c. Wages for Students: Calculate hourly wages for undergraduate and graduate students. They may work full time during the summer. Graduate student wages vary depending on the department and level of skill and may be increased over the life of the project.
2. Travel: Estimate costs for car and/or airfare, lodging, and meals (registration fees sometimes go under "Other"—see agency budget guidelines). Check UCA Travel Procedures.
3. Equipment: Check the agency budget guidelines for their definition of equipment. For example, one agency may define as equipment any one item with a cost over $2000 as equipment; anything less than that would be considered "materials & supplies." Other agencies might define it as a single item costing $5,000 and anything costing less than that would be considered "materials and supplies." Be sure to add Arkansas state sales tax and shipping fees.
4. Materials & Supplies: See "Equipment" above for possible definitions of "Materials and Supplies. calculate the cost of computers, printers, lab and scientific supplies, chemicals, glassware, field supplies, software, animals, etc. Add Arkansas state sales tax and shipping fees.
5. Services: Calculate consultant fees, honoraria, external evaluators, photocopying directly associated with scope of work, and repairs/maintenance related to necessary technical equipment. (If the consultant fee or honorarium will be paid to a UCA or AR state employee, fringe benefits must included.)
6. Other: Conference registration fee, mailing/federal express, human subject incentives, project evaluation, reprints/page charges, etc.
7. Total Direct Costs (TDC): Total of categories 1-6 (the costs to conduct the research/complete the project).
8. Facilities & Administrative Costs (F&A) also known as "Indirect Costs": These are real costs incurred by the university that cannot be identified easily and specifically. Most funding agencies recognize this and allow F&A costs to be recovered by institutions. Check agency guidelines or contact SP for allowed amount.
9. Student Tuition/Stipend: These are not wages and are not included in F&A costs. Please note that the Arkansas Department of Higher Education has implemented a stacking limit on how much students can receive in scholarships and stipends. Any student hired with tuition remission or a stipend as part of a proposal should speak with the Office of Financial Aid before accepting the award.
10. Total Project Cost: Total cost of the project including any matching funds and F&A costs.