Direct Costs Included in Proposal Budgets (see Direct and Indirect Costs for more information)
Item 1: Salaries or Wages
The amount of salary to be paid individuals employed on the project. This includes salaries for faculty, technical staff, other professional staff, clerical staff, research assistants, etc.
Item 2: Fringe Benefits
A percentage of salary for each employee, used to cover health insurance, social security, disability insurance, workman’s compensation etc. The University has three different benefit rates. Visit Fringe Benefit Rates for the most current rates.
Item 3: Consultant Costs
Fees for professional services. Consulting services are normally provided by an individual who is considered an expert in the field. Identification of the consultant by name, specialty, and daily rate is required in the budget. Some federal agencies cap the daily rate a consultant may be paid. Consult specific agency guidelines for such caps. (See Sponsored Consulting Agreements for more information).
Item 4: Other Services
Generally an expert in an area other than the subject area of the research project itself; treated as a vendor. This includes both internal services, such as those provided by the Office of Shared Research Facilities and external services including maintenance agreements, etc. (See Sponsored Consulting Agreements for more information).
Item 5: Equipment
The University defines equipment as nonexpendable property costing over $5000 (as of 7/1/98) with a life expectancy of over one year. The State of Illinois and some non-federal agencies have different guidelines. Consult specific agency guidelines. Each purchase over $5,000 must be identified and included in the budget justification. Each piece of equipment that is constructed or fabricated must be separately identified. For more detail, see Modified Total Direct Costs.
Item 6: Supplies
Expendable properties under $5000 and/or a life expectancy of less than one year. Supplies should be broken down by specific categories of cost, such as laboratory supplies, office supplies, etc.
Item 7: Travel
Travel is classified as domestic or foreign. Domestic travel includes trips within the U.S., its possessions and territories, and Canada. Travel costs include transportation costs (airfare, train fare, car rental), food and lodging, and miscellaneous items while away from home. Justifications and identification of the travelers are required for each trip. See University Financial Policy No. 1202.
Item 8: Computer Costs
Computer costs are normally associated with the time and use charges of campus computing or established divisional facilities, not for personal computers or networks.
Item 9: Publication Costs
Page charges and other fees for publications in professional journals.
Item 10: Subawards
A subaward must be included in the proposal when a portion of the project is to be done at another institution. The total costs for a subaward (subrecipient direct costs and F&A [indirect] costs) are considered direct charges on the University of Chicago’s project. The subrecipient must provide a complete budget along with a work scope. The cover page including the sign off of the Principal Investigator/Project Director and the authorized institutional official at the subrecipient organization is also needed, as well as a copy of the subrecipient’s F&A agreement.
Item 11: Animal Costs
Animal care and use charges at the University of Chicago are made up of three separate components (Purchase, Care and Services). These costs are all requested as Other Direct Costs. See Animal Resources Center for Rates & Fees.
Item 12: Other and misc. expenses
All identifiable expenses must be itemized in the budget. Other costs could include items such as animal care (described above in more detail), telecommunications, tuition for graduate research assistants, duplicating expenses, postage, leases/rentals, radiation protection services, maintenance contracts, etc. For Federal projects, special attention should be paid to the inclusion and justification of the “other direct costs” which may be considered as indirect costs.