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Salary and wages on a sponsored project are budgeted using an individual’s anticipated institution base salary base at the time the project is expected to begin. Generally, this is calculated based upon current salary inflated by 3% on July 1st of each subsequent year (which may mean inflating the year 1 salary).

Salaries of personnel to be named or hired should be projected at a level with the qualifications of the position described in the proposal.

Graduate student salaries are assigned a range within each department. Contact departmental personnel regarding this range.

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Health Insurance

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Time committed to a project can be conceptualized in a couple ways: 1) Person-Months or 2) Percent Effort. Once the amount of committed time is determined, the associated dollar figure is a simple calculation. This discussion relates to the use of effort in proposal budgeting. Once an award is in hand, effort reporting is used to justify personnel charges to projects.

Person-Months: This method describes personnel time much like the more familiar "man-hour". A scientist working full time for two months during the summer is easily understood to be working "2 person-months". Three graduate students working full time for those same two months during the summer would be committing "6 person-months". A more complicated example would be describing a scientist working 1 day per week (one-fifth of his time) of a 12-month year as working ~2.4 person-months. One advantage of this method is that there is no need to define a period to be worked (as in the percent effort model below). A slight complication involved in this model is that months worked by 12-month personnel are generally described as "Calendar-Months", while months worked by 9-month personnel are generally described as either "Summer Months" or "Academic Months".

Percent Effort: This method describes personnel time as a percentage of a budget period. A scientist working full time for two months during the summer is said to be working either "66% of the summer" or "17% of the budget year". A scientist working one day each week for the entire budget year would be committing "20% effort". This model cannot be used to describe the aggregate effort of multiple persons. The variety of phrasing in the examples speaks to a limitation of this model - to be clear it is necessary to name a period as well as an effort percentage. When the period is an entire year, this model can be very intuitive. When that period is less than a full year, the resulting percentages are often imprecise and confusing.

Calculation: In either case, determining the dollar cost of effort is simple enough - multiply effort by salary. For person-months, number of person-months is multiplied by monthly salary (annual salary divided by 12). For percent effort, the percentage is multiplied by the salary for the budget period (this is easiest when that period is a year, but certainly achievable when using shorter periods like summers). In all of these cases, the OSP Budget Template will handle all needed calculations and provide precise dollar costs.

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Hourly Rates

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Budgeting Personnel

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