Creating Budgets

OSSP personnel are available to assist you in the development of your grant budget. The information below is intended to help you better understand the budget process and consider your project's budgetary needs.

The Purpose of a Budget

The budget of a proposed project serves as a blueprint for spending the project's funds. The proposed budget must give an accurate assessment of all items and cost amounts. If the project is funded, the budget will become the financial plan used by the sponsoring agency to provide support.

The budget should be complete; that is, it should include all costs of any personnel, supplies, and activities required by the project. The project needs to be feasible within the budget presented. If major cost areas are omitted or underestimated, the project, as proposed, will not be considered feasible.

The budget should be reasonable; that is, it should be based upon actual costs when possible. Reviewers are often familiar with costs that are common to many projects, such as computers, special equipment, travel, postage, and telephones. Cost items in the budget do not need to be based upon formal price quotes. Nonetheless, all costs should be based upon available price information.

Budget Categories and Helpful Information

Allowable Costs

If you have concerns regarding what costs may or may not be allowable in your budget, you may find the answers in the OMB circular. Examples of unallowable costs are advertising, alcoholic beverages & entertainment. 

Direct Costs

These are reflected in major budget categories and explained through your budget justification. Examples of Direct Costs are salaries/wages, fringe benefits, supplies, equipment and travel.

Cost Sharing

Cost sharing can be a required by the Sponsor as a condition of research support. It is important to understand that cost sharing obligates University funds and resources and requires appropriate approval prior to the submission of your proposal. Cost sharing occurs as a variety of methods, such as volunteer labor, matching, contributed effort and/or in-kind contributions.

“F&A” - Facilities & Administrative Costs

While these costs are commonly referred to simply as F&A, they may also be called Overhead or Indirect costs. F&A costs are those necessary to support research and other sponsored projects, but which cannot readily be assigned to specific projects. F&A costs include support costs such as facilities operations (lights, heating, security, etc.) and general administration of the grant from pre-award to post-award.
UNC Asheville’s current F&A rates are as follows:

  • From 07/01/2015 to 06/30/2019, 57.00% On-Campus Rate
  • From 07/01/2015 to 06/30/2019, 27.80% Off-Campus Rate

A general guideline for determining which rate to apply is that if greater than 50% of the research occurs off-campus then the off-campus rate should be applied.

Fringe Benefits

UNC Asheville’s fringe benefits rate is 32% for faculty and staff. Students have 7.65% (FICA) calculated against thier salaries.


Read information on current travel rates.

Frequently Requested UNC Asheville ID Numbers

  • Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE): 1RYX4
  • Congressional District: 10th
  • Dun & Bradstreet Number (DUNS #): 03-051-7866
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN): 56-6002370
  • Federal Interagency Committee on Education (FICE): 002907
  • North American Industry Classification (NAICS): 611310
  • Standard Industrial Classification (SIC): 8221
  • US Department of Education Title IV School Code: 002907