Proposal Budget Guideline/Checklist – Grants

Truman State University
Grant Proposal Budget Guideline/Checklist – This document is not meant to be an all-inclusive list of items reviewed in a proposal budget, but rather, is a guide to many of the most common items reviewed by administrative offices.

Salary expenses/stipends

♦  Is the salary/stipend payment for a student or a non-student?

If payment is for a student, then 7.65% FICA/Medicare fringes should be calculated unless the student is enrolled at least half-time during the semester that the employment occurs.

If payment is for a non-student, is the employee considered part-time or full-time?

FICA/Medicare benefits of 7.65% should be added regardless of part-time or full-time status

MOSERS expense is incurred if an employee works at least 1,040 hours in a 12-month period. The MOSERS rate is 19.45% effective July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018. Some employees are in CURP instead of MOSERS. The rate for CURP is 6.19% effective July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.

MOSERS and CURP rates usually change annually.

Insurance expense is incurred if the employee works at least 1,560 hours (approximately .75 FTE) in a 12-month period.

♦  Will the salary payment be in addition to the employee’s normal base pay?

If yes, then benefits should be calculated at 27.1% to cover FICA/Medicare and MOSERS expenses or 13.84% to cover FICA/Medicare and CURP (for those that qualify) expenses.

♦  Is this an employee being paid entirely from grant funds or is the salary payment covering any part of an employee’s normal base pay typically paid by University funds?

If yes, estimate 27.1% for employee’s benefits (FICA/Medicare, MOSERS), $560 per month (insurance-medical, dental, vision), and about $10 per month for life insurance and accidental death & dismemberment.  The rate of $560 is for the 2015 calendar year.  Please keep in mind that the benefit rates here are for the employee only (no dependents) and that several benefit expenses, such as insurance and MOSERS, fluctuate on an annual basis.  A 12% annual increase in insurance costs should be budgeted.

Insurance expenses are charged to the budget(s)/fund(s) that pay for your base salary.

In addition, vacation accrual expense should be budgeted for employees paid entirely from grant funds.

♦  Is any salary expense for a non-resident alien?
If this is known at the time of the proposal, the PI should be notified that there may be special withholding taxes.

♦  Confirm with Human Resources or Payroll that hourly pay is in compliance with University pay rates. 

♦  Cost of living increase of 3-4% should be built into a multi-year grant.
Individuals paid from the grant only get this increase in years that University paid employees get a pay increase.

Misc Items

♦  The proposal information must meet all requirements of the sponsor’s RFP.

♦  The proposal should describe the benefit of the sponsored project to the University’s mission.

♦  The proposal needs to be submitted seven business days prior to the date of submission. Additional time should be provided if the proposal needs to be mailed rather than being submitted electronically. If the finished proposal is not given to the Grants Office at least seven business days prior to the submission deadline, then there is no guarantee that the proposal can be reviewed in time, especially if it is not clearly shown that the match requirements have been agreed to by the individuals controlling the budgets.

♦  Does the budget narrative match the figures on the summary budget?
All of the math should be recalculated for accuracy

♦  Are expenses allowable under OMB Circular A-21?

♦  Are there cost sharing or in-kind expenses?
If so, does the proposal form indicate which University budget is paying for the cost-share expenses and has the supervisor of that budget given written approval for these expenses? The written approval needs to be included with the proposal paperwork.

Are the in-kind expenses clearly identified and are they reasonable, especially in the case of donated time. (Example: An employee would not be able to claim 100% of their time working on a grant if they are working in another capacity during the time they are paid to work on a grant. During the academic year, an employee would normally be teaching and could not claim that they worked 100% of their time on a grant. Over the summer, they might be able to claim that they worked 100% of their time on a grant if they were not doing any other work during this time.)

Expenses paid with federal funds cannot be used to meet cost sharing or in-kind requirements without prior written approval from the sponsor.

♦  Is there a subcontract involved?
If so, ensure that PI knows that this will involve an additional contract between Truman and the subgrantee if the grant is awarded. Also, all subawards should operate on a cost reimbursement basis, meaning that the subgrantee will have to submit an invoice and supporting documentation prior to receiving any grant funds from Truman. The subaward should not be written in such a way that Truman advances funds to the subgrantee.

  Does the grant include the University’s current indirect cost rate agreement of 42.2%? 
If not, has the waiver of indirect costs been explained and approved by the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs or President?

♦  Does the budget include the purchase of a single piece of equipment for $25,000 or more?
If yes, then advertising expenses should be added to cover the cost of the bid or an advance written agreement must be made to cover these costs from a University budget. A minimum of $750 should be budgeted but costs could be as high as $2,000 depending on the length of the ad and the newspaper that the ad is placed in.

Has the cost of a maintenance contract been considered?

Advance board approval is also required prior to the purchase of a single piece of equipment costing $25,000 or more.

♦  Does the budget include any order that totals $25,000 or more?
If so, the State of Missouri Procurement rules require advertising for the bid process. For example, if the proposal includes a budgeted amount of $26,500 for charter buses, the Purchasing Section of the Business Office would need to advertise the solicitation.

Therefore, advertising expenses should be included in the budget proposal. A minimum of $750 should be budgeted but costs could be as high as $2,000 depending on the length of the ad and the newspaper that the ad is placed in.

♦  Does the budget include consultant and/or speaker expenses?
If yes, advance board approval is needed when the cost is over $5,000 and less than three qualified options have been considered.

There can be severe penalties for Truman if employees are misclassified as consultants. Therefore, we recommend checking proposed consultant relationships with either Payroll or Human Resources.