Budget Development

Budgets include two types of costs, direct and indirect. Direct Costs are the expenses that will be incurred solely for work on the proposed project. Indirect Costs are those which, because they occur for common or joint purposes, are not readily assignable to any specific project. Examples of costs which fall into these categories are costs for utilities, maintenance, space, equipment use, accounting, purchasing, personnel services, research administration, and library services.



List the key individuals and their amount of time dedicated to the proposed project.  According to Minnesota State policy, the maximum annual number of days for which University faculty can be paid is 224 (168 contract duty days plus up to 56 extra duty days).

Academic Credit Reassignment rate is calculated by dividing base contract salary by 24 credits.

Extra Duty Day rate is calculated by dividing base contract salary by 168 annual contract duty days.

Standard practices include:

  • According to Minnesota State policy, compensation on sponsored projects must not exceed an employee’s authorized base rate, regardless of an individual’s established consulting fees, “market standards,” or any other measure of compensation.
  • Multi-year projects should incorporate potential salary increases; in the absence of fully-negotiated contract details, a 3% increase is recommended.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate Assistantships (GA) receive a stipend for working up to 20 hours a week and tuition and fees up to 8 credits per semester.  For current GA, tuition, and fee information, please see refer to Graduate Studies.

Fringe Benefits

These costs must be paid as defined within Union Contracts and Minnesota State guidelines; they include insurance, employer retirement contributions, worker’s compensation, unemployment tax, and federal social security (FICA – applies to all  personnel except qualifying enrolled students, for payroll procedures please see

As each employee has individual circumstances, fringe rate varies greatly from person to person. To verify fringe, please contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at 8-4932 or


Within the budget narrative, itemize each trip (include transportation costs), number of travel days, registration fees, and per diem. Separate domestic and international travel as the funding sponsor may have special authorization procedures for travel outside the U.S. and its territories. All travel is subject to University policy and regulations found at


Equipment is defined as movable property with a life expectancy of more than one year, costing $5,000 or more. For the SCSU purchasing policies, please see


Supplies are non-equipment purchases made for projects. For the SCSU purchasing policies, please see

  • Materials and supplies—may include laboratory supplies, teaching aids, office supplies, etc.


Consultants or service contracts are personnel or businesses that provide professional services for a fixed period of time and are not State of Minnesota employees. Information and forms regarding the processing of contracts at SCSU are available at


Subcontracts/Subawards are used to pay other institutions for project services and research performed outside SCSU as the prime contractor or fiscal agent. 

Other Direct Costs

When external funds pay for these items, the PI and PI’s department will be responsible for ensuring that they are charged to the grant/contract cost center (including consistent use of the project’s assigned printing/copy codes, phone service/long distance, and other payments or services needed for the project).

  • Photocopying, telephone, mailing
  • Software
  • Publication costs
  • Minor equipment and equipment maintenance, rental, and/or lease
  • Subject payments
  • Space rental, renovation
  • Tuition remission
  • Other

Participant Support Costs

Participant support costs are those costs paid to (or on behalf of) participants in meetings, conferences, symposia, and workshops, when allowable by the funding agency.  These costs may include registration fees, travel allowances, manuals and supplies, and tuition and stipends. These expenses must be appropriate for the project and follow the standard SCSU business policies which can be found at

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