How do I put a budget together for my proposal?

Check the donor's guidelines to confirm the maximum amount awarded and determine what costs are allowable. Consider carefully what it will cost to do your project, then fill in our budget outline, including all potential costs you can think of.

What are “allowable” expenses?

All expenses charged to a grant must be necessary to achieve the objectives of the approved grant, allocable to that particular project, and not prohibited by the terms of the grant. For example, federal grant funds can't be used for alcoholic beverages. If you’re not sure whether an expense is allowable, contact the Grants Accounting Office or the SRO.

You sent me a budget spreadsheet last year. Can I use it again to build this year’s budget?

Please don’t! Several formulas in the spreadsheet are based on rates that may have changed since we sent it to you. Click here to download the current one:

My project will take several years. How much should I adjust costs each year to allow for inflation?

The annual percentage adjustment for inflation varies with the financial climate. For the current percentage, contact the SRO.


What’s Middlebury’s mileage reimbursement rate?

This rate, set by Middlebury's Budget Office, can be found at the bottom of their FAQ page.

Are there any restrictions on travel expenses?

Generally, yes. For example, many donors won’t pay for alcohol, and federal agencies require air travel on U.S. flag carriers. Check the donor guidelines and College policies.


How do I figure travel costs?

Include airfare, mileage, plus conference fees if any, and use Federal per diem rates to estimate lodging, meals, local transportation, tips, and other related expenses.


Can I hire a part-time College employee to work as a consultant on my project?

Generally, no. Check with Human Resources to find out whether it’s possible in your situation.


How much can I pay my student workers?

Student pay rates vary depending on what skill level is required and whether you will pay by the hour or through a weekly stipend. If you're not sure what rate to use, check with the Student Employment Office.


Can I hire students to work on grant-funded research?

How much should I pay a lab technician?

The wage rate for a lab technician varies depending on what skill level is required and whether the technician is a student. To determine what rate to pay for the particular skill set you need, contact Human Resources.

I need to hire a part-time lab technician; will my grant pay for it?

Yes, if you've budgeted for the position. You can hire either a Middlebury student or someone with more experience, depending on your needs. Consult Human Resources to determine what the pay rate should be.

Can I hire non-faculty Middlebury employees to work on my grant-funded project?

Sure, as long as you follow HR policies and procedures. To get started, contact Human Resources.


How much summer salary can I request?

The typical request is for up to two months’ salary. If the sponsor allows larger requests and you obtain permission from the College in advance, you may request up to 2.5 months' compensation; please contact SRO for more information.


How much salary can I request for my leave?

Request as much salary for your leave as the sponsor and College policy will allow.


How does cost share work?

Some donors will fund projects only if the College is willing to match part of the cost. To request cost share for a proposed project, email the details to Franci Farnsworth.


What’s Middlebury’s overhead rate?

Most grant budgets refer to overhead as Facilities and Administration (F&A) costs. Middlebury’s F&A rate varies year to year; be sure you use the current rate.


What’s Middlebury’s indirect cost rate?

Indirect costs are now called Facilities and Administration costs (F&A). Middlebury’s F&A rate varies year to year; be sure you use the current rate.


What’s Middlebury’s “F&A” rate?

The College’s Facilities and Administration (F&A) rate varies from year to year; be sure you use the current rate.

Direct Costs: Salary, Wages, Fringe


Use the current gross academic year salary as a base for calculating salaries. To estimate annual percentage increments for multi-year budgets, use the current approved percentage.

If you have questions about salary figures, check with the Payroll Manager (ext. 2008). Academic-year salary may not be included unless the faculty member is scheduled for leave or has permission from the Dean of Faculty (DOF).


Budgets must conform with agency regulations and with all of the College's grant-related policies and procedures.