Contents of a Proposal Budget

A proposal budget is composed of two different pieces of information: a budget table, and a budget narrative. Funders can request these items in many different ways-- or provide no guidelines at all. There are two general forms: (1) Combined Table/Narrative, and (2) Separate Table/Narrative. Both include the same basic information: Budget Category, Expense Item, Description, Cost Formula, Expense, Total Expense by Category, and Total Project Expense. Presenting this information in a combined format enables the reader to see all the costs and what the basis for those costs are at one time while presenting them separately enable the reader to see a summary of the proposed expenses and then a detailed description of the expenses. When the project will be multi-year, separate tables with a single narrative will almost certainly be required.

Using a spreadsheet to help organize and total expenses is a very good idea. Microsoft Excel, Lotus 1-2-3, or any of the other computer-based spreadsheet programs all work fine for this purpose, as does plain paper or rules accounting paper.

The following are examples of a Combined and Separate budgets for a single fictitious research project.

Example 1A: Combined Table/Narrative

Morpholizer Field Research Project

Category/Item Description Formula Expense Total

Dr. Faculty

PI 25% or $40,000/academic year $10,000  
Ms. Student Assistant 10/hr x 20hrs/wk x 25 wks/yr $5,000  
Total Personnel       $15,000
Fringe Benefits se this style for body text. $15,000 x 20% $3,000 $3,000
Equipment Morpholizer 1@$1,500 $1,500  
  Table 1@300 $300  
Total Equipment       $1,800
Travel Local to specimen collection area 200m/year x .25/m $50  
  Conference in Atlantic City (Mileage: 400 x .25.m= $100)+(Hotel: 2 x $150/night=$300)+(Meals:$75) $475  
Total Travel       $525
Supplies Lab Test tubes, etc. $200  
  Office Paper clips, etc. $100  
Total Supplies       $300
Publication Paper and Presentation Paper, film, postage, photograph development, photocopying, etc. $250  
Total Publication     . $250
Total Direct Expenses       $20,875
Indirect Expenses   $15,000 x .75 $11,250 $11,250
Total Project Expenses       $32,125

Example 1B: Separate Table/Narrative

Morpholizer Field Research Project

Category/Item   Total
1. Personnel   $15,000
2. Fringe Benefits   $3,000
3. Equipment   $1,800
4. Travel   $525
5. Supplies   $300
6. Publication   $250
Total Direct Expenses   $20,875
7. Indirect Expenses   $11,250
Total Project Expenses   $32,125


Morpholizer Field Research Project
Budget Narrative

1. Personnel: The PI will commit 25% of her time during the upcoming academic year to the project: $40,000*.25=$10,000. A student will assist the PI during the upcoming academic year: $10/hr*20hrs/wk*25wks/year=$5,000

2. Fringe: The WPUNJ fringe rate is 20% for all salaries: $15,000*.20=$3,000.

3. Equipment: The cost of an ACME, Inc. Model 1A Morpholizer is $1,500. The cost of a table to mount the Morpholizer on is $300.

4. Travel: The PI and the Student Assistant will travel from the University to the off-campus specimen collection about weekly during the project period, we anticipate that these trips will not exceed 200 miles: 200m*.25=$50. The PI and the Student Assistant will travel to the NJ Association of Morphologists annual conference in Atlantic City during the Spring Semester to present their findings: (Mileage: 400m*.25=$100)+(Hotel: 2 rooms*$150/night*1 night=$300)+(Meals: $75)=$475

5. Supplies: Lab supplies for collecting, preparing, storing, processing, and cleaning samples will include test tubes, dishes, bags and other items and will cost approximately $200. Office supplies will be required to maintain records and information concerning progress of the project, including paper, paper clips, file box, and will cost approximately $100.

6. Publication: The PI and the Student Association will prepare one presentation for the NJ Association of morphologists annual conference and at least one paper for submission to The Morphologist based on the results of their research. The preparation of these works will require photographic film and development, poster paper and presentation supplies, photocopying and postage, and will cost approximately $250.

7. Indirect: The WPUNJ approved indirect rate is %75 of salary and wages: $15,000*.75=$11,250.