Budget Preparation

Budget Details: A detailed, realistic budget must be included in proposals. It must indicate the total direct and indirect (F&A facilities and administrative) costs for the project If the proposal is for multi-year funding, a breakdown of each year’s projected costs should be included. A detailed budget also includes a narrative component indicating the basis for the computations and justification for the inclusion of the cost item requested.

Direct Costs include the following cost categories:

Personnel: Two cost-items are included in this budget category, Salaries/Wages and Fringe Benefits. The calculation of salaries and wages must adhere to the Texas A&M University System Policy and Regulations on compensation. ( Salary information should include this information: 

  • identify personnel by name (if known) and position titles 
  • the percentage or portion of time and effort each will actually devote to the project
  • the rate of pay and total salary, including a three percent (3%) projected salary increase for each fiscal year.

Released Time during the Semester and Compensation for Summer Months: Released time is the reduction in a faculty member’s normal teaching load, or a percentage of time of a staff member, so that he/she may participate in an externally funded project during the academic year. In calculating costs for released time during the academic year, two steps must be taken.  First, the released time must be equated to the semester credit hour teaching load that will be reassigned to the project (released from teaching load), and secondly, that credit equivalency equated to a percentage of time for the academic year. Summer salaries and time are calculated separately and are not included as released time or faculty with 9-month contracts. The allocation of released time and summer salaries is the responsibility of the appropriate Dean and Department Chair in consultation with the faculty member. Compensation in excess of 100% of time requires advanced institutional approval and sponsor approval.

Fringe Benefits: Salaries and Wage calculations are used as the basis for determining the costs of Fringe Benefits. Fringe Benefits for employees include such items as Social Security, state retirement programs, health insurance, life insurance, workers’ compensation, unemployment taxes, and disability insurance. They are part of employee  (including student) compensation, and must be charged in proportion to the salaries charged to the grant. Fringe Benefits are calculated using a percentage formula and an additional dollar amount for insurance coverage. The two calculations are then added together to determine the fringe benefit costs. Rates (%) and insurance costs for the current fiscal year are found on our ORGS Forms page.

Other Direct Cost: Other allowable direct costs include travel, equipment, material and  supplies, and “other.”

Indirect Costs (Facilities and Administrative Costs):  F&A costs are those costs associated with the conduct of research that are not easily assigned to a specific project, but are nevertheless incurred by the University as a consequence of the ongoing university support of research and sponsored programs. Such costs include libraries, physical plant operation, departmental support, administrative expenses, and depreciation or use allowance for buildings and equipment. Indirect costs rates are negotiated with a federal agency. The Department of Human and Health Services (DHHS) is the university’s “cognizant agency.” Texas A&M University-Kingsville’s negotiated rate agreement is at  The current F&A rate is 38% of Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC), and documentation can be found at the ORGS Forms page.

The indirect cost rate that may be requested in a proposal depends on the policy of the sponsor. (15.01.01 FACILITIES AND ADMINISTRATIVE COST RATES AND RECOVERIES Only the President of Texas A&M University-Kingsville has the authority to allow deviation from the negotiated F&A rate. Contract support (such as sponsored research agreements) from private, for-profit entities, or private individuals must include the recovery of the negotiated rate or compensation that is equal to what would be received at the negotiated rate. (15.01.01 GENERAL 1.3.)

Cost Sharing and Matching Funds: “Cost sharing,” “matching,” and “cost contributions” are all terms used to refer to the share of project costs required to be borne by sources other than the sponsoring agency. In the case of federally sponsored programs, the contributions must come from nonfederal sources. There are several methods for satisfying these requirements. Some sponsors require that the university match all or a part of the sponsor’s funds with university funds which may be “in-kind.” This means that a cash contribution is not required but that if, for example, supplies purchased by the university during the grant period are used to further the activities of the grant, the value of those expenditures (in-kind) may be allowed for matching purposes if documented and tracked appropriately through a “Match Account.”

Cost Share Form

Cost Share Forms for multi-year projects that include $100,000 or more of cost share funds will require approval through the central Administration. ORGS will contact the central administration and negotiate the cost share amount for the PI through emails.

This page was last updated on: April 25, 2018