Budget Development

budget is a detailed financial statement of estimated project costs, including all the direct and indirect costs required to carry out the project objectives.

  • Direct Costs – Expenses specifically associated with a particular sponsored project or activity and/or can be directly assigned to that project or activity with a high degree of accuracy
  • Indirect or Facilities and Administrative Costs – Institute expenses not specifically identified with a particular project or activity.

For federal awards, follow the cost principles as defined by OMB’s Uniform Guidance at the proposal stage and when the funds are expended. 

Personnel, Equipment, Subcontracts and Consultants

RAS provides detailed guidance on several types of costs.

  • Itemize domestic and international travel separately. For each trip, include:

    • Name, destination, and purpose 
    • Transportation costs 
    • Registration fees
    • Accommodation fees
    • Other related expenses

    When budgeting:

    • Base the estimate on actual projected costs for the likely destination and MIT Travel Policies 
    • For federal sponsors, budget for coach airfare and follow the Federal Regulations regarding use of US carriers
    • Request MIT approval for any business class travel, even if allowed by non-federal sponsors

    Sample budget justification

    Funds are requested for the PI and Senior Research Associate to attend the International Neuroscience Symposium in Geneva, Switzerland. Both researchers are expected to present papers on the project at this meeting as the announced theme of the meeting is the particular focus of our research group.

    Optional language to request approval for international travel for non-federal funds:

    Business class travel for the PI is requested for international flights in excess of six (6) hours.

  • For expendable items with a useful life of less than two years or a cost of under $5,000, include a description of the category (e.g., glassware, chemicals) and a best estimate of costs.

    Sample budget justification

    Estimates for glassware, chemicals, and other expendable materials are based on average actual monthly expenditures of this laboratory. A significant annual increase has been included for the cost of liquid nitrogen based on estimates of price increases from our supplier.

  • Other direct costs is a budget “catch-all” for miscellaneous costs, such as human subject costs, animal costs, per diems, publication costs, participant costs, tuition and fees. When preparing a budget, break out each particular type of charge.