Every grant proposal must include a budget and a budget justification—together, these documents help you present an accurate accounting of your project's financial needs.
Though producing a budget for your project may seem intimidating, the dynamic tools below practically calculate your budget for you!
For more information about the costs automatically added to these budgets, review our reference materials on facility & administrative costs, UNO's payroll benefits rate, and how to budget for student workers and graduate assistants.
NOTE: Some funding agencies have standardized budget and justification formats. Always follow the sponsor's guidelines.
Option One: Generator
|Budget & Justification Generator
|This better budget tool automatically generates a PDF budget and editable Word justification—then, it emails you a link where you can make changes and generate new documents!
Option Two: Templates
|These Excel workbooks are color-coded manuals that help you categorize and total every dollar accurately. We recommend downloading a new budget template every time you require it—because if you save the file to your computer and re-use it, you will miss important updates!
Internal Grant Program (IGP) Spreadsheet
|To develop a budget justification, download this Word document and itemize your project costs. Add any budget category relevant to you; delete any budget category that is not relevant to you. Then, elaborate! Explain what work or product the requested funds will support, provide the pay rates that inform your figures, and break down any supplies, equipment, or travel costs.
You may also download and complete a letter of commitment for your packet.
Board of Regents (BoR)
If you are vying for a Board of Regents grant, please use the above template based on their specific requirements.
The altered template is necessary because the Board of Regents limits the F&A costs to 25% of the total salary and benefits. More information is given in the budget template.
A sponsor's budget categories and allowed expenses may differ from UNO's. Though you must always comply with a sponsor's guidelines, we recommend building your budget using the above UNO templates first. The pre-award member of your service team can help you translate the budget into the sponsor's categories.
5014: Salary - Regular
Regular salary includes principal investigator salary, summer salary, unclassified salary, post-doctoral salary, and transient salary for employees of UNO.
5014: Salary - Additional
Additional salary includes extra compensation and stipends for salaried UNO employees. Any remuneration paid to salaried UNO employees for work done in addition to normal duties must be paid as additional salary. Summer salary is not considered extra/additional compensation for employees of UNO. Extra compensation must comply with AP-BA-39.
5014: Wage - Regular
Regular wages include classified, secretarial, period of appointment (POA), or transient wages for employees of UNO.
5014: Wage - Additional
Additional wages include overtime payments, extra compensation, and stipends for part-time/wage employees of UNO. Any remuneration paid to UNO wage employees for work done in addition to normal duties must be paid as additional wages.
5013: Payroll Benefits
Payroll benefits, also known as "fringe benefits," are assessed on all payroll costs for full-time/salary and part-time/wage employees of UNO, including additional compensation for salaried employees. Payroll benefits are not assessed on wage employees' overtime.
5011: Salary - Graduate Assistant
Graduate assistant salary includes GA compensation. If you are hiring a GA, you must also include graduate student tuition in your budget. Graduate assistants can work a maximum of 20 hours per week whether or not school is in session; they cannot receive additional compensation. GA salary is disbursed through Payroll.
5011: Salary - Student Pay
Student pay includes undergraduate and graduate student worker pay. Student workers may work up to 20 hours per week. See AP-BA-23 or contact Student Financial Aid with questions. Payments to students categorized as Student Pay depend upon students clocking in and clocking out of work shifts via Workday. Student wages are disbursed through Payroll.
5017: Travel - Domestic
Domestic travel includes fees related to travel within the United States, such as conference registration fees. Before you travel, get permission by filling out a Spend Authorization in Workday. You must fill out the Spend Authorization prior to travel in order to be reimbursed for any expenses.
5017: Travel - International
International travel includes fees related to travel outside the United States, such as conference registration fees. Before you travel, get permission by filling out a Spend Authorization in Workday. You must fill out the Spend Authorization prior to travel in order to be reimbursed for any expenses.
5009: Operating Services
Operating services include maintenance fees, postage, long-distance calls, printing, leases, non-travel attendance/registration/fees, etc.
Supplies are consumable materials or items costing less than $1,000. These items may include laboratory supplies, office supplies, software purchases/subscriptions, and other expendables.
5012: Contractual Services
Contractual services include vendor agreements, consultant fees, participant costs for non-UNO students, and honorariums. UNO employees and students cannot be paid via contractual service fees.
