Budget Justification Guidelines

*Is required by the University, regardless of the sponsor’s requirements

  • A chance to explain in detail exactly why you need all that money for your project!
  • It may be helpful to write your budget justification first, before compiling the dollar figures.
  • A detailed budget justification demonstrates to the funder the PI has given a thorough and careful approach to the costs of the project
  • Explains to the funder how you came up with your budget figures – remember, grant funding is a competitive situation
  • Write the budget justification in the same order as the budget line items
  • Give detail, many times the agency budget form is not as detailed as our internal detailed budget
  • Justification must match the budget in terms of dollar amounts and language
  • Explain why items are essential in relation to the aims and methodology of the project as well as meeting the goals of the project
  • Articulate how the funds requested are reasonable to complete the project
  • Explain the line items; do not merely restate the proposed expenditure
  • Meet any sponsor requirements
  • Provide detail sufficient to justify the rationale for acquiring the item under the proposed project
  • Document the basis used for calculating the cost

Personnel Narrative

  • Justify the effort you propose for all personnel
  • Indicate in detail how each salaried person will contribute to the project
  • Be sure to include information about experience and expertise of the named personnel (including PIs)

Consultant Narrative

  • List consultant name and institutional affiliations (UCSB faculty and staff cannot be consultants)
  • Describe in detail the services to be performed
  • Include # of days, rate of compensation and travel or other related costs

Equipment Narrative

  • Definition of Equipment: a cost of $5,000 or more and a useful life of at least one year
  • Get current, accurate price quotes
  • Explain why the equipment is project specific
  • Identify specific methods and/or experiments for which specialized equipment is required
  • Give a strong justification as to why you are requesting upgrades on current equipment

Supplies and Expenses Narrative

  • Only request supplies directly relevant to your research plan
  • Explain in detail why specific supplies are needed and how they benefit this project
  • Do not request general office supplies or general lab supplies
  • If requesting a computer or printer, justify its primary use for this project

Travel Narrative

  • For airfare, use US flag carriers only (unless unavailable, exceptions may be granted)
  • Ask for reasonable amounts
  • State exactly which relevant meeting you plan to attend to present data
  • Include breakdown of costs for airfare, meals, lodging, and ground transportation
  • Include number of people, number of days, purpose and location of travel

Other Direct Costs Narrative

  • Subject Payments (breakdown # of subjects and cost to each)
  • Publication costs (give detail)
  • Equipment maintenance and service contract (justify need)
  • Give detailed breakdown of each cost

Consortium/Contractual Narrative

  • Clearly identify subcontracting organizations
  • Explain their scope of work
  • Explain the need to contract with a particular organization, expertise of subcontractor PI, institutional facilities, etc.