Sponsored Research and Programs

Funding Opportunities

Preparing Proposals

Policies and Procedures

Proposal Budgets

A proposal budget is an estimate of all the "costs" necessary to implement the activities developed in the narrative section of an application to external sources. The budget flows from the design of the project and reflects a cost-effective plan for implementation. When properly developed, the budget summarizes the needs of the project and the institution's fiscal policies.

Direct Costs

Salaries: Who will be involved, how much time (% of effort) will each person spend on the project, will summer effort be included, what is the role each person will perform.

Fringe: Fringe benefits for those employed to be included.

Supplies/Materials: Materials, books, journals, office supplies, film, tape (video or auditory recording), chemicals, etc.

Publication: Costs of printing, duplicating, publishing results, workbooks, manuals, etc.

Equipment: Including testing, laboratory, and teaching essential to implementation of the project. Will the sponsor support the purchase of these items?

Travel: Per diem, transportation, local expenses, use of rental or state vehicles.

Miscellaneous: Computer time, telephone, postage, consultants (fees per day plus travel and expenses), repair and maintenance of equipment, space, participant costs, chemical removal, advertising costs for recruitment for positions

Indirect/Facilities & Administrative Cost Rates (7/1/10 - 6/30/2014)

Federal:

  • 72.0% On Campus (S & W Federal)
  • 27.0% Off Campus (S & W Federal)

Non-Federal:

  • 52.6% On campus Non-federal (TDC)
  • 16.6% Off campus Non-Federal (TDC)
  • 15.8% RF Administrative rates (TDC) (Use if no established rate set)

Indirect Cost: is the rate of reimbursement to the Research Foundation and Campus for the conduct of Sponsored Programs. It is a negotiated rate by the Research Foundation SUNY (legal applicant for all grants and contracts) for and on behalf of Plattsburgh State University. The rate is negotiated every three years with the Department of Health and Human Services acting on behalf of all other federal agencies. Our rate is based in part on the "volume" (amount) of grant and contract funds coming to the campus through the Research Foundation from both public (federal or state) and private sources, and the costs associated in administering and supporting sponsored research activities.

Two types of cost are associated with all grants and contracts: Those directly involved with the specific project as noted above, and those categorized as general support and management of sponsored activities. This latter category is frequently referred to as "pooled costs" for accounting purposes, and most recently as facilities and administrative costs, and includes such things as utility costs, maintenance and operation of the physical plat, library, and general administrative support (accounting, payroll, computer support, etc.). Both direct and indirect costs are real and usually occur before an external sponsor reimburses the institution - in our case through the Research Foundation. Some private sponsors do not allow for indirect cost recovery and some federal, as well as private, sources allow only a percentage of all the total direct charges. If an external sponsor does not allow Indirect Cost, the "cost" associated with accounts management (payroll, purchasing, billings, auditing and other centralized costs) is charged as a Direct Cost item as Accounting or Administrative services - currently at 15.8% of all other Total Direct Costs. Our current federal rate is 70.6% of salary and wages and the non-federal rate is 52.6% of the Total Direct Cost.

A common concern expressed by faculty and staff is the "we" - the institution and/or the Foundation are taking money "off the top" of their grant. External sponsors recognize Indirect Costs as a legitimate expense and do not judge a proposal on the basis of the Indirect Cost charged. It is true however; that the total amount requested for funding (both Direct and Indirect) must be cost effective, reasonable in terms of the proposed activities of the project and in compliance with the sponsor's guidelines. It is important to remember, however that the indirect cost charged is based on the sponsor's guidelines or our negotiated rate and not based on an arbitrary determination by the institution or the Research Foundation.

Early consultation with the Office of Sponsored Research and Programs will help you to develop your proposal narrative and budget as well as identify institutional cost-sharing requirements, release-time calculations, summer salary and other areas of institutional support. Consultation and approval by the individual's Department/Center, Chairperson/Director, Dean and appropriate Vice President is required as is institutional approval through the Office of Sponsored Research and Programs and the Vice President for Business Affairs/Campus Operations Manager.

Finally, please bear in mind that an external sponsor, whether federal, state or private, is looking for a cost-effective project of high caliber. Thus, proposals are judged on the quality of the proposed project and the costs to implement it.

Budget Preparation and Justification

A proposal budget is an estimate of all the "costs" necessary to implement the activities developed in the narrative section of an application to external sources. The budget flows from the design of the project and reflects a cost-effective plan for implementation. When properly developed, the budget summarizes the needs of the project and the institution's fiscal policies.

Equipment & Supplies

Equipment

Cost must be $1,500 or more per unit and the item must have a useful life of more than one year. Cost of an item includes the cost of any modifications, attachments, accessories or auxiliary apparatus necessary to make it useable for the purpose acquired.

Costs may include:

  • charges for freight
  • duty
  • installation in-transit insurance
  • refrigerators
  • cameras
  • office equipment
  • reproduction
  • automatic data processing
  • motor vehicles

Supplies

Cost must be $1,499 or less per unit. Costs may include:

  • materials
  • books
  • journals
  • office supplies
  • film
  • tape (video or audio recording)
  • chemicals