Please feel free to work with the Budget & Finance office in preparing your budgets.

Budget and Finance Manager: Theresa Holloway or 410-326-7248

Grants Coordinator: Samantha Mais or 410 326-7461

The Budget and Finance office are happy to provide help and advice regarding salaries, fringe, and other budget categories. We advise you to select one of the budget templates on ORAA’s website . On this site there is also other pertinent information that can help guide you through the proposal process. It includes a sample budget justification and cover page as well as a link to the F & A Policy and much more.

UMCES internal budgets are required regardless of the sponsor's needs. You can find the CBL budget spreadsheet here. Initial, and subsequently revised budgets, must be reviewed and approved in advance by the CBL Budget & Finance Office prior to submitting the proposal to route in Cayuse.

Budgets involving multiple investigators, UMCES laboratories, or agencies, usually require separate budgets for each participant as well as the overall budget. These breakdowns should accompany the proposal submission and must also be routed through the other UMCES units, if applicable.

Budget Justifications are an important part of all proposal submissions. Bear in mind that approved budgets are estimates of costs only. Rather than stating fixed amounts in your budget justification, we strongly suggest that you word your justification such that costs are “estimates” or “approximate.” Some budget categories receive more attention than others by sponsoring agencies and hence by ORAA. In particular, if requesting a laptop computer, please be sure to justify clearly the need for its use at field sites / on research cruises / or if part of a multi-institutional award to allow collaboration.

Any change from the approved proposal budget at the eventual time of funding must be reviewed by the Budget & Finance Department and approved by the Laboratory Director and ORAA if a formal budget reallocation request is required by the agency or if there is any change in the scope of work.

Please note a few important facts when preparing your proposal budgets for the following cost categories:

PI Salaries:

  • At no time should more than 95% of an individual’s time be allocated to grant funding. At a minimum, 5% must remain charged to state or other funding.

  • Be sure to use known and anticipated COLA and Merit increases for the time period you expect your project to begin. Increases more than 4% per year may be questioned. However, if you are anticipating tenure during this period a larger 15% increase can be justified.

Fringe Benefits:

Two options:

  • It is best to use actual fringe rates for each individual that you know will be working on the project. Please contact the Budget and Finance Office for the figures for yourself and any other staff working on the project if you are not aware of the appropriate values.

  • Estimated: If you don’t know who the specific individuals are, it is best to use an estimated rounded rate of 36.5%, which includes a widely used 35% fringe rate and the mandatory 1.66% payout pool. Please note that fringe rates can vary from 0-100% in some cases depending on the level of the individual’s salary and the type of insurance coverage and retirement plans they have available (the higher percentages are very rare, but can occur, particularly for students and FRAs with families).

Coverage for types of employees


  • Exempt from unemployment and FICA taxes as long as they are enrolled in classes – include adjustment of 8% for summer and winter employment with them.

  • Offered health insurance coverage – but if they are young, often times remain under their parent’s plan until they reach a certain age therefore they don’t have to accept the insurance (can vary drastically between insurance companies and type of plan selected – impossible to predict as those two conditions are unknown in most cases at the time of the proposal)

  • No retirement, Supplemental or Faculty Leave benefits are offered

  • Benefit Cost Percentages can range from an estimated 30% for single, 50% for spouse and even up to 70% for family coverage. Use your best judgement with this as many agencies request details for an extremely high benefit percentage that you may not be able to support.


  • Include an 8% benefit cost for Contingent I’s.

  • Include at least an 8% benefit cost for Contingent IIs. If they work over 30 hours a week average (a state calculation) they now can receive medical and prescription benefits if they are determined eligible based on date of review. This is determined one time a year prior to open enrollment. Again, this is difficult to guess on.


IDC is not calculated on this amount. Please confirm the current tuition hourly rate on UMCP tuition website. All UMCES students pay in-state tuition and they are exempt from paying the mandatory fees.

Fleet Vessels:

IDC is not calculated on the use of the Rachel Carson. Contact Captain Mike Hulme to determine availability. If it is not available during the project period when you need it, please contact the Budget & Finance Office to obtain information regarding the formal request needed to obtain approval from the CBL Director and UMCES Vice President of Administration and Finance to use another vessel with no IDC charged.

Capital equipment : (>$5,000) and has a useful life of one year or more. Cost generally includes needed accessories, installation and delivery costs. IDC not calculated on this amount – requires a detailed budget justification.

If several individual components each costing under $5,000 will be purchased separately but then combined to make a complete system, these individual components can be lumped together, and if combined total $5,000 or more, consider as equipment in the budget.

Sensitive equipment: (<5,000) Such as laptops, chemicals, glassware, software, licenses, animals, animal rations, digital cameras, recording equipment, lab supplies, etc. - requires a detailed budget justification.

No overhead is applied to equipment.

  • IDC Standard overhead rates are:

      • Federal 53% of modified direct costs

      • State 39% of modified direct costs

      • Some agencies limit indirect costs. Deviations from standard overhead require approval from the lab director and the UMCES President. Details are provided in the Indirect Costs section regarding reduced indirect rates. If the agency requires a reduced indirect cost rate or cost sharing, include that documentation along with the budget. The approved budget along with any other documentation must be provided to the Budget & Finance Office prior to your proposal being routed in Cayuse.

      • When submitting a proposal for substantial funding ($>100,000) to non-federal funding sources that limit indirect cost recoveries, you will likely be asked to include costs for lab space in your proposal to ensure we recover approximately 20% of the direct costs. Such requests are allowable provided they are directly allocable to your project. These rates will be based on:

Ave utility cost per sq ft for CBL (x) Area of your lab (x) Expected period of use

For example, if the Director, were to submit a $100,000 grant with zero overhead, on a project running in his/her lab for 1 year, CBL would charge:

$7.12 / sq ft /year (x) (24 x 40) sq ft (x) 0.6 yr = $6,835