Office of Sponsored Projects
Proposal Development Resources

Budget Resources

A generic budget template may be accessed here. All sponsored project proposals from AU need to have a budget on file utilizing this template. OSP can assist in transferring the figures to sponsor-specific templates (e.g. Fastlane, SF424, etc.) when required, as well as provide individualized budget development assistance.

Many sponsors also require a budget justification in narrative format. The budget justification provides the sponsor agency and reviewers of the application with information such as why costs are programmatically necessary and how they are calculated. Reviewers will analyze the financial data to determine if the proposed costs are allocable to the program, allowable under federal cost principles or non-federal sponsor guidelines (whichever is applicable), reasonable, and treated consistently by the institution and similar organizations.

OSP can assist in drafting some of the written budget justification (specifically info related to salaries, fringe benefits, F&A), however, details related to cost estimates for supplies and equipment and their programmatic/scientific connection to the scope of work, travel destinations/purposes, and descriptions of what personnel will be doing on the project, will necessarily originate with the Principal Investigator/Project Director. Typically OSP will start the written budget justification and then pass it to the PI/PD for final completion of these details.

Please see below for a sample budget justification with extra information and guidance. This format will be acceptable for the vast majority of sponsor requirements, however, please always review the specific solicitation you are applying to, which may call for special formatting or additional information.

Example with Guidance
Blank Template (if your project does not request funding in all listed categories, simply delete those categories or put an “n/a” if desired)

National Science Foundation (NSF) Application Resources

* Please note that while these templates are specific to NSF, they may also serve as useful templates for submissions to other sponsors who do not have a specific formatting requirement of their own.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Application Resources

Resources for Developing Proposals in the Arts and Humanities