Grant-Crafting Tips

Tips on Budget Presentation

Adjudication committees will ask two major questions:

  1. Are the proposed expenditures reasonable?
  2. Is the project “doable” within the funding available?

You want the committee to be able to say “YES” to both.

The probability of getting those desired answers increases if the budget information presented is clear and complete. The following points will help you to get these answers:

  • Read the grant preparation section on eligible and ineligible expenses. Include only eligible costs.
  • Don’t include items normally covered through the department (e.g., toner for the photocopier) or other budgets. If these are included, then provide detailed information on why these costs must be funded.
  • Use current accurate wage rates. If this is a multi-year project, allow for modest increases.
  • Present specific wage information, i.e. (salary + benefits) x # of hours = $ total for each proposed employee. The salary must be appropriate for the level of skill and experience needed to perform the work being undertaken by the research assistant.
  • If the project costs exceed the funding available from the granting program:
    • present the full budget
    • indicate, specifically, which costs will be covered by the funds you are applying for
    • state where the remaining funds will be coming from
    • describe how the project will be scaled back if these remaining funds are not awarded. If you are travelling and are not requesting funding for all costs (e.g., airfare, hotel and per diem), explain how those expenses will be dealt with. 
  • Links to Tri-Council tips pages: NSERC, CIHR, and SSHRC

Tips for Better Applications