Budget Preparation

Budgets should be prepared using College policies and procedures and should adhere to funding agency guidelines and federal regulations.

Salary Calculation

Grant funding must cover the cost of all project-related salary and benefits. PIs should consult with the Sponsored Programs Officer and the Director of Finance and Budget to calculate salary and benefits. The time frame for the project (academic year vs. summer) and the nature of the position (faculty, staff, full-time, part-time, student, etc.) will affect the calculation. Pay will be calculated using the employee’s official Institutional Base Salary, which must be verified by the Business Office.

When a new position is created for a grant project, even if temporary, the Director of Human Resources must be consulted. The hiring of personnel for grant-funded positions must follow normal College procedures regarding advertising, recruiting, background checks, offers of employment, rate of pay, etc. Appointment letters for administrative staff hired for grant-funded positions will be issued by the Office of Human Resources.

Any individual writing a grant proposal should not disclose other employees’ salaries beyond the needs of the grant.

The Business Office should be involved throughout the entire grants process (pre- and post-award) when international students are involved in any manner.

Grant Compensation Policy

Fringe Benefit Rates

Benefits are to be included in the project budget if wages are requested and if the funding agency allows their inclusion. Benefit rates vary according to the project time frame and the nature of the position. Since rates are subject to change, PIs should contact the Sponsored Programs Officer to verify current benefit rates and determine how the benefits should be applied.

Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Rate

Randolph College does not currently have a negotiated F&A rate. According to the Office of Management and Budget Uniform Guidance, the College can apply a 10% de minimus rate on Modified Total Direct Costs. Some funding agencies provide a ceiling on the amount of F&A costs that can be requested, and others do not allow indirect costs. PIs should read the program announcement carefully.

Cost Sharing

Cost sharing is the portion of total sponsored project costs for which the College is responsible. Because cost sharing requires a redirection of resources and represents real costs, Randolph College will enter a cost sharing commitment only when required by the sponsor and/or when the source of funding has been identified and approved by the PI, department chair, and the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Project expenditures that are contributed either by the College or by parties other than the sponsor fall into 3 categories:

Mandatory Committed: required by the sponsor and must be referenced in the proposal, tracked, and reported.

Voluntary Committed: not required by the sponsor, but referenced in the proposal. If the project is awarded, the cost share becomes mandatory and, as such, must be tracked and reported. Voluntary committed cost sharing is not expected for Federal research awards and is not factored into merit review. Further, it is expressly prohibited by the National Science Foundation and will result in proposal rejection without review.

Voluntary Uncommitted: not required by the sponsor and not mentioned in the proposal. These additional expenditures must be tracked internally but are not reported to the sponsor.
All cost sharing and matching funds must be proposed, approved, and accounted for on the Sign-Off Transmittal form before proposal submission.


The College does not currently support subrecipients on grant awards.

Participant Support Costs

Supplies and Equipment

If the project includes equipment purchase, costs and procedures such as installation, inventory and storage, maintenance, and service contracts must be considered. Communication with relevant department(s) and/or IT should take place to ensure that equipment is of reasonable cost, compatible with existing systems, and able to be properly maintained.

Federal grants define equipment as items with an acquisition cost above $5,000 and a useful life of at least one year. Equipment not meeting this definition is considered a “supply” or included under other direct costs in the budget.


Subject to sponsor guidelines, travel costs may include transportation, lodging, meals, etc. Travel expenses must be reasonable, allocable, and allowable. Alcohol costs are unallowable under federal grants. For mileage reimbursement, PIs should use the College’s current rate of $0.50 per mile. For Federal and non-Federal grants, a per diem rate of $50/day can be used to estimate expenses for budget preparation, but receipts will be required in order to process a reimbursement if the grant is awarded.