When preparing a budget justification for an NIH (National Institutes of Health) proposal submission, it is important to provide a clear and detailed explanation of how the requested funds will be utilized and why they are necessary for the successful completion of the research project. Here are some key points to include in your budget justification:
Provide a breakdown of the personnel involved in the project, including the name, experience, role in the project, time commitment, and corresponding salary. Use person months to present the effort. Justify the necessity of each team member and their specific contributions to the project. Keep in mind the legislatively mandated salary cap.
If applicable, explain the fringe benefits associated with personnel salaries, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and other benefits. The fringe benefits rate is based on the institution’s policy.
If you plan to involve consultants or collaborators, detail their expertise, the specific tasks they will perform, and the corresponding fees or honorariums. Explain why their involvement is crucial to the success of the project.
Equipment is defined as an item of property that has an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more and an expected service life of more than one year. It is important to clearly state how the equipment is directly related to your proposed research. Describe the specific equipment and justify why it is necessary. Provide cost estimates for the purchase, lease, or maintenance of the equipment.
Provide a list of supplies, materials, and reagents needed for the research. Justify the quantity and cost of each item, ensuring these are essential for conducting the experiments or analyses outlined in the proposal. Categories that include costs less than $1,000 do not have to be itemized; you can indicate general categories such as glassware, chemicals, animal costs, and the amount for each category.
If travel is necessary for the project, explain the purpose, destination, and duration of each trip. Provide the number of people traveling, estimated costs for transportation, lodging, meals, and any other associated expenses. Justify the relevance of the travel to the project’s objectives and how it will enhance the research outcomes.
Account for any additional expenses that are specific to your research project, such as publication fees, data management costs, software licenses, or other miscellaneous items. Justify the need for these expenses and include accurate cost estimates. If your research involves human subjects, describe the costs associated with their recruitment. Provide a detailed breakdown of the number of participants, their compensation or incentives, and any other relevant expenses.
If you plan to collaborate with external organizations, explain their role, the specific tasks they will perform, and the associated costs. Justify the necessity of their involvement and provide a clear breakdown of the allocated funds, including the total costs (direct costs plus F&A costs).
Remember to ensure that your budget justification aligns with the specific guidelines and instructions provided by the NIH in the funding opportunity announcement or application instructions. If you need more information visit the NIH website.