Building A Proposal Budget
Join us as three experts explain how to develop a research proposal budget using the Research Administration (KC) system.
Dana deMink and Karen Rich from the Office of Sponsored Programs will provide a central administration perspective, while Lori Bramble from AgBioResearch will detail the submission process.
What is the 10/6/3 rule?
In order to provide the best service possible, OSP has a "10:6:3" proposal preparation policy. "10:6:3" means that the solicitation, if applicable, should be provided to OSP at least ten (10) business days in advance; the final budget for OSP review at least six (6) business days in advance; and the complete proposal for submission three full business days (3) before the submission deadline.
Does it apply to MSU sub-award budgets?
Yes, it applies to any proposal advancing through sponsored research. In many cases, the lead institution may impose earlier deadlines so talk to the sponsor/Lead PI/prime contractor about their timeline for submission.
Are proposals at risk if MSU doesn’t have full information on the solicitation before 10 days out?
No, but OSP does need to be informed of your plan to submit a proposal as soon as possible. Proposals are considered at-risk when they are provided to OSP within 8 business hours of the submission deadline. The at-risk proposal must be specifically endorsed by the applicable research dean before it is reviewed by OSP. Work with your research administrator/department/college for at-risk submissions. OSP cannot ensure the same proposal service levels for at-risk proposals which may jeopardize receipt by the sponsor. Endorsement by the research dean should be based on extenuating circumstances that might merit a late submittal.
If an MSU faculty member is a co-PI but the proposal is managed at another institution, do we list the proposal as a sub-award?
When the proposal development document (PD) is created you would enter the lead institution in the Sponsor Code (Proposal Tab in the PD) and the sponsor in the Prime Sponsor ID under the Sponsor & Program Information dropdown. For example, NIH is the prime sponsor routed to Stanford as our lead funding source.
What constitutes a "person" month?
A person month is the metric for expressing the effort (amount of time) PI(s), faculty and other senior personnel devote to a specific project. Calculate the (% of effort associated with the project) x (number of months of appointment). 25% of a 9 month academic appointment equals 2.25 Academic Year person months. [9 x 0.25 = 2.25 person months]
How do you budget for supplies and equipment?
In your PD budget you would select the Non-Personnel tab. Under Other Direct you would choose materials & supplies from the drop down, enter a brief description of the supplies if you like to include, add the dollar amount to the Total Base Cost column, and click the ‘add’ button. Please list the cost for the supplies or equipment only in the year it is being purchased.
How do you calculate percent level of effort (LOE) and fringe benefits?
In your PD budget under the personnel tab, click on the person that has effort. On the right, you will see a button that says "details". Click on that button to see the calculations of % effort and person month. The KC system automatically calculates fringe benefits for individuals entered into the budget.
How do you budget travel when airlines don’t have ticket prices advertised a year in advance?
Make estimates based on current fares, noting that pricing increases on weekends and holidays. Traveling midweek is often less expensive. You can add a 2% escalation for international flights in multi-year budgets.
How do you use an old budget to build a new budget in KC? Can you copy budgets in the system to create new budgets?
Yes, on the Research tab (top left in KC) you will see a "Search Proposals" link. Click that and enter the PD number of your original submission and click search. KC will pull up your original submission information. You will see four links under the Actions column of this PD. Click on ‘copy’ and then complete the options. Make sure to check the Budget box and choose ‘final version’. When you copy this PD it will pull the information from the original submission budget and you will be able to enter your new project dates and start working in the new budget.
Does changing the dates in KC result in changing the PD?
Changing the dates in your PD in KC changes the budget, but it does not change the number assigned to the project.
How do we modify the budget if the NOA is returned with a budget cut?
You would need to copy the original PD (see description above) and choose "revision" as the Proposal Type. Then, revise your budget as the sponsor requested. Ask OSP to review and approve the updated budget, and then route it for approvals.
Can two different units work on the same PD?
Yes, you just need to make sure that both units have access permissions to the PD. There is a Permissions tab when you open your PD. This is where you would make sure that individuals from both units are listed as "aggregator".
What if the sponsor name doesn't appear in KC?
Use the asterisk in front of the name [* name ] function when searching for sponsors. If you still do not see the sponsor name appear, call the KC Help desk at 517.355.2000 or email them at email@example.com.
What if personnel are outside MSU, how do we list them in KC?
You would go to the Key Personnel tab in your PD, choose the Non-employee Search, and then enter this person’s first and last name (use the * if necessary). If their name has already been added to KC, their name will appear, and when you click return they will be added to your PD. You then choose a Proposal Role and click "add person". If the individual does not appear in the KC system, contact the KC help desk at 517.355.2000 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org to add this individual to the KC system.
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