5012: Subawards $25,000 and under
Subawards are awards provided by UNO to a subrecipient for the subrecipient to carry out part of the award received by UNO. The first $25,000 paid to any subrecipient will be charged facility & administrative (F&A) costs. UNO employees and students cannot be paid via subawards. Letters of commitment must be provided by all subrecipients.
5012: Subawards over $25,000
Subawards are awards provided by UNO to a subrecipient for the subrecipient to carry out part of the award received by UNO. Any funds paid to a subrecipient that exceed $25,000 will not be charged facility & administrative (F&A) costs. UNO employees and students cannot be paid via subawards. Letters of commitment must be provided by all subrecipients.
5010: Other Charges
Other charges include funds that do not fit into other categories, such as registration fees and stipends for individuals not employed by or enrolled at UNO. If stipends are being paid to UNO employees, include those costs as additional salary or wage. If stipends are being paid to UNO students, include those costs in Scholarships & Awards.
5021: Scholarships & Awards
Scholarships and awards are funds paid to support UNO students. Financial awards to UNO students are disbursed through Student Financial Aid.
5021: Graduate Assistant Tuition
Graduate assistant tuition includes tuition, mandatory fees, and graduate enhancement fees for graduate student enrollment at UNO. Graduate tuition must be included for GAs working in the Fall or Spring semesters. Include the projected tuition increases. Calculations assume the minimum full-time enrollment of 9 hours in the Fall and Spring and no hours in the Summer. See the Bursar's website for the current amounts, and contact the Graduate School with questions.
5004: Equipment $5,000 and under
Equipment includes multiple-use items that cost at least $1,000 per unit. Items costing $5,000 or less per unit are tracked separately and will be charged facility & administrative (F&A) costs.
5004: Equipment over $5,000
Equipment includes multiple-use items that cost at least $1,000 per unit. Items costing more than $5,000 per unit are tracked separately and will not be charged facility & administrative (F&A) costs.
Participant costs include stipends or subsistence allowances, travel allowances, and registration fees paid to or on behalf of participants or trainees (but not employees) in connection with conferences or training projects. Typically, these expenses are incurred for projects that include an education or outreach component.
Participant support costs do not include expenses incurred to incent or enable research subjects to participate in studies, such as gift cards, stipends, dependent care costs, parking fees, or transportation.
Participant costs will be tracked in a separate grant and will not be charged F&A. Prior approval from the sponsor is necessary to change an awarded participant costs budget.
Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC)
Modified total direct costs (MTDC) are the portion of direct costs that may be used to assess facility & administrative (F&A) costs. MTDC includes direct salaries and wages, applicable payroll benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and up to the first $25,000 of each subaward (regardless of the period of performance of the subawards under the award).
MTDC excludes equipment costing more than $5,000 per item, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each subaward in excess of $25,000.
Facility & Administrative (F&A) Costs
F&A costs, also known as "indirect costs" or "overhead," are costs incurred by all projects at UNO that are not readily assignable to any one project, such as utilities, maintenance, administration, etc. F&A costs are not profit for the university, but are the federally-approved method for recovering costs necessary to develop and maintain the infrastructure required to support the research enterprise.
F&A costs are calculated on all direct expenses except equipment costing more than $5,000 per item, fellowships, scholarships, tuition, off-site facility rental costs, and the portion of subawards in excess of $25,000.
It is the policy of the University to charge either the on-campus or off-campus F&A rate on all sponsored projects unless a sponsoring agency's mandated rate will not allow full recovery of costs. Principal investigators must provide documentation from the sponsor confirming an agency's mandated rate if it is less than UNO's rate.
Cost share includes the portion of the project funding that is not provided by the sponsor—the portion that either UNO or a third-party "shares" in the costs. These are real dollars, which may be from the UNO general fund or a restricted fund, but which must be auditable. Cost share dollars may fund faculty time, graduate assistants, supplies, equipment, etc.
Some sponsors require cost share from the applying institution. See the list of potential sources for cost share at UNO.
Each line of cost share must be documented and approved by the cost center manager(s) prior to submission to the sponsor. It is recommended that you contact the appropriate cost share approval source approximately 3 months prior to the application deadline and no less than 8 weeks prior to the deadline.
Voluntary cost share—funds contributed by UNO to a project when a sponsor does not require cost share—will usually not be approved.
Letters of support must be provided for all third-party cost share.