Preparing a Budget

An essential part of proposal development is preparing a budget that aligns with the project narrative and includes all appropriate costs for the project, including the required facilities and administrative (F&A) costs. A scope of work and a draft of the budget are needed before proposal routing can begin. In compliance with CSU policy and sponsor’s requirements, all costs must also be reasonable, allowable and allocable. Pre-Award specialists assist with developing a realistic budget that aligns with the project narrative and help to ensure that the budget adequately and accurately covers all applicable project costs.

The Research Foundation internal Proposal Budget Template should be used to create a detailed list of items for the project budget. Budgets typically include the following: 

  • Salaries or Project Staff
  • Fringe Benefits
  • Travel
  • Participant Support Costs
  • Equipment 
  • Material and Supplies
  • Independent Contractors (Consultants)
  • Subrecipients 
  • Vendors (Service Contractors) 
  • Facilities and Administrative Costs

Note: We recommend a 5% increase in budget line items to account for cost of living adjustments.


Proposal Budget Template [xlsx]

Budget Justification Template [docx]

Salary Cap Calculator [xlsx]

Related Resources

Colleges and Universities Rate Agreement [pdf]

Facilities and Administrative Costs Overview

Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs FAQs

Independent Contractor Policy [pdf]

Subcontracts or Vendor Agreements [pdf] 

Travel Bulletin [pdf]

Travel Policy [pdf]