Guide to Services

Prepare a Budget

HJF can help prepare budgets required for applications or proposals for extramural funding. HJF provides templates for federally required proposal forms and assists with determining appropriate salary levels for new personnel. Additionally, our preaward team, or a grants specialist or contract manager can provide approved rates for fringe benefits and HJF’s company-wide General & Administrative costs and instructions on how to apply them. Information about federal restrictions on costs (e.g., salary caps, consultant per diems, etc.) is also available.

The budget should include all direct costs including personnel, equipment, supplies, travel and other costs for activities required for the project, as well as G&A costs.

Most costs may be adjusted for inflation in future project years. The NIH inflation factor is limited to 3% per year. In most instances, equipment purchases are made toward the beginning of the project. Your preaward team, contract manager or grants specialist can answer any budget questions.

Below is a list of possible costs chargeable to a sponsored project. In order to avoid costly omissions when preparing application/proposal budgets, be sure to consider the following:

  • Salary
  • Fringe benefits
  • Equipment (non-expendable equipment, accessories, freight, installation) Consultants (fees, travel)
  • Supplies and expendable equipment (research reagents, lab equipment under $5,000, computing devices under $5,000, office supplies, questionnaires, animals and animal maintenance supplies, chemicals, glassware, electronic components, brochures and announcements, audio and video tapes,
  • Travel (domestic and foreign, field work, conferences, subsistence costs, transportation) Publications
  • Subawards
  • Other direct costs (space or equipment rental, alterations or renovations, human subjects or informant fees, service contracts, communications, animal care, stipends for participants, vehicle lease or purchase, shipping costsCompany-wide General & Administrative (G&A/indirect) costs (and performance site specific overhead costs).

A few things to keep in mind when planning a budget:

  • Federal government employees may not simultaneously be employees of HJF
  • Salaries for temporary or intermittent (non-tenured) federal government employees may be included on federal projects (using federal fringe rates)
  • Personnel budgets should reflect usual and customary wages; however, increased wage levels will be considered under extenuating circumstances
  • Employees may be funded between two or more HJF sponsored programs or projects There are some federal restrictions on costs (e.g., salary caps, consultant per diem, etc.)
  • It is strongly encouraged to include an inflation factor of 3% for personnel costs in each succeeding budget year of a project to provide for merit pay adjustments
  • Do NOT include consultants in the personnel section.

To develop an effective, comprehensive budget, begin with these basic categories.

Project Personnel

Personnel is usually the largest component of a research budget. Determine what types and levels of personnel are needed to accomplish the research goals. For help determining appropriate salary ranges for a budget, contact Business Development, Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) or the Contracting Department for assistance.

If an HJF employee will be supporting a project in any capacity, for any level of effort, salary for the employee must be included in the proposed budget.

Before the proposal is submitted or revised, salaries must be verified by the HJF Human Resources Department to ensure that the proposed salary is either equal to the employee's current salary, or if a different salary is proposed, a justification must be provided stating the reasons why the proposed salary differs from the current salary (e.g., anticipated promotion or merit increase between submission and award, anticipated change in hours, anticipated change in duties).

The compensation for to-be-determined (TBD) positions must also be verified by the HJF Human Resources Department, to ascertain realistic salaries in accordance with market pricing and HJF's compensation structure.

Fringe Benefit Rates

Fringe benefits are employee associated costs expressed as a rate by employee class.  Fringe benefit rates must be applied to all proposed personnel expenses. when preparing application/proposal budgets. Each fiscal year, HJF negotiates fringe benefit rates with the U.S. Department of the Army. Contact our preaward team, a grants specialist or contract manager with any questions about the current fringe benefit rates to use in a proposal.

HJF utilizes two different fringe benefit groups, each with a different rate. Tier one supports the benefits for employees who work 21 or more hours per week. Tier two supports the reduced benefits provided to intermittent workers and temporary employees (less than 21 hours per week or four months per year). In both cases, the rate is applied to all salaries and wages except paid vacation time. Paid vacation time is not charged to projects, and fringe benefit rates are not charged against stipends.

