The Budget is very important and should not be constructed casually or left until the last minute. It tells the reviewers what you are going to do based on how you have aligned the dollars available.
- Check typical Budget Categories. Don’t overlook funds needed for external evaluators, travel, or page charges.
- It is very important to contact Sponsored Research Services budget personnel early in the proposal process. See the “Who Do I Contact” pull down menus in the gray box at the bottom of their web page.
- Budgets should be routed before the proposal is submitted. Be sure to indicate if there will be a sub-award to another institution. The budget and its justification should be complete and unambiguous.
- Don’t divide the budgeted amounts by the number of participants. Instead, align budget allocations with effort and cost, including salary. Too little or too much money budgeted for the PIs can raise a flag. Reviewers identify this as a common and basic mistake, which makes proposals receive a lower score.
- Make sure your department head is aware of your proposal. It can be awkward for them to find out for the first time about your proposal when paperwork routes to them for signature.
- NSF and cost share or matching. NSF does not require cost share (matching) on the majority of its proposals. Do not include cost share (Budget Line M) unless it is specifically required in the solicitation.
- Example Budget Justifications