Higher Education Support Center for SystemsChange
- Instructions for developing a proposed initiative budget -

Please use these guidelines for designing budgets to accompany proposals for all active initiatives. Please understand that you will need to provide a rationale for expenditures that is consistent with the work proposed.

  1. Contact with your institution’s office of sponsored programs. Work closely with a financial officer at your institution as you develop the budget for your proposal. Your institution may have rules and expectations regarding structuring payments for investigators and participants, the assignment of fringe benefits, allowable expenses, financial protocols and indirect costs. Discuss your institutions willingness to forward fund your proposal if it is accepted.
  2. Salaries and Wages includes compensation for the principal investigator, collaborating colleagues and support staff.

    Host institution faculty/staff are typically compensated for their work on an initiative in one of three ways:

Project personnel who do not work for the host institution are often paid as consultants.

  1. A budget allocation for fringe benefits may be required for any form of compensation awarded to employees of the host institution. Fringe benefit costs may include Social Security and FICA costs, workman’s compensation, insurance, and pre tax contributions if the payment is calculated as part of salary.
  2. Supplies and Materials are generally budgeted for $200 or less, roughly 5% of the award total, and must be necessary for the completion of proposed work. Ideally, whatever is purchased should last beyond the life of the project: videotapes, permanent teaching and curriculum materials, etc. Operational costs should be delineated in this category. These costs may include teleconferencing, or videoconferencing costs, duplicating, postage, and so on.
  3. Equipment (computers, projectors, cameras) are not allowed.
  4. Travel must follow New York State guidelines. The guidelines can be located at http://www.policyworks.gov/org/main/mt/homepage/mtt/perdiem/perdiem.cfm?st=ny&yr=2002
  5. The Total Direct Costs are the sum of all of the above budget categories.
  6. Indirect Costs are 8% of the total direct cost.
  7. The Grand Total is the sum of direct and indirect costs and cannot exceed the awarded amount for the particular initiative.