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.

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.

The approval form for externally funded projects should be completed and approved up through the Dean’s signatures before giving the form to the Grants and Compliance Specialist seven business days prior to the date of submission.

In addition to the information below, additional information regarding proposals may be found on

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

The MOSERS retirement expense is incurred if an employee works at least 1,040 hours in a 12-month period.

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 to cover FICA/MOSERS expenses or to cover FICA/CURP 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 the applicable percentage for employee’s benefits (FICA/MOSERS), as well as, the monthly expense for insurance-medical, dental, vision, life insurance and accidental death & dismemberment.  Please keep in mind that several benefit expenses, such as insurance and MOSERS, fluctuate on an annual basis.  Please be sure you have contacted a member of the Grants Staff or Human Resources for assistance with the current calculations.

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.

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

♦  Are expenses allowable under Uniform Guidance 2 CFR Part 200?

♦  Check for reasonableness of amounts within each budget category?

Are the amounts budgeted sufficient to fulfill the requirements of the grant project.  Also those involved in the project should understand when prior approval is required by the awarding agency for budget transfers and prepare the budget in a way that minimizes the need for prior approval budget changes.

♦  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?
Please contact the Business Office immediately if your project intends to involve a subaward agreement with another organization, in order to determine if we have the expertise required to handle the requirements associated with such a subaward.

  Does the grant include the University’s current indirect cost rate agreement of 43%? 
If not, has the waiver of indirect costs been explained and approved by the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs or President?

Orders totaling more than $5,000 but less than $25,000

Orders with an estimated cost of more than $5,000 but less than $25,000 must be “competitively bid” unless the price is obtained from a state contract or other approved contract in force. The purpose of the bid is to provide a legitimate opportunity for prospective vendors to compete and to acquire goods and services at the lowest cost to the University. Departments should attach to the requisition as much information as possible to assist purchasing in preparing the bid documents.

Orders totaling $25,000 or more

Orders with an estimated cost of $25,000 or more must be “competitively bid” unless the price is obtained from a state contract or other approved contract in force. The required steps are as follows:

  1. The University must advertise for bids in at least two daily newspapers of general circulation in such places as are most likely to reach prospective bidders at least five days before the bids are opened. The University may also advertise in at least two weekly minority newspapers and may provide such information through electronic medium available to the general public. The Purchasing Section of the Business Office will be responsible for handling the advertising function.

  2. Notice of the proposed purchase must be posted on campus in a public location. At Truman, the notice is posted outside Purchasing in McClain Hall.

  3. Purchasing must solicit bids by mail, email or other reasonable methods.

In addition to the statutory provisions, Board of Governors’ approval is required for the purchase or lease of single pieces of equipment expected to cost $100,000 or more, and for construction projects anticipated to cost $100,000 or more. Purchased or lease single pieces of equipment costing more than $25,000 but less than $100,000 and construction projects anticipated to cost more than $50,000 but less than $100,000 will be reported to the Board of Governors’ at its next regular meeting.

♦  Does the budget include consultant and/or speaker expenses?
If yes, advance board approval is needed when the cost is over $10,000 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 after completing the independent contractor form available on the Business Office website.

♦  Costs to continue project in the long-term?

If the project is intended to continue after the initial external grant award ends, what is the plan to obtain future funding to continue the project.