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Preparing a Budget

A key part of your proposal is the budget.  Working on a proposal budget and all of the components that are a part of it can seem daunting, but the CARES Team is available to assist you.


Budget Development

The CARES Team Coordinator is expertly equipped to assist you and can put a budget together for you based on your needs.

When submitting a proposal, an OSPA Budget template is required to be attached to the GoldSheet. If the sponsor has their own budget form, both must be submitted. Budget templates are available on the OSPA website and have the necessary calculations to determine benefits, indirect cost rates, etc. The CARES Team Coordinator will help determine which budget template best fits your project. Most budgets can be completed on the One Page Budget form. 

F&A Costs

Facilities and Administrative costs (F&A), sometimes referred to as Indirect Costs, IDC or overhead, are actual costs to the university incurred when research, education, or outreach projects are performed at ISU.  The F&A rate information is typically found in the RFP or funding announcement.

F&A costs are a component of all budgets and the ISU F&A rate must be included in proposal budget, unless the sponsor has a written, published policy that restricts F&A rates. If the sponsor does not have a published policy, then any deviation from the ISU F&A rate must be approved by the VPR’s Office.

Your CARES Team Coordinator can help you submit the Request for Facilities and Administrative Cost Reduction or Waiver formIn cases where a waiver has been approved, the PI will not receive incentive funds. Approved IDC/F&A waivers must be submitted with the GoldSheet.


Fifteen percent of F&A charged on qualifying awards are credited back to the PIs in an incentive account, except where an F&A waiver has been approved.  A PI will have only one incentive account regardless of the number of awards.

If incentive for a particular project is split among two or more PIs, the incentive will be distributed based on percentages entered on the GoldSheet.

Match/Cost Share

Some proposals require cost share or a match. Sources of match may include unrecovered F&A, faculty and staff salary and benefits, funds from start-up packages or PI incentive accounts, department and college level funds, or third party donations.  Funds from other sponsored projects typically may not be used as a source of cost share. Federal funds cannot be used as a source of match.

The CARES Team Coordinator can assist you with determining the best sources of cost share and working the information into the budget. When cost share or match is included in the budget, a signed Cost Share Request Support form must be attached to the GoldSheet. 

Tuition Support

When stipend for a graduate student is requested on a budget, University policy is to include tuition, as well. If the funding announcement states that tuition is not allowed, PIs may request tuition support from the College. The CARES Team Coordinator will notify CALS of the need for College tuition support.