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Secrets of Budgeting for Successful Grants & Contracts John C. Bricout RDO Brown Bag 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Secrets of Budgeting for Successful Grants & Contracts John C. Bricout RDO Brown Bag 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Secrets of Budgeting for Successful Grants & Contracts John C. Bricout RDO Brown Bag 1

2 Overview Key Questions Why budget? What is a budget? What goes into a budget? What role does the budget play in the proposal? When to develop the budget? How should you review the budget? 2

3 Why Budget? To ensure resources (financial, in-kind) sufficient to complete the proposed project To ensure PI accountability for resource allocation To demonstrate PI proficiency in appropriately anticipating costs To competitively ‘situate’ the proposed project against competitors, stated criteria and priorities 3

4 What is a Budget? Project item costing “Connecting numbers to words…your costs are reasonable, and worth the results you seek.” (Browning, 2009, p.39) Externally focused “The audience, not the author drives the design”(Pugh & Bacon, 2005, p.412) 4

5 What Goes Into a Budget? Direct Costs Personnel (fringe: faculty.30, student.10) Travel Equipment Materials & Supplies (i.e., software, additional toner) Contractual Other Direct Costs o Stipends o Rent o Utilities 5

6 What Goes Into a Budget? Indirect Costs Federal IDC rate = 49.5% Standard off-campus rate = 26% Mean non-federal rate ( ) o Using non-zero rates 12% (N=22); all rates 8% (N=34) If proposed IDC rate is less than the standard (Federal or Off-campus) ‘published’ proof is required of the contracting agency stating that they will only provide the given rate and a full or partial waiver form must be completed 6

7 What Goes Into a Budget? Facilities & Administrative (indirect costs, or F&A rate) Items in the F&A rate that are "ordinary and customary" for the department to provide…. Usually consisting of a phone, administrative support, copying etc. These are items that are part of the F&A rate negotiated with the feds. (Forsberg) There are items that are IDC by definition - not easily identifiable to a specific project with a high degree of accuracy - e.g. paper for the copies, monthly phone charge etc. A P.I. could go to the trouble of identifying long distance calls to a project. For example, a phone number is identifiable to a specific project with a high degree of accuracy (Forsberg). 7

8 What Goes Into a Budget? 8 NSF: National Science FoundationDr. John Bricout Title- CPS: Medium: Social Learning in Mixed Human-Robot Networks for People with Disabilities Project Period: 09/01/ /31/13 Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Total Salary Dr. John Bricout $ 11, $ 11, $ 11, $ 34, Subtotal Faculty Salary $ 11, $ 11, $ 11, $ 34, GRA - PhD Student: Fall, Spring & Summer $ 18, $ 18, $ 19, $ 55, $6,000 p/semester for 20hrs/wk, 52wks Subtotal Student Salary $ 18, $ 18, $ 19, $ 55, Subtotal Salary $ 29, $ 30, $ 31, $ 90, Fringe Benefits $ 3, $ 3, $ 3, $ 10, $ 1, $ 1, $ 1, $ 5, Subtotal Fringe $ 5, $ 5, $ 5, $ 15, Total Personnel Cost $ 34, $ 35, $ 36, $ 106, Conference Dr. John Bricout & PhD Student 2012 CSUN Conference - San Diego, CA Registration - est. $ 1, Airfare: $700 - est. $ 1, Local mileage-to DFW -round cents/mile $ Baggage fees - $50 round trip $ $240 p/night for 4 days - Est. $ 1, Airport Parking - 5/days - $20/day $ Meals - $36 p/day for 5 days $ Transportation - Taxi (2 miles from airport) $ Total $ 5, Trips to UCF - Two Trips 3-trips to UCF - Orlando, FL - 3/days each two trips One trip Local mileage-to DFW -round cents/mile $ $ $ Airline $350 round trip $ $ $ 1, Baggage fees - $50 round trip $ $ $ Hotel - $150 p/night $ $ $ 1, Airport Parking - 4/days - $20/day $ $ $ Mode of Transportation while on trip - Car Rental $ $ $ Meals - 4/days $36 p/day $ $ $ Total $ 2, $ 1, $ 4, Other Direct Cost Conference Calls to UCF Year 1: 20 $40/each, Bi-weekly $ Year 2: 10 $40/each, Bi-weekly $ Year 3: 10 $40/each, Bi-weekly $ NVivo 8 qualitative software - 3 Computers $ NVivo 8 qualitative software - Training - Student $ NVivo 8 qualitative software - Training $ Expert Consultation on Institution Development - $250 $ 1, Subject instrumental Piloting - $35 $ Development of Behavioral Log/Data Management Systems $ 2, Materials & Supplies Copy Paper, Toner, 3 Flash Drives $ $ $ $ 1, Equipment 1 Dell Laptop$800 Software Fee - Statistical Package$79 Total $ 7, $ $ $ 8, Total Direct Cost $ 47, $ 38, $ 38, $ 124, Indirect 49.5% $ 22, $ 19, $ 19, $ 61, Cost to NSF $ 69, $ 58, $ 57, $ 186,032.00

