Instructions for Completing Budget Form - ISU

Marketing and Food Systems, Ecology, Policy, and Cross-cutting Initiatives

Please submit separate budgets for each project year. Use only the budget categories listed.


Budget Template (required):  Use this to show the totals for the main categories in your budget.

Budget Narrative or Justification (required):  Use this to explain what the money is actually going to be spent on, using descriptive terms rather than just dollar amounts.  Also, explain how the dollar amounts are derived (e.g., x hours @ $/hour, 7 trips of 80 miles each x $.405/mile, 40 sample kits @$2.52/kit).

Salaries/Hourly:  List all personnel to be paid from the project.  Indicate each person’s job or student classification (e.g., Faculty, P&S, Master’s candidate, PhD candidate, Technical support, Hourly).  Describe what the individuals will do on the project.  Include approximate number of hours per week/month and the rate; or as % of time and rate.

Payroll Benefits:  List fringe benefit rates and totals for each employee, if applicable.  Required for ISU employees:  use the standard benefit percentages for ISU employees from the Office of Sponsored Programs Administration website (

Equipment:  Equipment is defined by ISU as anything having an acquisition value of $5,000 or more and a useful life of one or more years.  Items not meeting the $5,000 criteria should be listed under supplies and materials.  IMPORTANT:  The Leopold Center only pays for equipment (no matter what the value) for the life of the Leopold-funded portion of the project, and this must be pre-negotiated with the Center.  After negotiation, list all equipment to be purchased or leased in the appropriate category of ‘equipment’ (over $5,000) or ‘supplies’ (under $5,000) with the annual cost beside it.  Describe the needed equipment, your purchase or lease decision, and why the equipment is critical to the project. Although buying can be done, we prefer our grantees to lease or rent.

Travel:  List each planned trip and provide cost estimates.  Include destinations, registration fees, transportation, lodging and food (per diem).  ISU has established rates for daily food.  Lodging should show rate x number of days. Travel should be broken down between Domestic and Foreign.

Student Assistance/Tuition/Support:  Scholarships, stipends, tuition, etc., should be itemized with a dollar amount for each item.  Show rates and totals for each student being paid from this grant.  For ISU students, indicate classification (i.e., master’s or PhD), engineering or non-engineering and semester covered (i.e., fall, spring, or summer).  Indicate hours worked per week for each student.  ISU student employee salaries should be reflected in Salaries above.

Supplies/Materials:  Briefly describe the supplies being used in each category and their justification.  Include a calculation for each supply showing quantity x cost per unit.  Supplies are divided into three categories.  Here are some examples in each:  Ag & Vet Supplies (fertilizers, animals, seeds, fencing, etc.), Lab & Research Supplies (chemicals, lab containers, drugs, food used in research, analysis kits), Other Supplies (refreshments you provide and catering [ISU Dining only] excluding alcohol, office supplies, stationery, etc.).  ‘Other Supplies’ should be identified in detail.

Subcontracts:  List each subcontract and its related cost as a separate line item on the budget template. Provide the rates/hours for each proposed subcontract.  Describe the exact advice or service to be provided. Please be specific in the narrative. For each subcontract proposed, provide a separate budget page using the standard budget categories on the template. Be prepared as some subcontracts will require additional paperwork. Please contact Kim Vo at 515-294-9388 or subject line: LCSA (your subject) if you have questions.

Other Direct Costs:  Follow the categories shown on the budget template.  It is critical that you describe precisely what is in this category.  Honoraria/Services include speaker fees, farmer cooperator payments, etc., or any other services < $2,000.  Consultants <$25,000 should be individually identified under Services, together with consultant travel and incidentals.  Consultants >$25,000 need to follow the University’s bidding process.  Describe the exact service provided by each Consultant.   The ‘Other’ category includes routine services (e.g., small equipment rental, laboratory testing services, and rental space charges) and catering other than ISU Dining. The ‘Other’ line item should also be explained in detail.

NOTE:  The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture does not pay indirect facilities and administrative costs.