* Compiled 4/2013, A. DePasquale

Budget Preparation 101

(Adapted from "Budgeting Demystified" presentation on 12/16/11 - click here for full presentation)

Also see "Preparing a Basic Research Budget" presentation here


  • Check sponsor’s program announcement to determine:
    • If your project is eligible for this solicitation
    • Any restrictions on allowable costs
    • Budget format (special forms, specified categories, etc.)
    • Policy on F&A rate (allowable percentage AND sponsor definition for base)
    • Special requirements (cost sharing, salary cap, etc.)
    • Allow inflation rates (NIH generally allows 2%)
    • Check general sponsor rules if available.  Most large sponsors (NIH, NSF) have policies that are not listed in the solicitation. Any rules or regulations listed in the solicitation take precedence over the general rules


  • It is highly recommended that you use the UW Object Code categories to develop your budget line items. This will keep your budget in a consistent format, which helps you remember all necessary costs and aids in the review process.
    • Note: If a sponsor defines line items differently from UW Object Codes, you will need to convert costs into sponsor categories ( For instance: If a sponsor defines animal per diem as supplies, you will present it as such on the proposal going to the sponsor, but present it as UW Object Code 03-49 on the eGC1 in SAGE.


  • Consider using the Budget module in SAGE. This module is integrated into the necessary systems and automatically populates salary fields; calculate benefits and F&A. It easily attaches to the eGC1 and can easily be edited.


  • Keep the following costs in mind when preparing your budget:
    • Rent
    • Upcoming promotions for faculty, fellows or post-docs
    • Shipping costs on equipment or lab samples
    • Reagents or other supplies necessary for lab equipment
    • Maintenance and repairs for any equipment
    • Costs that may be necessary to facilitate subject participation (parking, maps of campus, food, etc.)


  • Subcontracts (if applicable)
    • Include each UW subcontract as a separate line item (03-62 object code)
    • Calculate the F&A separately for each subcontract
    • Check OSP’s guidance on outgoing subcontracts



  • F&A Rate
    • See GIM 13 for current F&A rates       
    • If the sponsor’s F&A rate differs from the UW negotiated rate, you will need to supply the URL indicating the sponsor’s policy  and you may need to supply an F&A waiver see GIM 19 for more info


  • PI must assure that all budget items are allocable, reasonable and allowable per OMB circular A-21
    • Read and re-read program announcement


  • If you don’t use the SAGE budget module, attach a budget spreadsheet so that reviewers can see your calculations.  (PDF versions don’t show calculations)


  • Read the UW policies (GIMs) that apply to your project



Finally, double check the following:

  • Make sure you have updated recruitment number and personnel effort
  • Confirm that budget matches final scope of work and budget justification
  • Verify that proposal budget and eGC1 budget match
  • All budget totals should match across the various forms and the eGC1
  • Verify that project dates on sponsor forms and eGC1 match