9 What Goes Into a Budget? 9

10 Federal Grant Budgets - Modular “The Modular Grant concept establishes specific modules or increments in which direct costs must be requested, as well as a maximum level for requested budgets of $250,000 direct costs (excluding any consortium F&A costs). The Modular Grant application does not require a categorical breakdown of direct costs requested in the application; however, other requirements still apply. Application directions should be reviewed for specific modular instructions.” (NIH, 2011) 10

11 What Goes Into a Budget? 11

12 Budget Role in the Proposal? A plan for allocating scarce resources to achieve stated proposal aims The skeleton of an ideal proposal A demonstration of careful planning and good stewardship Ideal Proposal Presents a sensible, readily executable plan with utterly reliable personnel that yields transformative results 12

13 Budget Role in the Proposal? Key Terms Program Officer RFP, RFA, RFB, Solicitation In-Kind (soft match) o Existing personnel (time) o “cost sharing” In-Kind (hard match) o Hiring an FTE for special project 13

14 Budget Role in the Proposal? Key Terms Bidders' Conference may be held, during which vendors will be afforded the opportunity to meet with State personnel and discuss the content of the RFP and the procurement process. Notification of the time and place of such conference, if held, will be made to all vendors receiving an RFP for bidding purposes. Written questions received prior to the cutoff date for submission of such questions, as noted in Section I of the RFP, will be answered at the conference without divulging the source of the query. The State may also accept oral questions during the conference and will make a reasonable attempt to provide answers prior to the conclusion of the conference. Oral answers shall not be binding on the State. (California, Best Practices) CTopic%20-%20bidders%20conference.pdf 14

15 When to Develop the Budget? When the proposal content has been determined When you have squared your priorities with the funder’s criterion and priorities When the inputs of all key personnel have been collected When current costs are known and projected costs can reasonably be estimated 15

16 How to Review the Budget? Recheck your cost figures Recalculate all the sums Review funder’s budget criteria Reconcile the budget to the budget narrative Find a third party to administer the ‘granny test’ 16

17 Conclusion Grant writing takes place in an increasingly competitive environment - every part counts A winning budget is like a winning summary: brief, to the point and targeted Budgets should be characterized by proportionality, feasibility and clarity Give the budget adequate time and attention Remember the no-free-lunch rule 17

18 Bibliography Browning, B.A. (2009). Grant writing for dummies. New York: Wiley. Berg, K.M., Gill, T.M., Brown, A.F., Zerzan, J., Elmore, J.G., & Wilson, I.B. (2007). Demystifying the NIH grant application process. JGIM, Brown, M. (1999). Managing Your Research Budget-What You Don’t Know Could Cost You. Postdoc Academic Chat, Gyong, J.E. (2010). Writing a Competitive Grant Research Proposal in the Social Sciences. Current Research Journal of Social Sciences, 2(4), Higdon, J. & Topp, R. (2004). How to develop a budget for a research proposal. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 2004, 26(8), Hills, F.S. & Mahoney, T.A. (1978). University Budgets and Organizational Decision Making. Administrative Science Quarterly, 23(3), Mansfield, E. (1995). Academic research underlying industrial innovations: Sources, characteristics, and financing. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 77(1), McDonagh, K. T. (2008). Identifying grant funding: Mentored career development and transition awards. American Society of Hematology, NIMH Director. (2006). Fulfilling the mission during the lean years. Special NIMH Update, Pugh, D., & Bacon, T.R. (2005). Powerful proposals. New York: Amacom. Wolff, M & Maurana, C. A. (2001). Building effective community-academic partnerships to improve health: A qualitative study of perspectives from communities. Academic Medicine, 76(2),


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