Budget Development

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Budget Development

The budget is a detailed statement outlining the estimated project costs that support a sponsored program. A budget should include all direct costs, as well as the appropriate facilities and administrative (F&A) costs required to carry out the project objectives. The proposal budget should be derived directly from the project description and serves as the financial expression of the project.

The costing principles found in the Uniform Guidance apply to all sponsored programs at UMMC. Costs must be allowable, allocable, reasonable and given consistent treatment.

Direct costs

Direct costs are expenses that are specifically associated with a particular sponsored program or activity or can be directly assigned to that project or activity with a high degree of accuracy (e.g., space allocation).

Salaries and benefits

The largest category of expense on any sponsored program budget is normally personnel expenses - salaries and benefits. Proposals should accurately represent the amount of direct research effort that personnel are committing to the project.


The UMMC threshold for equipment is $5,000. If an item is less than $5,000 per unit, it should be budgeted as supplies.


Estimated travel costs should normally include and itemize airfare and other modes of transportation, the number of days of per diem, and ground transportation in accordance with UMMC policy.

Subcontracts and other consortium/contractual agreements

A subcontract is a formal, legal agreement between UMMC and another organization. This agreement is used when a substantive portion of the programmatic work outlined in the proposal is conducted at another organization. Other consortium/contractual agreements include other vendors and suppliers who provide routine services for a fee. These are generally paid by an invoice or purchase order and typically require a formal contract which is processed through Contracts Administration.


A consultant is an independent contractor who is not an employee of UMMC. Consulting services are generally provided by an individual who is considered an expert in the field. The proposal should include a letter of collaboration including dates of service, rate of pay, other expenses and deliverables. Proposal requirements vary by sponsor.

Other direct costs

This category generally includes materials and supplies, publication costs, equipment or facility rental/user fees, animal care costs, patient care costs and human subject incentives.

F&A costs

F&A costs are UMMC expenses that cannot be specifically identified with a particular project or activity. Also known as "indirects" or "overhead," these costs are for buildings, utilities, services of administrative offices, and other expenses necessary for operation of the institution. See UMMC's Fast Facts for our current F&A rates.

Cost sharing

Cost sharing occurs when an application commits allowable expenses (e.g., personnel, equipment, materials) for which the sponsored program will not be charged. UMMC policy is to not cost share.

Budget justification

The budget justification provides details about how the sponsor's funds will be spent. It also demonstrates the expertise of the personnel, explains the use of supplies and equipment for the scope of work, and assists reviewers in understanding how the costs requested will benefit the project.