Typical Budget Components
Typical budget components are as follows. In some cases, links are provided to the pertinent sections of the MSU Contract & Grants Administration (CGA) website or other websites with source information. Click on the component to see further information.

Download a pdf version of this information.
For non-hourly MSU employees, salary costs are based on each person’s percent effort to be spent on the project or for hourly employees the number of hours per project period. (This is found in the MSU Budget Builder and accessed by Ellen Hayse.)

  • Project start date: It is important to consider when the project will start as the current salaries will most likely change between the time the proposal is submitted and when the funding would begin.
  • Salary Projections: Salary is now projected with a 2% annual increase (it used to be 3%).
  • Summer Salary: For Academic Year (9 month) appointments (versus Annual 12 month appointments), consider the 9 months of the school year as separate from the summer. For summer, think about how many months and what percent effort will be for each month

Fringe Benefits
Faculty and Staff fringe benefits are projected using what is called the “Specific Identification” (SI) method. Under SI, fringe costs are based on average actual costs and individual participation in retirement. This yields a much closer estimate of fringe costs and is the standard now used. The CGA website explains the different types of personnel fringe benefits rates on their website.
Travel: Helpful resources for projecting reimbursable costs

  • M&IE: This is the acronym for Meals & Incidental Expenses. The Federal Government defines Incidental expenses as:
    • Fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, bellhops, hotel maids, stewards or stewardesses and others on ships, and hotel servants in foreign countries.
    • Transportation between places of lodging or business and places where meals are taken, if suitable meals cannot be obtained at the temporary duty site.
    • Mailing costs associated with filing travel vouchers and payment of Government charge card billings.
  • Domestic:
    • Meals: MSU’s Domestic per diem meal rates can be found here.
    • Lodging: While MSU does not limit lodging costs like the Federal Government, the Government’s per diem lodging rates can be a useful planning tool.
    • Airfare: costs must be at the lowest available fare.
  • Foreign: The following US State Department site covers both Lodging and M&IE

Per MSU Federal Cost Policy there are two categories of Supplies. This is taken directly from the CGA website.

    • “Project Supplies are items such as chemicals, lab notebooks, beakers etc. that can be identified as directly benefiting a sponsored agreement. Project Supplies are allowable as direct charges with appropriate documentation.”
    • “Office Supplies are items such as pens, pencils, wall clocks, chairs, office furniture, calendars, waste cans, paper punches, business cards, University letterhead, staplers, archive boxes, computers, printers and printer cartridges used for an office or for many projects, etc. that would likely be used for non-federal project purposes. Office Supplies may not be charged to federal agreements without the approval of the agency.”

Sub-contract versus Consultant
Information about when to use a subcontract or a consultant can be found here>-->