Research Services is the only office authorized to provide budgetary information to sponsors, and collaborators.
Please do not discuss or estimate budgetary amounts and be aware that your ‘contributions’ to all unfunded research collaborations must also be calculated correctly by the pre-award team.
Please be aware that internally funded (KAUST Competitive Research Funds) and externally funded proposals are costed differently. Different rates can apply and different cost items are eligible.
The budget for a research project is a funding plan that identifies different cost categories related to the goals as stated in the project proposal. The budget should naturally come from the research proposal. It is important to remember that a budget is an estimate of the costs to be incurred during the project. The development of a comprehensive and rigorous budget is crucial to the success of a proposal, as sponsors and their reviewers are trained to discern incorrect budgets.
Budgets must be prepared according to well-established cost principles. Allowable costs for research projects must:
Be reasonable: the estimate should be consistent with the cost for the same or similar goods or services in the area in which they are acquired at the time of acquisition.
Be allocable: the cost of goods or services must clearly be identifiable as related the research effort.
Be consistent through the application.
Conform to any limitations or exclusions as requested by the document or the sponsor.
Two general types of cost are associated with research projects: direct costs and indirect costs.
Direct costs relate directly to activities or services in a sponsored project. Examples of direct costs are personnel, consumables, equipment, consultants, travel, alteration and renovation (installation of special equipment), consortium and contractual (part of the research project to be run at another institution).
Indirect cost includes, but is not limited to, administrative and accounting support, library facilities and communications systems.
As mentioned above the main guide for a budget preparation is the research narrative itself. A well prepared budget is consistent with the proposal’s outline and should reflect all necessary cost components required to complete the work. The budget should neither be under or over-estimated.
The budget preparation should begin with an analysis of the different objectives and activities necessary to determine the specific cost.
For example, the synthesis of a candidate drug against cancer requires the synthesis and analysis of the potential drug as well as its intermediates, the different in vitro and in vivo studies (toxicology, pharmacology and efficacy) and documentation (regulation compliance) necessary to test the drug in a clinical trial. All these activities would require personnel time, supplies (consumables) and specific equipment, storage and transportation costs.
Listing activities and breakdowns of the associated costs provides a clear outline for budget explanation. Detailing specific cost of each element of a project/study demonstrate a real planning effort to reviewers.