Budget Preparation

The proposal budget reflects the principal investigator’s best estimate to complete the proposed scope of work. Proposal budgets are defined partly by the organizations involved in the project, sponsor budget limits, institutional policies, and federal regulations. OSP will work with the PI to develop the proposal budget and ensure compliance with all requirements.

Budget Templates

Salary Cap Information and Rates

  • 2021 Salary Cap Information and Rates you will be leaving the site
  • As a general policy, the National Science Foundation (NSF) policy limits the salary compensation requested in the proposal budget for senior personnel to no more than two months of their regular salary in any one year.  Mason defines a year from beginning of the academic year until the start of the next, beginning 8/25.  This limit includes salary compensation received from all NSF-funded grants.  This effort must be documented in accordance with 2 CFR § 200, Subpart E, including 2 CFR § 200.430(i). Proposal budgets submitted to NSF should generally not include funding for senior personnel which exceeds two months. If additional time beyond two months is required to accomplish the proposed statement of work, the request for additional time must be included in the proposal budget and explained in the budget justification and must be specifically approved by NSF in the award notice budget.

Proposal Checklists

Cost Accounting Exemption Request

Costs normally considered indirect costs – administrative salaries, postage and express mail, telephone, copier expenses, general office supplies, and space-related costs – may be allowable as direct costs if the cost can be associated with a specific project with a high degree of accuracy.  In these cases, we request a cost accounting exemption form be completed and included in the file.

F&A Waiver Process

Facilities & Administrative (F&A) costs are real costs that the institution incurs in support of sponsored activities but which cannot be charged as direct costs to a specific grant or contract.   An F&A waiver is an institutional agreement that these costs will be charged at a lower rate than the sponsor’s published rate. These waivers are obtained on a case-by-case basis from the Associate Vice President of Research Operations, and must be approved by the Vice President for Research.

Fringe Benefit Rates

Fringe benefits, also known as Employee related expenses, is a normal and required direct cost category for most educational institutions. These costs need to be estimated for all employees proposed to work on a project.

Tuition Rates

Tuition is typically considered the amount of money charged to students for instructional services. Tuition may be charged on a per-term, per course, or per-credit basis.  Tuition can be charged as a direct expense to a sponsored project.

Compensation/Hours for GRAs

Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs)

STATUS (on research) WEEKS
Academic Year (Full-Time)
Academic Year (Part-Time)
Summer (Full-Time)
Summer (Part-Time)

Student Employment