PI Toolkit


Budget Preparation

The budget is a key component in a grant proposal and any errors or attempts to include extras within a request can result in outright rejection. The actual expenses of the project must be calculated and presented in a clear, itemized-by-category manner that is straightforward and easily understood. You must also include current retirement, Social Security, health insurance, worker’s compensation and unemployment insurance rates in your calculations of salary and correctly assign tax rates for student workers. To simplify all of that for you, we have provided a budget worksheet that has calculations built-in to assist with those and other formulas- see PI Toolkit. Once you’ve inserted your personnel and other project costs, the worksheet calculates your project totals. Simply save the worksheet and upload it to RAMSeS. We can then use it to check against policy and regulations as well as to set up your spending account once you receive an award.   Here are some of the terms regarding budgets that you may encounter in grant announcements:  

Direct Costs: costs directly related to the operation of the project.

Indirect Costs: costs associated with the institution’s infrastructure and ability to manage the project. Western Carolina University has a federally approved indirect cost rate for projects but the allowable rate may vary depending on the funding agency and/or individual negotiations.

Cost-sharing: a commitment by the university to share the total costs of the project; this is critical to the institution and must be carefully considered before committing WCU’s resources for a project.

Matching: a requirement by a funding agency that the university provide a specified percentage in funds in direct ratio to the funds they are providing, such as 1:1 or 1:2. This may be cash or in-kind in some cases - see below.

In-kind: a type of cost share or matching commitment using non-cash commodities such as time, equipment, supplies, or other items. For assistance with budget preparation, please contact our office. We are glad to work with you at any time and as many times as needed to develop your project budget!


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