Last modified: Jan 11, 2013

Budget and Justification

Each proposal must contain a budget for each year of support requested, unless a particular program solicitation stipulates otherwise.  The amounts requested for each budget line item should be documented and justified in the budget justification.  The budget justification should be no more than three pages.

The proposal may request funds under any of the categories listed so long as the item and amount are considered necessary, reasonable, allocable, and allowable under the applicable cost principles, NSF policy, and/or the program solicitation.  Amounts and expenses budgeted also must be consistent with the proposing organization's policies and procedures and cost accounting practices used in accumulating and reporting costs.

  • PERSONNEL: If no person months and/or no salary are being requested for Senior Personnel, they should not be listed the personnel section of the budget.
  • SUBAWARDS: Foreign subawardees are not eligible for indirect cost recovery unless the subawardee has a previously negotiated rate agreement with a U.S. Federal agency that has a practice of negotiating rates with foreign agencies.
  • INDIRECT COST RATE: Except as noted in a specific NSF program solicitation, the applicable indirect cost rate(s) negotiated by the organization with the cognizant negotiating agency must be used in computing indirect costs (F&A) for a proposal.  The amount for indirect costs should be calculated by applying the current negotiated indirect cost rate(s) to the approved base(s).  Indirect cost recovery for colleges, universities, and other organizations of higher education are additionally restricted by OMB Circular A-21 which stipulates that Federal agencies are required to use the negotiated F&A rates that are in effect at the time of the initial award throughout the life of the sponsored agreement.