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Personnel Costs

Defining Your Personnel CostsPersonnel image

Proposals should accurately represent the amount of direct effort that key personnel are committing to the project. This section of a proposal should only include Carthage personnel. Collaborators at other institutions should be included either as consultants/collaborators or within a separate subrecipient budget.

Proposed salaries should be in accordance with approved salary scales and position grades, and the budget should reflect the actual percentage of effort that is anticipated.

In developing multi-year project budgets, salary increases are included per year.

Faculty/Staff Salary Support

Budgets are generally computed on a 12-month basis, unless the project will have a different time frame. Faculty academic year (AY) and summer effort should be budgeted as separate line items. 

Course Release

  • For faculty on an academic year contract (nine months), a course release is equal to 1/9th of the academic year salary (or 12.5% effort)

Summer Salary

  • One month of summer salary is equal to 1/9th of the academic year salary.
  • When the contributed AY effort of faculty members is expected to be less than 10 percent, and no effort (AY or summer) is identified in the budget, OSP recommends including the statement: “Carthage fully supports the academic year salary of Professors, Associate Professors, and Assistant Professors, but makes no specific commitment of academic year time or salary to this particular project.” 
  • Any other salary limits imposed by a sponsor in its solicitation should be brought to OSP’s attention as early as possible.

Salary Increase Estimation

  • Carthage is currently estimating increases of 3% each year and accumulated annually on Jan 1st. 

Administrative & Clerical Costs

  • Salaries of administrative and clerical staff should normally be treated as F&A. 
  • Direct charging of these costs may be appropriate where a major project or activity explicitly budgets for administrative or clerical services and individuals involved can be specifically identified with the project or activity. “Major project” is defined as a project that requires an extensive amount of administrative or clerical support, which is significantly greater than the routine level of such services provided by academic departments

Four criteria must be met for direct charging administrative expenses to a sponsored project:

  • Incurred for the performance of a major project or activity
  • Specifically identified and directly benefiting the project
  • Budgeted and approved by the sponsor
  • Supported by budget justification

If the administrative expense does not meet the criteria for direct charging described above, the expense should not be proposed or charged as a direct cost to the project. If the expense is questioned, the PI will need to justify the charges to the sponsor and any auditors.