Research Administration and Sponsored Programs

Budgeting Procedures

All costs proposed on sponsored project must be allowable under Title 2, Subpart A, Chapter II, Grants and Agreements, Part 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (aka “Uniform Guidance”).  Allowable costs are those costs that are reasonable, allocable, treated consistently, and that conform to specific programmatic limitations.  In rare instances, an exception to these requirements can be made.  These exceptions are called “Unlike Circumstances”.  An example of an Unlike Circumstance exception is if a project seeks to test inebriated drivers’ response times.  Alcohol is prohibited under the Uniform Guidance (Section 200.423)  However, alcohol would be allowed due to its direct application in the study.  Costs and their allowance are described in detail in Subpart E, Cost Principles (Sections 200.400-.475).  Please contact the Office of Research Administration and Sponsored Programs if you believe that your project meets an Unlike Circumstance exception.


Budget Template and Budget Justification


Salary for faculty and other personnel are estimated using the percentage of the individual’s annual salary, regardless of whether the individual is on a nine, eleven, or twelve month contract.  For example, if a faculty member earns $50,000 a year and will expend ten percent of his annual effort on a project, the resulting salary would be $5,000. Under no circumstances should salary be budgeted as an hourly rate. If hourly rates are requested, please contact the RASP before moving forward.  If you choose to add your salary in Cayuse 424, the software will automatically calculate your project salary amount by the percent of effort or monthly effort.

When given the opportunity, please include a salary escalation rate of two percent for all project out years.  You can automatically escalate out years in Cayuse 424 by clicking on the stairs icon.


The fringe rate for all HPU employees is twenty-three percent of the project salary.  For example, if a faculty member budgets $5,000 in salary on a project, the resulting fringe charge would be twenty-four percent of $5,000 or $1,200.  Cayuse 424 will automatically add the correct fringe amount to any salary.


All costs budgeted and incurred must be in furtherance of the sponsored project.  Air fare, car rental, hotel, conference fees, etc. should be based on actual costs or estimates from a reputable travel agency or similar service, such as Expedia.  Flights should be economy-based.  Federal awards require using United States-based carriers when possible.  If a HPU vehicle is used, please contact Transportation at 9113 for an estimate of charges.  Use of a personal vehicle will be reimbursed at a rate of fifty-seven and a half cents per mile.

Receipts are required for reimbursement of all travel charges.  When given the opportunity, please include a two percent escalation rate for all project out years.

Participant Support Costs

Participant Support Costs are those costs paid to or for participants in connection with the HPU hosting of an event, meeting, or conference, etc., under a sponsored project.  Applicable costs include but are not limited to event fees, food, and travel.  Some sponsors, such as the National Science Foundation have specific conditions associated with this category.


Equipment is defined as any item that is $5,000 or greater and has more than one year of useful life.  This includes equipment that is fabricated at HPU wherein the component costs are greater than $5,000.


Computers are a special budgeting case in sponsored research.  At High Point University, computers are accounted for in our indirect cost rate agreement.  Because computers are used for many efforts including email, web browsing, and database management, it is rare that they are used to solely support a sponsored project.  As such, computers should not be wholly budgeted on a sponsored project unless that computer is connected to a piece of equipment or other device and is only used to run that piece of equipment.  If computers are allowed, the cost should be prorated based on the percentage of work that is to be done on the project on that computer.  Any project in which a computer is proposed to be purchased must be approved by the Director of Research Administration and Sponsored Programs prior to submission.

Materials and Supplies

Materials and supplies should be budgeted using quotes or costs from similar items that were recently purchased.  If HPU is buying components to assemble into a piece of fabricated equipment, those costs should be placed in the equipment line.

Subawards and Consultants

Subawards and Consultants are non-HPU participants that support a HPU sponsored project.  Both are similar in that each supports the efforts of a HPU sponsored project; however, it’s how each contributes to the project that determines which category to use. Subawards must be issued through the Office of Research Administration and Sponsored Programs, while Consultant actions are issued through HPU Purchasing.

Subawards are those non-HPU project participants that:

  • Have their performance measured against whether the project objectives are met
  • Have responsibility for programmatic decision-making
  • Uses the project funding to carry out a program of the organization
  • Are subject to the project compliance requirements

For example, a partnering university may be responsible for a programmatic element such as developing a new algorithm for modeling bird flight.

Consultants are those non-HPU project participants that:

  • Provide goods and services as part of their normal business operations
  • Provide similar goods to many different purchasers
  • Operates in a competitive environment
  • Provides goods or services that are ancillary to the project
  • Are not subject to the project compliance requirements

For example, a company may provide survey services on a leadership study.

Subawards may be entered into Cayuse 424 by hand, by uploading the Adobe SF 424 budget file, or through Cayuse’s web site

Other Direct Costs

Other Direct Costs encompass those costs that can be directly attributed to the project and that do not fit into other budget lines.  Examples of Other Direct Costs include maintenance, freight, warranties, etc.

Indirect Costs

Indirect Costs are those costs that cannot be directly attributed to a project.  The costs are generally known as Facilities & Administrative (F&A) costs.  Indirect costs include electricity, water, sewer, library, research administration salary, and other general research support costs.  For collection of F&A costs, institutions should have a federally negotiated indirect cost rate agreement.  As such, any costs that are directly identifiable to the project should be included if possible.  The current indirect on-campus rate is 48.3 percent and the off-campus rate is 17.2 percent. Please contact the Office of Research Administration and Sponsored Programs with any questions.

Cost Share

HPU strongly recommends cost sharing only those funds that required under the program to which you are applying.  All cost share must be approved by cognizant Department Heads and Deans.  Cost share provided by non-HPU entities must be documented in the HPU proposal on the third party’s letterhead clearly indicating the amount of the cost and where the cost will originate, for example salaries or equipment


Do you have questions? Email RASP at or call 841-9313 for assistance.

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