Develop a Budget

While the budget format and detail will vary with individual sponsors, a typical budget includes the items detailed below. Your Proposal Analyst will work with you to draft a comprehensive budget; budget and justification templates are located in Documents & Guides

Salaries and Fringe

Faculty and Staff

  • PI’s are required to show effort on research projects. Sponsors expect a commitment of effort from the principal investigator for conducting the work, over-seeing students, preparing deliverables, writing reports, etc.
  • ORA calculates your salary by using either a percentage of effort or by the daily rate multiplied by your institutional base salary and an escalation factor.
  • Fringe benefits are applied based on employment classification and are calculated using your institutional base salary. Fringe benefits are escalated annually.
Undergraduates and Graduates

Undergraduate Students

Graduate Students

  • Graduate student salary is governed by the Graduate Assistantship Policies. A full time equivalent graduate student works 50% during the academic and spring semesters (20 hours a week).
  • Graduate student tuition, fees and health insurance are charged to sponsored projects using Mines’ approved rates.
    • Percentage of tuition budgeted per student must match the percentage of salary budgeted
    • Tuition is increased annually per our escalation memo
Materials and Supplies
  • Materials and supplies are defined by federal regulations as:
    • consumable supplies, regardless of cost
    • equipment with a unit value of under $5,000
  • Lab analysis and user fees are separate from supplies
  • General office supplies are not allowable unless related to specific research activities
Participant Support Costs
  • Costs to support individuals attending a training project or workshop in conjunction with an education or outreach component of the research
  • Examples include Graduate Fellowships or Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)
  • Allowable Expenses:
    • Participant stipend – for example to support REU students
    • Housing or travel for students/participants
    • Graduate stipend and/or tuition
  • Unallowable Expenses:
    • Payment to support PI, staff, or collaborators
    • Travel for project PI, staff, or collaborators
    • Honoraria to pay guest speaker
    • Rentals – facility rental or media equipment rentals
    • Overhead
  • Participant Support costs that are not spent at the end of the project cannot be re-budgeted for use in other budget categories without prior written approval from the sponsor
  • Mines Travel Policy
  • Travel costs include:
    • number of travelers
    • travel to and from destination
    • duration of trip
    • per diem
    • lodging
    • ground transportation
    • conference registration fees
  • International travel and domestic travel must be budgeted separately
    • Sponsors often require prior approval for international travel
  • Capital equipment, including fabricated equipment, is defined by federal regulation as:
    • all property of a capital nature, complete in itself (stands alone)
    • has a useful life of more than one year
    • has a unit cost of $5,000 or more
  • Sponsors may want to see a price list, vendor quote or other specifications from the manufacturer
  • Equipment comprised of individual components valued at $5000 or less and combined into a single functioning unit is considered fabricated equipment
Subrecipients and Contractors
  • Subrecipients and contractors (i.e. consultants) must be identified separately and correctly in any proposed budget.

This distinction is critical as it will determine what costs will be included in the calculation for indirect costs, the documents required to be received by the third party and the level of justification needed to be included in the budget justification. Use this Subcontractor or Contractor Determination Form to assist in making an evaluation for your research project.

Subrecipient means a non‐Federal entity that receives a subaward from a pass‐through entity to carry out part of a Federal program; but does not include an individual that is a beneficiary of such program. A subrecipient may also be a recipient of other Federal awards directly from a Federal awarding.

Contractor means an entity that receives a contract as defined in Contract.  Contract means a legal instrument by which a non‐Federal entity purchases property or services needed to carry out the project or program under a Federal award.

  • Subrecipients must provide:
  • Contractors must provide:
    • statement of work
    • quote(s) to justify the cost listed in the Mines budget
    • sponsor-mandated forms
Indirect Costs
  • Calculate indirect costs by multiplying your indirect cost rate by your Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC) base
  • Mines’ approved indirect cost rates are negotiated with our cognizant audit agency, the Office of Naval Research
  • MTDC is calculated by excluding the following items from the total direct costs:
    • capital expenditures (buildings, individual items of equipment, alterations and renovations)
    • the portion of each subaward in excess of $25,000
    • participant support costs
    • graduate student tuition, fees and insurance
  • A lower overhead rate can be applied only if the solicitation mandates use of a specific indirect cost rate.
Templates & Checklists

Find scope of work, facilities, budget, justification templates and sponsor checklists designed for you here!

Cost Share

Notify your Proposal Analyst at least two weeks in advance for any proposal which includes cost share, whether it’s Mines or third-party cost share. For further support see Cost Share Guidance.

Data Management

Mines’ Research Data Management helps ensure you’re addressing your research data requirements – creating the plan and preserving, storing, and reusing the data.


This Procurement Guide outlines the rules for procuring goods/services and at which threshold; the chart outlines the action needed for each cost item.

Shared Instrumentation Facility

Mines’ Shared Instrumentation Facility provides centralized access to world-class equipment; more resources in Documents & Guides.