Sponsored Programs

Budget Development

Grants typically have several categories within their budget. These are outlined below. Depending on the funder, there may be slight changes to the categories and the allowances. Always be sure to check both the funder requirements as well as the specific funding announcement guidelines.

Direct Costs

Direct costs are those that can be attributed to only the grant funded project or program. The different direct cost categories are explained in further detail below.

Indirect Costs

Indirect costs are those costs that cannot be directly applied to only one project, but which the university incurs a cost because of said project. These are also called Facilities and Support (F&A) Costs.


Francis Marion University requires that faculty request indirect costs when they are allowed by the funder. Our indirect cost rate is:


On-Campus 71.5% of all salaries, wages, and fringes
Off-Campus 22% of all salaries, wages, and fringes

FMU uses person-months or a percentage of time to calculate the salaries to be charged to sponsored programs. Certain funders have restrictions regarding salaries and wages. Check the funders policies as well as the guidelines of the specific grant to determine any restrictions. Please contact Human Resources to request salary and wage information. NOTE: Human Resources does not provide information on student worker wages. Contact Sponsored Programs with questions concerning student wages on grant proposals. 2 CFR 200.430

Fringes include retirement, social security, worker’s compensation, and unemployment. Contact Human Resources who will provide salaries, wages, and fringe information. 2 CFR 200.431

Equipment, defined by 2 CFR 200, means tangible personal property (including information technology systems) having a useful life of more than one year and a per-unit acquisition cost which equals or exceeds the lesser of the capitalization level established by the non-Federal entity for financial statement purposes, or $5,000 2 CFR 200.439

Please check the Accounting website for guidance on travel costs including allowances and restrictions. Examples of travel costs include fieldwork as well as attendance at conferences or meetings relevant to the project. 2 CFR 200.475

“Participant support costs means direct costs for items such as stipends or subsistence allowances, travel allowances, and registration fees paid to or on behalf of participants or trainees (but not employees) in connection with conferences, or training projects.” (2 CFR 200.1) Examples include stipends, subsistence allowance, travel costs, registration fees). Unallowable costs include Human Subject payments for participating n a research project, conference/workshop support costs (catering, supplies, facility rental), guest speaker costs, cost of project PI or staff. 2 CFR 200.456

These are items that have a per-unit cost of less than $5,000. This can include computers as well as materials and supplies specific to the project. 2 CFR 200.453

Publication costs include costs for electronic and print media. 2 CFR 200.461

Otherwise known as Professional Service Costs, these are for professional or consultant services. Consultant services require specific adherence to federal, state, and institutional policy. Please consult with the Office of Sponsored Programs and the Purchasing Office if you plan to include consultant services within your budget. 2 CFR 200.459

Computer services include “computer-based retrieval of scientific, technical, and educational information, may be requested only where it is institutional policy to charge such costs as direct charges.” NSF 24-1 PAPPG, II-19 This is not for the purchase of computers. That should go under either Supplies, for items less than $5,000, or equipment, for items more than $5,000.

A subaward is an award that we pass on to another entity such as another institution who will be performing some portion of the project. Subawards are to those outside of the institution and in most cases, will be to another higher education institution. 2 CFR 200.332

Agency-Specific Budget Guidance