Fringe benefit rates include:

  • Employer's portion of FICA taxes
  • Unemployment taxes
  • Workers' compensation insurance
  • Employer's contribution to retirement plan*
  • Health, disability and life insurance*
  • Vacation accrual*

* These benefits do not apply to employees working less than 21 hours per week


Equipment is defined as tangible assets with a unit or aggregate cost (if used as an operational unit) of $5,000 or more and a useful life of more than one year. Shipping and transportation costs associated with the equipment are treated as part of the total equipment cost. (Items costing less than $5,000 fall under the "tangible assets" category.)

If an item costs under $5,000, but functions as part of an operational unit or system costing over $5,000, it falls into this category and should be included in the equipment budget line.

Examples: computer hardware and software; office furnishings; scientific or medical equipment; alarm/monitoring system hardware.

Many funding agencies require prior written approval for the purchase of equipment items that were not specified in the original project budget. By including a detailed itemized budget of all anticipated equipment purchases when preparing an application, you will avoid having to obtain prior approval from the sponsor each time equipment is purchased.

Materials and Supplies

Supplies should be subdivided into major categories such as radioisotopes, reagents, animals, etc. For animals state:

  • species
  • number to be used
  • unit purchase cost
  • unit care cost
  • number of care days anticipated (include per diem rate).


Please see the Travel section of this guide.


Consultants may be used on contracts and grants as long as the individuals or organizations meet the Internal Revenue Service requirements for independent contractors.

It is required to provide the names and organizational affiliations of all consultants (other than those involved in consortium/contractual arrangements). Describe the services to be performed and include the number of days of anticipated consultation and the expected rate of compensation, as well as travel, per diem and other related costs.

Contracted Services Agreements (Contracts for Service)

Contingent upon the approval of the sponsor, contracts and agreements with vendors may be established for the provision of goods and services. Identify in the application the institution or individual to be contracted. For procurements between $10,000 and $250,000, federal regulations require the submission of two or more competitive quotes. Procurements over $250,000 will require competitive bidding. A single source justification (if there is only one available source) or a sole source justification may be developed with assistance from the HJF Purchasing Department to address inadequate competition..

HJF Purchasing or Subcontracting staff can assist with identifying a qualified third party to perform the work by submitting and evaluating responses from a Request for Proposals (RFP).

Subawards/Consortium Arrangements

If collaborating with another organization, HJF needs to establish a subrecipient agreement with that organization that has the responsibility for programmatic decision making; has its performance measured against the objectives of the program; and has responsibility for adherence to federal compliance. Typically included in the application is a written statement supplied by the collaborating organization indicating their intent to cooperate in the research. In addition, the funding agency may require a detailed proposed budget for the subaward or consortium participant. Consortium arrangements may involve personnel costs, supplies and other allowable costs, including G&A costs.

If assistance is needed in determining the appropriateness of using a vendor versus initiating a subaward, contact a grant or contract specialist.

Proposal Requirements for Subawards

The proposal format for the identified subrecipient should mirror the format HJF is required to submit to the sponsor. At a minimum, the proposal should include:

  1. The subrecipient's statement of work
  2. The subrecipient's budget, to include an itemization salaries and wages, fringe benefits, supplies and materials, equipment, travel, other direct costs, G&A costs (indirect costs) and accompanying budget justification, checklist, and supporting documents
  3. A copy of the current negotiated rate agreement for the subrecipient's institution
  4. Signed proposal cover page from an authorized institutional representative of the subrecipient institution a signed letter of intent indicating the proposal period, total cost, usage of human subjects, animals, biohazard and radioactive material
  5. Resources available for research at the subrecipient institution
  6. Biographical sketches of key personnel involved in the subrecipient's statement of work
  7. If required by the sponsor, current and pending support for subrecipient's key personnel, human subjects or animal subjects documentation, intellectual property agreements, signed certifications and representations, environmental compliance, PI assurance forms and Facility Safety Plan

Subrecipient costs (both direct and the subrecipient institution's G&A) are included in the HJF proposal budget as a direct cost to HJF. Unless otherwise specified differently in the sponsor guidelines, HJF calculates G&A costs using the subaward rate for all subrecipient costs, regardless of the number of budget periods or the duration of the project.

Facilities & Administrative Costs (F&A/Indirect Costs)

Each fiscal year, HJF submits proposed G&A cost rates to the U.S. Department of the Army for approval. These rates should be used when constructing the proposal budget. The preaward team, contract manager or grants specialist will verify that the appropriate F&A rates are used in the proposal.