Budgets are the financial expression of a project’s scope of work. Below are some common budget categories and additional details for each to consider when building a budget.


Personnel is a key budget item to review carefully, as these are the individuals executing the research plan. This would include effort for the PI, Co-PIs or Co-Investigators, technicians, post doctoral associates, and students. This would not include external personnel such as consultants or personnel at subrecipient organizations.

Salaries should be based on current institutional base salaries. Fringe benefits should be based on current rates, which can be found here.


UCF defines equipment as nonexpendable, tangible items with a shelf life of more than one year and that cost over $5,000, either as a single item or as a unit. If equipment is anticipated to be needed for a project, the expense should be allocated to the Equipment category of the budget. We proposing equipment, the UCF Competition Limits should be kept in mind. If proposing a large piece of equipment, please notify the Research Office team early in the proposal process.

Materials and Supplies

Materials and Supplies are expendable items necessary to carry out the project with a unit price of less than $5,000. If the project requires the need for computers/laptops, be sure to include these within your budget justification.


Travel cost for project related work and for the attendance at conferences or other events for the dissemination of project results and activities are generally allowable. These costs may include airfare, lodging, per diem, ground transportation, and registration. UCF Travel Guidelines must be followed.

Foreign travel requires additional review and approval and may need to go through UCF Global.

Federally funded travel requires travel to be on a US flag carrier or US flag carrier services provided under a code-share agreement, except under specific situations. More information about The Fly America Act (41 CFR 301-10.131 through 301-10.143) can be found here.


A subrecipient is a non-Federal entity that receives a subaward from a pass-through entity to carry out part of a Federal program; but does not include an individual that is a beneficiary of such program. Subrecipients receive subawards, which creates a Federal assistance relationship with the subrecipient. Subrecipients are not to be confused with Contractors.

Contractors receive a contract which is for the purpose of obtaining goods and services from the non-Federal entity’s own use and creates a procurement relationship.

To help determine the relationship of another party, the following characteristics of each can be reviewed.

There are exceptions to the above list of characteristics. In making a determination, the relationship and scope should be assessed in order to determined the appropriate classification.

To include a subrecipient on a proposal, the following documentation is required, at a minimum. Sponsor guidelines may require additional document to be collected.

  1. Statement of Work
  2. Budget
  3. Budget Justification
  4. Letter of Intent/Commitment Form from Subrecipient’s Authorized Official

Other Direct Costs

Other direct costs can consist of various costs that do not fall within one of the above categories. This may include, but is not limited to, publication costs, patient incentives, fee-for-service activities, consultant costs, software, tuition, transcription services, and advertising costs.

If any research computing or data services from the UCF Research Cyberinfrastructure (RCI) team are anticipated, please reach out to their group early on to receive a quote for services.

If proposing issuing Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits under the project, please reach out to the COM Faculty Life Office to receive an estimate of costs for allocation in the project budget.

Indirect Costs/Facilities & Administrative (F&A) Costs

Indirect Costs are those costs incurred for a common or joint purpose benefitting more than one cost objective, and not readily assignable to the cost objectives specifically benefitted, without effort disproportionate to the results achieved. The university has an established rate with the federal government. This includes rates for on-campus, off-campus, instruction and other sponsored activities. Any deviation from the university established rates must be approved by the Vice President of Research. This does not include rates that are explicitly limited by an agency within their funding guidelines.