Step 2: Identify the Total Cost of the Project

5 F&A Costs

Indirect – F&A

Project budgets may include items for overhead costs.


Administrative costs of the day-to-day operation.

  • percentage of the bookkeeper’s salary
  • cost of of facility
  • electricity, heat, building maintenance
  • the formula is usually based on federally negotiated indirect cost rate

F&A Costs

  • F&A costs are not a just a charge the FHSU adds to proposals to make extra money.
  • Rates are negotiated with a federal agency.
  • F&A costs must be requested

F&A Waivers

  • Must request permission to waive or reduce the F&A rate for a proposal.
  • If the agency has a formal, written policy reducing or disallowing F&A costs, include documentation.
  • Waiver request should be included with the internal approval


Non-Federal Budgets

When Non-federal sponsors, such as foundations and non-profits, do not allow inclusion of F&A costs or include F&A at a greatly reduced rate, we may be able to include certain costs (that are normally considered F&A) as direct costs in our request

  • Administrative/Clerical Salaries
  • Postage
  • Photocopy Costs
  • Local Phone Service


Cost Sharing and Matching

The terms are usually used interchangeably:

Cost Sharing – agencies require that some part of the cost of a project be borne by the applicant institution.

Matching – Commitments by the university to spend its funds in a certain proportion to funds provided by the granting agency.


In kind/match/cost share

Costs of the project not paid by the grant:

  • Mandatory vs. Voluntary
  • Donated services or property
  • In Kind – salaries/fringe, supplies
  • Unrecovered indirect – with approval from funder
  • Cash
  • Third party contributions
  • The value of volunteers

Mandatory Cost Sharing

Do NOT offer cost sharing unless required by the funding agency.

  • Don’t offer more than is required!
  • Do not quantify FHSU commitment in budget or elsewhere in proposal—this is cost sharing and must be treated as such!
  • Some agencies (NSF) do not allow cost sharing

Criteria for Cost Sharing

The cost must meet all of the following criteria to be allowed as cost sharing:

  • Verifiable – must track
  • not counted as cost sharing on another project,
  • necessary for the project,
  • allowable under the terms of the award, and
  • not paid with federal funds
  • must be documented and auditable!!!


Document Cost Sharing

  • Provide itemized description of costs.
  • Identify the sources:
    • For cash contributions (i.e. salary, fringe benefits) identify budget number(s) & provide signature(s).
    • For in-kind contributions (i.e. discount on rental of conference facilities), include the basis for value used.
    • For third party contributions (i.e. salary of subcontractor), provide a letter of commitment with itemized description of costs.




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Budget Basics for Grant Writing Copyright © by Leslie Paige and Misty Koonse is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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