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Proposal Budget Resources

These links below can help you to create a budget for your project:

If you are needing additional assistance, the Office of Research Development assists faculty* with their budget preparation. Please consider filling out the form provided at this link, which will provide ORD with the information needed to help you put together your budget.

Proposal Budget Assistance Form



Why is a proposal budget important?

  • It justifies your request and shows how you calculated costs.
  • It provides a financial "blueprint" for your project if you are funded.
  • It shows that you—and the University—will manage the sponsor's funds, which are usually public money, responsibly.

Three key words: Allowable, Allocable & Reasonable

What does allowable, allocable, and reasonable mean?

  • Allowable: Costs must not be expressly prohibited by the sponsored program regulations, the sponsored agreement, the University's own policies, or the Federal Cost Principles (found in OMB Circular A-21). Costs must be treated consistently by applying the generally accepted accounting principles appropriate to the circumstances (such as the Federal Cost Principles).
  • Allocable: Costs are incurred solely to support or advance the work of a specific sponsored research award (and only during the sponsor-approved project period).
  • Reasonable: Costs must be able to withstand public scrutiny, i.e., objective individuals not affiliated with the institution would agree that a cost is reasonable and appropriate.

Tips for Budgets

  • Calculate what the project will cost, and make sure your budget is realistic; do not "pad" costs - but don't short-change yourself in an effort to be more "competitive" either (though you will want to check whether or not the sponsor has a maximum request amount).
  • Be sure everything in your budget is referenced in the project description/project narrative—and be sure everything mentioned in your project description that would incur cost is shown in the budget.
  • Discuss your project and its costs with your chair/director and/or your dean.
  • Start early!!
  • Check to see if cost-sharing is required.
    • If so, where will it come from?
    • Discuss this with your chair/director and/or your dean.
  • Read the sponsor's guidelines!

Still have questions? Contact Carolyn Bradley at

*ORD can assist faculty who are in departments that do not have a departmental representative on staff or ORD can connect you with your department or college grant analysts.