Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs

Developing a Budget

Compiling a budget is a critical step of the proposal process. Therefore, make sure the proper amount of time is devoted to budget development. Please contact the OGSP as soon as possible for both budget assistance and budget approval.

Below is a sample budget form. You will also find a list of the most commonly used terms for the budget section of the grant application. 





Salaries and Wages (FSU Personnel)



Project Director


Dr. Simon Sez at 100% effort for one month during the summer. Charges are based on base salary of Dr. Sez’s 10-month academic year appointment.

Course Developer


Stipend of $3,750.00 for
Dr. Stan Still to develop a graduate course.

SUBTOTAL Salaries, Wages:






Guest Speakers


2 Guest speakers to provide subject matter expertise at an honorarium of $300.00 per two hour session.



Stipend of $250.00 to cover time of 2 faculty to develop and deliver a 2-hour workshop.



Total travel expected is 400 miles. Reimbursement is at $.575/mile.

SUBTOTAL Other Direct Costs:











FSU de minimus rate of 10% is applied to Modified Total Direct Costs for federal grants (unless dictated otherwise by grant announcement), or total direct costs for independent foundations. Modified Total Direct Costs are all costs less equipment and participant support costs, and any subcontracted amount over $25,000.





Glossary of Terms 
Below you will find a list of the most common terms off the budget section of the grant application.

Framingham State University employees (faculty, librarians, administrators, and staff), as well as students, are considered personnel.

Salaries and Wages for Faculty
Faculty pay is based on current annual salary, pro-rated on a monthly basis. Discuss the appropriate method to calculate faculty compensation with the OGSP. The approach is contingent upon the kind of project, the timing of the work and the guidelines of the funder.

Salary and Wages of Administrators and Staff
Funders often compensate for staff expenses related to the grant-funded projects.

Salaries and Wages for Students
FSU supports the use of student assistants because grant-related projects provide work experience and income.

Fringe Benefits
The fringe benefits rate for administration and staff (full-time and part-time) and faculty (full-time) is rate is 39.50%; projected FY24 is 42.45%. For proposed rates after FY24, contact OGSP.

Payroll tax
The payroll tax is 1.85% (FY23). Use 2.0% for FY24.

It is appropriate to pay individuals as consultants if they are not employees of FSU and if they are involved in specialized tasks.

In the application, specify equipment items that have a unit cost of $1,000.00 or more. In the budget justification, the principal investigator or project director should note the name and model of the piece of equipment and why it is necessary for the project.

Include office supplies, copy supplies, glassware, and chemicals. Most projects require some expenditure on supplies.

Long distance and foreign travel might include the following: air-fare, meals, taxi, and event registration fees.

Indirect (F&A) and Cost Sharing

Indirect or Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs
Indirect costs are institutional expenses for managing projects. These expenses include clerical staff costs, utilities, security, library usage, and IT.

In developing budgets, principal investigators and project directors are encouraged to calculate project costs using the highest indirect cost percentage allowed. Recovered indirect reimburses FSU for operating sponsored projects and provides discretionary funds for use by departments and individual investigators.

FSU’s current rate is 10 percent on total direct costs, for example, salaries, wages, and fringe.

This rate will apply to all federal grant applications.

Foundations, corporate funders, and state agencies often publish a different rate to be used.

Cost Sharing and Matching Funds
Funders frequently require that the University contribute a portion of the total project costs. These contributions require the approval of executive leadership. In-kind contributions also need administrative approval.

Matching Funds
Many funders will support a percentage of the cost of a project and will require that the grant seeker pay the difference with money or non-cash contributions, which are known as matching funds.

In-kind is a non-cash donation of space or services, for example, the use of classrooms or the use of equipment.

Budget Justification

Justifying each line item in the budget may be accomplished in two ways:

  • By showing the math calculations used to compute a cost
  • By explaining how the expenses contribute to the project