Other Requirements & Instructions
The budget narrative submitted with the application must match the dollar amounts on all required forms. Please explain each calculation and provide a narrative to support each budget category. (In other words, Block 18 on the SF-424 must equal total costs identified on the Budget Information SF-424A form which must match the budget narrative.)
- Includes salary and wages (fringe benefits are listed separately)
- Provide breakdown of personnel by classification (i.e., job title)
- Identify key investigators (if applicable)
- State time commitments in hours or percent of time for each person/position
- List total charges for each person/position with calculations of costs as Federal and/or Non- Federal
- All personnel costs must be allowable
- Special considerations to be explained (if applicable)
Travel: (Always a big Audit item)
- Identified separately from salaries/wages
- Provide description of benefits received by personnel when the fringe rate is more than 35% of the associated salary
- Ensure the fringe benefits are charged to Federal and Non-Federal (matching/cost-share) categories in the same proportion as salaries
- Do not charge separately any costs that are included within the fringe rate or indirect costs
Provide breakdown of travel costs as follows:
(Other travel considerations:)
- Estimated costs and type of transportation
- Number of travelers and related lodging and subsistence (per diem costs)
- Briefly describe the travel involved, its purpose, and explain how the proposed travel is necessary for successful completion of the project
- If travel details are unknown, then the basis for proposed costs should be explained (i.e., historical information) - do not "pull numbers out of the air" or list a lump sum estimate.
- Travel costs can be charged on an actual basis, on a per diem or mileage basis in lieu of actual costs incurred, or a combination of the two if applied consistently and results in reasonable charges.
- Remember "Fly America Act"
- Limits the use of foreign flag carriers not foreign travel
- Waiver only allowed for specific instances and may require prior approval
- "Equipment"is non-expendable, tangible personal property with a unit cost of $5,000.00 or more and a has useful life of more than one year, unless determined otherwise by recipient internal policy.
- Items that do not meet the "Equipment" definition can be included under supplies
- List each piece of equipment to be purchased and provide description of how it will be used in the project
- Budget narrative should explain why the equipment is necessary for successful completion of the project
- General use equipment (i.e., computers, faxes, etc.) must be used 100% for the proposed project if charged directly to the grant
- Explanation necessary for supplies: costing more than five thousand dollars, or five percent of the award, whichever is greater.
- Requirements for supplies which exceed thresholds are:
- Explain the type of supplies to be purchased, or the nature of the expense in the budget narrative;
- Provide a breakdown of supplies by quantity and cost per unit if known;
- Indicate basis for estimate of supplies - i.e., historical use on similar projects.
- Treat each contract or subgrant as a separate item.
- Describe products/services to be obtained and indicate the applicability or necessity of each to the project.
- Provide separate budgets for each subgrant or contract, regardless of the dollar value and indicate the basis for the cost estimates in the narrative.
- List all grant or contract costs under the Contractual Line Item on the SF 424-A.
- Example - do not incorporate the Indirect costs of a subgrantee under the indirect costs line item for the applicant/grantee.
- List items by type of material or nature of expense.
- Break down total costs by quantity and cost per unit if applicable.
- State necessity of other costs for successful completion of the project.
- Exclude unallowable costs.
- Fund Raising
Should be based on an approved Indirect Rate Agreement (IRA) from cognizant Federal Agency:
If indirect costs are proposed in the budget, then a current IRA is required. Please provide the current IRA to the CSCOR office.