When preparing the budget for your proposal, use the Budget Excel Spreadsheet to assist you in accurately developing your budget. This spreadsheet includes formulas that will automatically total and calculate many items in your budget in a format that can be submitted with your Proposal Approval Form.
PIs need to ensure that they request enough funds to accomplish the scope of the work described by the sponsored project and that they comply with the rules and regulations involving sponsored projects’ expenditures. Budgets are typically broken down into budget periods within a project period (term of entire project). The budget period is typically set by the agency, usually in one-year increments, but not always. The budget period of a project usually does not coincide with Georgia State’s fiscal year (July 1 to June 30). The budget must always include a listing of all the direct costs and indirect costs associated with the project unless using a modular type budget. Departmental and college staff can advise faculty members as they are preparing their budget and budget justification, and can help identify costs that may be included as cost share.
When a proposal is submitted through OSP, the budget will be reviewed to ensure that all potential costs have been identified, that fringe benefit and indirect (F&A) cost rates are used and calculated correctly, and that it conforms to solicitation requirements and federal, state, and university policies and procedures.
Allowable costs can be specifically identified as necessary for and that represent a direct benefit to the project (i.e., salaries, equipment, travel, participant stipends, supplies, etc.). Unallowable costs (e.g., alcoholic beverages, entertainment, etc.) are not allowed to be charged to a contract or grant because of the nature of the costs. Other unallowable costs are not allocated to sponsored projects as either a direct cost or as indirect costs because they are treated as part of the “Other Institutional Activities” base for determining F&A/Indirect cost rates or are included in an administrative cost pool (eg. administrative and clerical salaries, local telephone charges and installation, general office supplies, entertainment costs). PIs should refer to the Direct Cost Charging Procedures for more details on what costs are allowable and unallowable and how the costs should be treated in their proposal. If there are extenuating circumstances that require including costs that are considered unallowable in the direct costs of a sponsored project, then the rationale for this needs to be included in the budget justification and these costs need to be approved by the sponsoring agency. Exceptions to the rule include things such as a computer that will be used exclusively for a project, significant amount of office supplies (i.e., paper for printing a large number of surveys to collect data, etc.), food to be used exclusively for the project’s purposes, to name a few. All exceptions must be addressed in the budget justification.
Documentation and justification of a budget is a narrative that justifies each budget item included in the proposal budget. Budget justifications should be provided in narrative form on additional page(s) immediately following the budget in the proposal and should be identified by line item. Special attention should be paid to any budget items that are exceptions or out of the ordinary.