Please note that all budget information should be submitted to the Office of Partnerships and Sponsored Programs for review and institutional approvals PRIOR to submitting a proposal or entering into negotiations with a potential funder.
As you plan your budget, this worksheet may help you think through the budget items you will need to include and help you with the calculations that you will need to make. Please note that this is a general template and should be used as a reference; the specific instructions from the funder should be followed to complete your budget.
Sample Budget Narratives
The majority of funders require that you provide a budget narrative (may also be called a budget justification, budget line item detail, or similar terms). Each funder--and even individual agencies and programs within funding organizations--have unique requirements for the budget narrative. ALWAYS CONSULT AND FOLLOW THE FUNDER'S GUIDELINES WHEN PREPARING YOUR BUDGET AND BUDGET NARRATIVE . If you have any questions as to how to develop your budget narrative, do not hesitate to contact OPSP for assistance. The following samples provide examples of various formatting options, wording, levels of detail, etc. often expected from funding agencies. Please use these documents as samples only; the specific amounts that you need to budget will vary widely depending on your project, funder, and other factors.
- Sample 1 (pdf) - similar to TN Department of Education and THEC
- Sample 2 (pdf) - similar to U.S. Department of Education
- Sample 3 (pdf) - similar to National Science Foundation
This document provides a step-by-step guide for developing a grant or contract budget. It includes descriptions of major budget categories and line items commonly found in grant and contract budgets, cross-references UT and governmental policies and regulations, and provides detailed descriptions and examples of budgeting strategies.
- Budget Guidance (pdf)
Direct Costs vs. Indirect Costs
There are costs associated with implementing a sponsored research project that are program specific, and general costs incurred by the university for the administration of the program. For administrative and accounting purposes these costs are grouped into two categories--direct and indirect. Some costs, however, are not discretely direct or indirect and may appear in either category, depending on the circumstances. The following document will define for you direct versus indirect costs and will also provide samples of these costs.
Helpful Documents & Resources
- UT Fiscal Policy
- UT Personnel Policy
- OMB Circular A-21 Cost Principles for Educational Institutions
- EDGAR US DOED Education Department General Administrative Regulations
- NSF Grant Proposal Guide
- NSF Award Administration Guide
- NIH PHS 398
- NASA Guidebook
- Facilities & Administrative Costs (Indirect Costs) Agreement
- Maximum Consultant Rates on Federal Grants