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Generally the funding agency will require a line item budget and a detailed budget narrative that describes the amounts and uses of each line in the budget. Always refer to the agency guidelines to determine allowable activities and costs.
Most federal agencies include online budget forms as a part of their application package. OSRP is available to assist in preparing the final budget and will also review the budget, together with the MSU Denver Sponsored Projects Accounting and Compliance Office (CPAC), prior to submission to ensure that it is aligned with funder and university guidelines. We also provide budget templates in Microsoft Excel that match the required fields in the online forms for a number of agencies. These templates are available in the Toolkit.
Direct Cost vs. Indirect Cost: Charges to a grant are categorized as either direct costs or indirect costs.
Typically, sponsored projects allow the grantee to request compensation for the following direct costs: personnel (salaries and wages); fringe benefits; equipment; materials and supplies; travel; consultants; and other direct costs. Read guidelines carefully to determine what restrictions, if any, are placed on the categories, or if some line items are not allowed. We provide several budget templates for investigators to prepare a project budget. They can be found in the Toolkit.
It is not unusual in a federal or state project to find that the proportion of faculty time supported by a sponsor is limited. In proposing a project with grant funds, the principal investigator must select a workable and fundable methodology, including the amount of time that is available to work on a project. If the principal investigator is a faculty member, check with the respective Chair and Dean to ensure that the proposed workload is feasible. Faculty on academic year contracts will calculate their summer grant funded time based on 9-month appointments. For work during the academic year, principal investigators may be able to request course release time if allowed by the grant agency and approved by the Department Chair. More information is available here.
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