Budget Justification

The budget justification should be written in everyday language and should conform to sponsor requirements. There is not typically a required format for budget justifications. However, items should be listed in the same order as the proposed budget for ease of review.

The following items should generally be addressed in the budget justification:


Include the names and titles of all personnel who appear in the budget, clearly identifying the role each individual will fulfill on the project. A percentage of effort should also be included. Include the terms "to be hired" or "to be determined" for personnel who have not yet been identified or hired.

Fringe Benefits

The benefit rate should be included for each personnel class included in the proposal.


The need for the equipment should be explicitly stated. List specifications and identify the manufacturer for specialty equipment if only one manufacturer can provide the necessary equipment. Sole-source justification must be included in these situations.


Break the supplies down into categories and explain the basis of need.


Travel should be designated as local, domestic, or international, and the purpose of the travel should be documented. The number of travelers, the number of days, and a breakdown of category costs (i.e., airfare, per diem, etc.) should also be included.

Other Direct Costs

Examples of other direct costs include but are not limited to:

  • Publication costs
  • Imaging
  • Equipment maintenance agreements
  • Tuition reimbursement

Justify why the organization is the best choice for the portion of work to be done.

Consultant Services

Include the name of the individual(s), the areas of expertise, why they have been chosen, the number of days anticipated, and the cost per day (must be customary for the field).

Facilities and Administration Costs

Include the rate and base used.