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Reminder

Compliance protocols MUST be approved and linked in SeRA to a SPO project record prior to award acceptance. 

See ORA's Award Acceptance Resources for additional information.

Budgets and Budget Justifications

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Proposal budgets and budget justifications are the financial road maps of sponsored projects.  When thoughtfully and strategically built they both help propel proposals to award and pave the way for effective post-award management.  Below are templates and resource links to help you build successful budgets and budget justifications. 

Questions?  Concerns? Contact the Client Advocacy & Education team.  We're here to help!

Templates

Stanford Sponsored Project Budget Justification Template

  • Within the budget and budget justification template an annual cost-of-living increase of 3% is assumed for salaries and a 3% escalation rate is assumed for all other categories except where noted.  These increases have been projected into all years of the budget template and are standard budgeting practice for Stanford sponsored projects.  Users may amend the pre-programmed escalation rate(s) to coincide with current Stanford University Budget Office planning assumptions and/or to reflect recent historical growth in costs.  Please note, the UBO's planning assumptions are used by the University Budget Office for planning purposes only and are subject to change. What may be appropriate at the university level may not be applicable at the school or department levels.
  • SU Simple Budget Template Demonstration Video (25 minutes)
    • Travel Budgeting Note: Individuals can either utilize the detailed domestic and foreign travel tabs to develop line level travel budgets within the budget template or they can enter / "hard code" budget period travel total amounts on the Detailed Budget tab.

Links & Notes for Common Budget Categories

Personnel Costs

PI Effort

Stanford requires a commitment of effort on the part of the PI on all sponsored projects with the following exceptions. This requirement applies even if a sponsor does not require a commitment of effort on the part of the PI and/or does not allow the direct charging of PI salary. PI effort may be expended during the academic year, summer quarter only, or both. 

Stanford tracks and manages effort primarily through direct salary charges to sponsored projects, cost sharing salary charges, or a combination of direct charging and cost sharing.

The requirement of PI effort does not extend to:

  1. Equipment grants
  2. Seed grants for students/postdocs where the faculty mentor is named as PI, dissertation support, training grants, or other awards intended as "student augmentation “
  3. Limited-purpose awards characterized by Stanford as Other Sponsored Activities, including travel grants, conference support, etc.

See RPH 3.1 Preparation and Submission of Proposal Budgets   for more information.

*Graduate Student Research Assistantships

Effective 9/1/23, the University contribution of tuition allowance granted to non-SoM funded Research Assistants increased to 55%, and 45% will be charged to the source funding on sponsored awards that pay Stanford's full facilities & administrative (F&A) cost rates.

Fringe Benefits

  • DoResearch- Stanford Rates 
  • Fringe Benefit Notes:
    1. Faculty members do NOT accrue vacation leave or sick leave. Short absences for personal business, illness, jury duty, military duty, and similarly limited absences normally are with full salary. Under conditions specified in the Faculty Handbook, sabbatical leave may be granted by a school dean.
    2. For budgeted staff project personnel that accrue vacation and sick leave, such as Academic Staff Researchers (ASRs), we do NOT show or include their Vacation Accrual and/or Disability Sick Leave (DSL) Rates in proposal budgets.
      • The Vacation/DSL Accrual is assessed at the time of the salary expenditure (salary * Vacation/DSL Accrual rate = accrual). The accrual enables Stanford to charge the appropriate funding source for the vacation earned by benefits-eligible staff as they are working. Vacation/DSL Accrual is assessed as it is earned, rather than as it is taken. Application of the rates build a central University fund to pay for vacation salary when staff either take vacation or leave the University.   
        • Let’s look at an example: 
        • Dr. Cardinal, an ASR, has an annual salary of $120,000 and was budgeted for 100% effort on a federal award in FY24.
        • Dr. Cardinal's Budgeted 100% Salary for FY24$120,000  
          Dr. Cardinal's Budgeted Fringe Benefits for FY24 (28.4%)$34,080  
          Total$154,080  
        • During FY24, Dr. Cardinal works 100% on the federal award as proposed and takes vacation for the half the month of April.  
        • Review the below chart to see how Dr. Cardinal's salary, fringe benefits (28.4% for FY24), and vacation accrual (8.9% for FY24) will post to the federal award and the difference between the total incurred amount and that which was budgeted above. 
        • Vacation Accruals and Credits on a Federal Sponsored Project
        • When the ASR takes vacation, the award to which their salary is being charged will NOT be charged for the commensurate amount of their salary and benefits.  If the ASR takes all the vacation they accrue while working on a project, the vacation accrual charges and credits will net to zero.  
        • IMPORTANT: In practical application, staff working on sponsored projects often take less vacation time than they accrue resulting in sponsored projects incurring the cost of vacation accruals without receiving all the offsetting credits.  When this occurs, incurred personnel costs will exceed budgeted personnel amount.  This will require investigators and award managers to either rebudget from other project budget categories, as available and allowed by the given award's terms and conditions, to cover the additional personnel costs or identify another funding source to support the project costs in excess of those awarded from the sponsor.  If you are constructing or managing a project budget with a significant amount of personnel that accrue vacation, it is highly recommended that you discuss with your investigator the financial implications of vacation accrual costs and devise a proactive management plan.
        • For more information on which employees at Stanford accrue vacation and sick leave, review the Stanford Administrative Guide 2.1.6.

Supplies

Travel

  • Egencia - Stanford Travel's Online Booking Tool 
  • gsa.gov - Per Diem Rates
  • When budgeting lodging costs for conference attendance, we recommended, if you can identify from the conference website or other available information what the conference room rate has historically been or will be and if this rate is higher than the gsa.gov lodging rate for the conference location, to budget the conference room rate as opposed to the gsa.gov lodging rate and explain this in the associated budget justification.  
  • Conversely, when budgeting lodging costs when it is known the lodging costs will be substantially less than the gsa.gov lodging rate for the given location(s), we recommend budgeting the known lower lodging costs and, again, explain this in the associated budget justification.  This is a common occurrence when individuals travel and stay at another institution's or research facility's guesthouse/onsite accommodations.

Equipment

Facilities & Administrative Cost Rates