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Composing Grant Proposal Budgets: A Graphical Aid

This page was developed by Christopher Tassava, Associate Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations, Carleton College.
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This material was developed as part of the Carleton Teaching Activity Collection and is replicated on a number of sites as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service Project

Summary

Using this document, an applicant for a grant will be able to improve her understanding of the components of a standard grant budget, to start developing various elements on her specific grant budget, and to link the line items in her budget to her proposal narrative or other parts of the proposal. The document provides an overview of a generalized budget and budgetary information that is specific to Carleton College (but which is also analogous to information at other institutions).

Learning Goals

This document will allow a grant applicant to accomplish two goals: to understand the components of a standard grant budget and to develop key elements on a specific grant budget.

Context for Use

This document can be used by anyone applying for a grant at Carleton College or, by analogy, other, similar institutions. The document will be most successfully used when the applicant collaborates with members of the College's Office of Corporate & Foundation Relations, but it is designed to be used by an applicant on her own, as well. The document is not designed to address every possible issue which might arise with different sorts of budgets (for example, budgets required by federal agencies versus family foundations). Rather, it is meant to provide a useful overview of proposal budgets in general. To successfully use the document, a grant applicant need not have much knowledge beyond a core idea, though more information is of course better. The document can be used to elicit additional knowledge that then becomes part of the budget (and/or other elements of the proposal).

Description and Teaching Materials

1. Carleton's "basic budget information" document

.pdf (Acrobat (PDF) 74kB Dec1 10)

2. Carleton's grant template

.xlsx (Excel 2007 (.xlsx) 14kB Dec1 10)



Teaching Notes and Tips

To successfully use the document, a grant applicant need not have much knowledge beyond a core idea, though more information will of course facilitate more rapid and effective development of the budget. The document is designed to elicit additional knowledge that can then be incorporated into the budget (and/or other elements of the proposal). Contact with staff in the the College's Office of Corporate & Foundation Relations will be helpful to the applicant.

Assessment

The utility of this document can be assessed largely by determining if it in fact helped the applicant develop a good budget - one that includes the costs of the grant project, of course, but also conveys them to a reader in an accurate, clear way.

References and Resources

need links to basic beyond-Carleton resources on grant budgets: NSF, NIH, NEH, general