Sponsored Projects

Pre-Award Budgeting Tips

1. Budget planning and project planning should proceed hand in hand. Don’t wait until you’ve completed the final draft of the proposal narrative to start the first draft of the budget – it’s important to know early on if you can accomplish the proposed objectives with the amount of funding available. If you need assistance, OSP pre-award staff are available to help.

2. Always create budgets in Excel; do not use a Word table and calculator. Contact OSP if you need a budget template or assistance with the budget template you’ve been provided.

3. You must submit a proposed budget as required by the funder’s instructions, in as much detail as requested. Typically, public funders will require a budget based on basic line item cost categories, such as Salaries, Benefits, Supplies, Travel, Other Direct Costs, and Facilities and Administrative Costs.

4. OSP needs a detailed budget for account set up, even if the funder does not require one inthe proposal, so take the time to develop your budget in as much detail as possible. Your budget becomes your spending plan once awarded, so make sure you don’t leave out or over-budget import items.

5. Budgets need to be as accurate as possible; don’t try to submit a bare-bones budget or a padded budget. This is poor project management. Use OSP budget templates because they have built-in formulas to calculate salaries, fringe benefits, ect. and include estimated annual increases (when allowable).

6. Facilities and Administrative costs (F&A) at the full negotiated rate must be included in your budget, unless the request for proposals or sponsor policy specifically disallows them. F&A costs are not a “tax” on your project, they are the recovery of real costs to the university associated with doing business.

7. The university, not the Principle Investigator/Project Director, is the grant recipient. That means all funding received at WIU must be spent in a manner consistent with other university funding. The funder may impose additional funding restrictions.

8. Required Budget Review: All budget proposals must be reviewed by OSP prior to submission. Email your draft budget and budget narrative along with a copy or link to the funder’s guidelines to OSP for review and feedback at least 2 weeks prior to the submission deadline.