Last modified: Apr 3, 2018

Modular Budgets

NIH uses a modular budget format (applicants request funds in lump sums of $25,000 intervals) for some applications, rather than requiring a full detailed budget. The modular budget format is not accepted for SBIR and STTR grant applications. SBIR and STTR applicants must complete and submit budget requests using Workspace. Applications from foreign (non-U.S.) institutions must include only detailed (non-modular) budgets.
  • Creating a modular budget:

    • Select the PHS398 Modular Budget Component form for your submission package, and use the appropriate set of instructions from the electronic application user’s guide.
    • Create a detailed budget for internal use including salaries, equipment, supplies, graduate student tuition, etc. for every year of funds requested. While the NIH will not ask for these details, they are important for you to have on hand when calculating your F&A costs base and writing your justification, and for audit purposes.
    • In order to determine how many modules you should request, subtract any consortium F&A from the total direct costs, and then round to the nearest $25,000 increment.


  • A modular budget justification should include:

    • Personnel Justification: The Personnel Justification should include the name, role, and number of person-months devoted to this project for every person on the project. Do not include salary and fringe benefit rate in the justification, but keep in mind the legislatively mandated salary cap when calculating your budget. [When preparing a modular budget, you are instructed to use the current cap when determining the appropriate number of modules.]
    • Consortium Justification: If you have a consortium/subcontract, include the total costs (direct costs plus F&A costs), rounded to the nearest $1,000, for each consortium/subcontract. Additionally, any personnel should include their roles and person months; if the consortium is foreign, that should be stated as well.
    • Additional Narrative Justification: Additional justification should include explanations for any variations in the number of modules requested annually. Also, this section should describe any direct costs that were excluded from the total direct costs (such as equipment, tuition remission) and any work being conducted off-site, especially if it involves a foreign study site or an off-site F&A rate.