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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.)

  1. Includes salary and wages (fringe benefits are listed separately)
  2. Provide breakdown of personnel by classification (i.e., job title)
  3. Identify key investigators (if applicable)
  4. State time commitments in hours or percent of time for each person/position
  5. List total charges for each person/position with calculations of costs as Federal and/or Non- Federal
  6. All personnel costs must be allowable
  7. Special considerations to be explained (if applicable)
Fringe Benefits:
  1. Identified separately from salaries/wages
  2. Provide description of benefits received by personnel when the fringe rate is more than 35% of the associated salary
  3. Ensure the fringe benefits are charged to Federal and Non-Federal (matching/cost-share) categories in the same proportion as salaries
  4. Do not charge separately any costs that are included within the fringe rate or indirect costs
Travel: (Always a big Audit item)
Provide breakdown of travel costs as follows:
  1. Destination
  2. Estimated costs and type of transportation
  3. Number of travelers and related lodging and subsistence (per diem costs)
  4. Briefly describe the travel involved, its purpose, and explain how the proposed travel is necessary for successful completion of the project
(Other travel considerations:)
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Remember "Fly America Act"
    1. Limits the use of foreign flag carriers not foreign travel
    2. Waiver only allowed for specific instances and may require prior approval
  1. "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.
  2. Items that do not meet the "Equipment" definition can be included under supplies
  3. List each piece of equipment to be purchased and provide description of how it will be used in the project
  4. Budget narrative should explain why the equipment is necessary for successful completion of the project
  5. General use equipment (i.e., computers, faxes, etc.) must be used 100% for the proposed project if charged directly to the grant
  1. Explanation necessary for supplies: costing more than five thousand dollars, or five percent of the award, whichever is greater.
  2. 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.
  1. Treat each contract or subgrant as a separate item.
  2. Describe products/services to be obtained and indicate the applicability or necessity of each to the project.
  3. Provide separate budgets for each subgrant or contract, regardless of the dollar value and indicate the basis for the cost estimates in the narrative.
  4. 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.
  1. List items by type of material or nature of expense.
  2. Break down total costs by quantity and cost per unit if applicable.
  3. State necessity of other costs for successful completion of the project.
  4. Exclude unallowable costs.
    • Alcohol
    • Contingency
    • Entertainment
    • Fund Raising
Indirect Costs:
  1. 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.