Step 3: Prepare the Final Budget and Budget Justification
Gives rationale for items in the budget, including:
- The basis on which each cost was developed
- (i.e. identifies that a PI’s base AY salary is used to calculate one month of summer salary).
The project narrative should support what is in the budget. Otherwise, explain here why the expense is relevant.
- Clarify expenses
- Include calculations
- Justify unusual costs
- Use charts, tables, spreadsheets
- Include within the narrative or as a specific section
- How carefully you plan
- How much attention you pay to details
- How thoroughly you document and explain
- How realistic you are
- Assumes you manage time and personnel the same way you manage money
What are they looking for?
- agency’s available funds
- proposed scope
- project tasks
Who looks at the proposed budget?
- The University
- Chair, Dean, Provost
- OSSP and Grants Accountant
- The reviewers
- The agency’s program staff
- The agency’s grants & contracts financial department
- Does the size of the budget match the size of the project?
- Is the addition correct?
- Is everything included?
- Is every item justified?
- Is the budget in line with similar projects
- Is the budget comparable to others awarded by the funder?
Budget items and calculations for each item should be summarized on worksheets.
- reminder how the numbers were developed
- assists with funder discussions and reporting
Do not under or over estimate
Project your expenses as accurately as possible.
- Be certain that the expense estimates are neither too low nor too high.
- If underestimate costs -may not able to operate within the budget.
- have to go back to funders already supporting the project and ask for additional assistance or underwrite part of the cost of general operating funds.
- overestimating costs can mean returning unexpended funds
- Check your calculations
- Make sure any $$ changes are reflected in the narrative and/or budget justification
- Link narrative and budget
- Explain any unusual expenses
Budget and Justification
- Be realistic for the scope of the project
- Explain costs in justification
- Take extra care with subawards
- Address cost share requirements
- Contact for budget assistance: