Budget guidelines

The Research Services budget office assists researchers with preparing or editing proposal budgets. Final budgets should be submitted for review at least five to seven business days before the proposal’s due date to allow adequate time for editing.

A sponsored project budget is an estimated financial representation of the proposal’s statement of work. A proposal budget should demonstrate how the University will carry out the project objectives with the requested amount of resources. They should be prepared with great care and provide a detailed breakdown of each proposed cost category. Budgets should be prepared for the entire project period (i.e., for all years of the sponsored project) and provide a breakdown of costs for each budget period year.

When submitted, the budget represents the University’s best estimate of the project’s cost and should be as accurate and complete as possible prior to submission. If awarded, N.C. A&T will be required to adhere to the budget’s structure for the life of the project. The University may seek a sponsor’s approval to revises a budget, however there are no guarantees that changes will be approved or allowed.

Direct costs, indirect costs, and cost sharing

Proposal budgets are generally grouped into three primary categories:

  • Direct costs are those that can be specifically identified with a particular project. These costs include salaries and wages, fringe benefits, travel, equipment, supplies, consultant services, subcontracts, and other direct costs. Click below for more on various type of direct costs.
  • Indirect costs (now called Facilities & Administration or F&A) are institution-wide costs that cannot be tied specifically to a project, such as utilities, maintenance and depreciation of facilities, and general administrative costs.
    • When preparing your budget, all direct cost items are listed first; then the appropriate indirect cost percentage rate is assessed against the total of allowable direct costs.
    • Click here for more on indirect costs.
  • Cost Sharing is defined in federal regulations as project costs not borne by the sponsor. The University shares in the cost of a sponsored program whenever there is a difference between the total cost of performing a project and the funding provided by the sponsor. Either direct costs or indirect/F&A costs may be cost shared.