Use the SPA Budget Worksheet and InfoEd
All new sponsored project proposals, resubmissions, competing renewals, supplemental proposals, and pre-proposals requiring detailed budgets (hereafter referred to as, Proposal) must be submitted to SPA using InfoEd, prior to submission to the sponsor. Creating a budget in InfoEd is part of the process. Please contact SPA when developing a budget. SPA will take an active role with the PI or department staff in preparing budgets that are in compliance with UVM, sponsor and federal policy requirements.
For this purpose SPA created the SPA Budget Worksheet (XLS), which can be found in the Forms Library.
After the SPA Budget Worksheet is complete, the Sponsored Project Administration Research Administrator will convert the excel workbook to a single pdf document and will upload it to InfoEd, where it will become available to department chairs and deans in the electronic routing process.
Sponsor’s Budget Forms, Formats and Guidelines
- The Sponsor’s forms and format for budget and budget narratives should always be used.
- Pay attention to Sponsor’s guidelines.
- They provide information concerning budget limitations, specific cost considerations, requirements for cost sharing, and other special financial information.
- Failure to adhere to a Sponsor’s budget or program guidelines may jeopardize funding for the proposal.
Budget Escalation Factors
- For multi-year proposals, SPA recommends using up to a 3% escalation factor for those recurring direct costs, such as Salary and Wages, GRA Tuition, Travel, and Material and Supplies.
- Do not escalate F&A costs or Fringe costs. The approved and published rates at the time of proposal must be used for F&A and fringe.
Direct Costs and F&A Costs
Most budgets are composed of two kinds of cost groups: direct costs and indirect or F&A costs.
Direct Cost Items
- Direct Cost Items
- Those budget line items that support performing the scope of work and are reasonable, easily identifiable and allocable to the project.
- The Principal Investigator is responsible for spending the direct costs on allowable costs such as project personnel salaries, associated fringe benefits, materials, supplies, travel, and equipment.
F&A Costs (Indirect Costs)
- Indirect Costs - Facilities and Administrative (F&A Costs)
- Expenditures that cannot be specifically allocated to a project.
- F&A costs are intended to recover the cost of sponsored project administration, department and college research administration, research compliance, purchasing, accounting, libraries, custodial services, building depreciation, and utilities.
- They are budgeted and collected as a percentage of the direct costs.
Cost Sharing and Matching
Cost sharing occurs when UVM contributes quantifiable resources to a sponsored project beyond the amount paid for by the sponsor.
Types of Cost Sharing
- Mandatory Cost Sharing
- Required by the sponsor as a condition for applying and being selected for funding. Mandatory cost sharing will be accounted for and is reportable in financial reports being submitted to the sponsor. Any change to mandatory cost sharing must be approved by the sponsor.
- Voluntary Committed Cost Sharing
- Binding Obligation
- Mandatory and voluntary committed cost sharing represents a binding obligation once an award has been accepted.
- Not considered Cost Sharing
- Commitments made in other sections of the proposal, including but not limited to Facilities and Resources, Other Support, and Letters of Support, do not meet the definitions of Cost Sharing.
UVM Cost Sharing Guidance at time of Proposal
- Cost sharing is limited to mandatory cost sharing; however, voluntary committed cost sharing is allowed where the academic unit has determined that such a contribution is necessary to ensure a competitive proposal.
- Where mandatory cost sharing a copy or web link to the funding opportunity, regulations or guidelines must be submitted to SPA with the proposal.
- Where cost sharing is not mandatory or necessary for the competitiveness of a proposal, Principal Investigators and departments should refrain from making such commitments voluntarily.
- In all situations, the use of cost sharing should be kept to a reasonable level because of the burden that cost sharing places on institutional or departmental resources.
- Cost sharing occurs when UVM contributes quantifiable resources to a sponsored project beyond the amount funded by the sponsor.
Cost Share Approvals
All cost sharing, mandatory (reportable), voluntary committed (not reportable) included in a proposal is approved as part of the routing of a proposal using InfoEd.
- Dean or designee - Approves cost sharing from college funds.
- Department Chair or designee - Approves cost sharing from department funds.
- Provost or designee – Institutional level cost sharing (normally collected by separate approval letter and not part of the InfoEd proposal routing process)
Cost Sharing is easily located on the SPA Budget Worksheet which is attached to the InfoEd Reveiw Dashboard in routing approval process.
National Science Foundation Cost Sharing Policy
- The National Science Foundation prohibits voluntary cost sharing.
- Voluntary cost sharing found in a NSF proposal is grounds, for return without review or decline.
- NSF only allows mandatory cost sharing when required by the NSF Program Announcement.
- See the NSF Cost Share Policy (PDF) and Related NSF FAQs.
Eligible Cost Sharing contributions must meet all of the following criteria
- Are verifiable from UVM’s accounting records;
- Are necessary and reasonable for the accomplishment of project activities;
- If federal, are allowable under Uniform Guidance – Part 200, Subpart E—Cost Principles;
- Are not included as contributions to any other sponsored award;
- Are not from another sponsored award, except where the Sponsor specifically allowed; and
- Where cost sharing on federal projects must be from non-federal sources.
Federal Grant Budget Tips
Most federal grant applications are submitted electronically through InfoEd to Grants.gov. These federal grant applications require the use of the standard form and format called the SF-424 Budget Information Forms.
Below are links to the NIH and NSF Budget Tips and Reminder pages that are applicable to almost all federal agencies.