CBL's Beavan Hall
CBL Faculty HandbookPreparing Budgets

Please feel free to work with the Business Office in preparing your budgets. They are happy to provide help and advice regarding salaries, fringe, and other budget categories. We advise you use the five-year budget preparation Excel spreadsheet that is available from the Business Office which calculates most of the values for you, fixes rounding errors, and can save you much time. The most recent version can always be found at p:\business-office\forms\cblbudgetform - _public.xls. Note that you must have Excel set up to run macros for this tool to work properly.

UMCES internal budgets are required regardless of the sponsor's needs. Initial, and subsequently revised budgets, must be reviewed and approved in advance by the CBL Business Office prior to submitting the proposal.

In preparing the budget, pay particular attention to:

  1. PI Salaries - Suggested minimum percentages of faculty salaries charged to grants are 5% for budgets up to 50K, 10% up to $100K, 15% up to $150K, 20% up to $200K, and 25% up to $250K, etc.
  2. Fringe – a fringe rate of 36.5% is recommended. This includes a 35% fringe rate and the mandatory 1.5% payout pool for FRAs.
  3. Capital equipment (>$5000 – non-overhead bearing).
  4. Sensitive equipment (esp. laptops) which requires a clear budget justification.
  5. Cost sharing.
  6. Sub-contracts (overhead on first $25k only).
  7. Tuition (non-overhead bearing – UMCES students pay in-state tuition. Current tuition rates can be found under the Tuition and Fees tab. UMCES students do not pay mandatory fees).
  8. Fleet vessels (non-overhead bearing – Talk to Capt. Mike Hulme regarding proposed time).
  9. Standard overhead rates are:
    • Federal 53% of modified direct costs
    • State 39% of modified direct costs
    • Some agencies limit indirect costs. Deviations from standard overhead require approval from the lab director and the UMCES President. Details are provided in the Indirect Costs section regarding reduced indirect rates. If the agency requires a reduced indirect cost rate or cost sharing, include that documentation along with the budget. The approved budget along with any other documentation must be provided to the Business Office prior to your proposal being routed in Cayuse.

Budgets involving multiple investigators, UMCES laboratories, or agencies, usually require separate budgets for each participant as well as the overall budget. These breakdowns should accompany the proposal submission and must also be routed through the other UMCES units, if applicable.

Budget Justifications are an important part of all proposal submissions. Bear in mind that approved budgets are estimates of costs only. Rather than stating fixed amounts in your budget justification, we strongly suggest that you word your justification such that costs are “estimates” or “about.” Some budget categories receive more attention than others by sponsoring agencies and hence by ORAA. In particular, if requesting a laptop computer, please be sure to justify clearly the need for its use at field sites / on research cruises / or if part of a multi-institutional award to allow collaboration.

Any change from the approved proposal budget at the eventual time of funding must be reviewed by the Business Office and approved by the Laboratory Director.