Page Updated: July 30, 2021
For answers to questions concerning proposal preparation, including appropriate budget preparation, please contact your College or School research administrator.
An additional resource is guidance on Allowable Direct Costs on Sponsored Projects.
Features of the NIH Modular Spreadsheet
Enter the number of years and an inflation factor on the Title page and the spreadsheet will automatically calculate subsequent years. Select a Salary Category from the pop-down menu and the spreadsheet will automatically enter the correct fringe benefit rate. Select "Copy Previous Year" on Salaries & Wages after the first year and the spreadsheet will automatically inflate salary and fringe benefit rates. Percent effort can be overridden in case of a change and the system will recalculate. Modular page adds total direct cost, divides by the number of years proposed and rounds to the next highest $25,000 module. This is a suggested amount. Use your discretion in preparing the final figures.
Enter the name of the sponsor, the title of the project, the beginning and end dates of the project, the number of years of the project in whole numbers (always round up), and the name of the Principal Investigator in the appropriate fields.
In general, when entering the indirect cost rate and base, please use the University of Wisconsin-Madison negotiated rates which can be found at F&A and Fringe Benefit Rates.
Detailed information on the policy of collecting indirect cost is provided in Policy UW-4011.
For a listing of the negotiated indirect cost rate see: the Indirect Cost Rate Table in the spreadsheet.
The indirect cost base indicates the type of calculation used for determining the indirect costs.
Three main types exist:
An inflation rate of 3% is used automatically to calculate dollar amounts for supplies, travel, services, and sub-agreements for subsequent years.
This table provides the current indirect cost rates for research, instruction, and public service.
Rates: This table provides the current fringe benefit rates.
These pages list the salaries and fringe benefits for project personnel.
The pages will calculate the salaries for Academic ("C" basis) and Annual ("A" basis) appointments based on the data entered in the Salary & Wage Base, Pay Basis, Months, and Effort fields. Salaries for Hourly ("H" basis) appointments are not calculated; the amount of requested salary should be entered in the Salary and Wage Base field. Pay Basis, Months, and Effort fields for Hourly appointments are informational only.
This form is limited to 16 people. If you have more than that, please group like positions together (i.e. 5 graduate students).
For Year 2 and beyond, the "Copy Previous Year" button will copy the data entered in the previous year to load the spreadsheet. The copied data automatically includes a 4% (or your modified rate) inflation increase for all salaries and a 1% increase for all fringe benefits. All data copied from the previous year is modifiable.
Name: Enter the name of the person to be paid on this project. If the name of the person is not known at this time, enter "TBD" (to be determined). A name or TBD is required; do not leave field blank.
Title: Enter the working title of the person to be paid on this project (Examples: Principal Investigator, Professor, Research Assistant, etc.). If the working title of the person is not known at this time, enter "TBD" (to be determined) or leave field blank.
Salary Category: Select from the field's pull-down box the appropriate salary category for the person to be paid on this project. For assistance in determining the appropriate personnel salary categories, consult your school/college personnel administrators or research administrators.
Salary & Wage Base: For academic ("C" basis) and annual ("A" basis) appointments, enter the full-time salary rate (including salary to be paid from other funding sources). For hourly ("H" basis) appointments, enter only the portion of salary to be charged to the project.
The salary included in the budget should be at the current institutional base salary (IBS) rate, with an escalation for a cost of living allowance as permitted by the sponsor. Salary charges cannot exceed the proportionate share of IBS for that period.
Pay Basis: Select from the field's pull-down box the appropriate pay basis.
Months: Enter the number of months the person is to be paid on this project. The default values for this field are "9" for academic ("C" basis) appointments, "12" for annual ("A" basis) appointments, and "blank" for hourly ("H" basis) appointments.
Effort: Enter the percentage of time that will be devoted to this project by the person to be paid. The default value is "100".
Requested Salary: For academic and annual appointments, this field is calculated by the formula: (salary & wage base) x (months) x (effort)
For hourly appointments, the requested salary is the same as the salary & wage base. The values in this column cannot be changed.
Fringe Rate: Indicate the requested fringe benefits rate. The default value is equal to the current rates as indicated in the fringe benefits table, plus a 1% contingency factor.
Fringe Benefits: This field is calculated by the formula: (requested salary) x (fringe rate). The values in this column cannot be changed.
Professor Smith is paid on an annual basis $72,000. His salary category is regular faculty at the current rate of 39.7% (FY 2017). This rate is increased by 1% to equal 40.7% on the worksheet for Year 1. He will work on the project for 12 months at 30% effort. The calculation of his requested salary and fringe benefits is as follows:
$72,000 x 12 months x 30% = $21,600 x 40.7% = $8,791
requested salary = $21,600; fringe benefits = $8,791
Professor Jones is also paid $72,000 but on an academic basis. Her salary category is also regular faculty so it appears as 40.7% on the worksheet. She is requesting 2 months of summer salary for a project she will spend 75% of her time on. The calculation of her requested salary and fringe benefits is as follows:
$72,000 x 2 months / 9 months x 75% = $12,000 x 40.7% = $4,884
requested salary = $12,000; fringe benefits = $4,884
Mr. Miller is a student hourly for the salary category (fringe rate on worksheet = 3.3%) and the pay basis is hourly. The dollars committed to pay this student is $6,000. This student will only work on the project during the school year or 9 months. When entered into the worksheet the salary & wage base is $6,000 and 9 months for the project. For hourly (H basis) the salary & wage base is equal to the requested salary. The calculation of his requested salary and fringe benefits is as follows:
$6,000 9 months 100% = $6,000 x 3.3% = $198
requested salary = $6,000; fringe benefits = $198
Tuition Remission is charged as a flat fee for each PA/RA per year. To ensure that you request sufficient funds in your proposal, enter the appropriate academic term as well as the number of PAs/RAs that will be working on your project.
The federal definition of "Supplies" does not include office supplies or other supplies that are not directly allocable and allowable to the specific project. (See 2 CFR 200, Subpart E.) These costs are figured into the University's indirect cost base calculation.
If the supply costs are allowable, they are defined as any item that individually costs less than $5,000, or items with a useful life of less than one year. Several categories are provided to illustrate the type of items to include as supplies.
Definitions/Examples (all items individually cost less than $5,000):
Enter each amount into the cell corresponding to the first year in which each supply will be needed. The spreadsheet will automatically multiply that amount by the appropriate yearly inflation rate and enter the amounts for the subsequent years into the appropriate cells. This automatic calculation can be overridden by typing new values directly into the desired cells or by using the delete key to delete the calculated value in the cell.
This category includes items that individually cost $5,000 or more and have a useful life of more than one year.
Exceptions to the $5,000 limitation: 1) construction/fabrication component-parts; 2) items over $5,000, but paid from multiple funding sources; and 3) all permanent additions to libraries. Other items that individually cost less than $5,000 should be included in the supplies or services categories.
Equipment is excluded from indirect cost calculations when using the MTDC base.
Examples (all items $5,000 or more and a useful life of more than one year):
Definitions for equipment items with costs less than $5,000:
Transportation, lodging, meal, and other related costs for travel necessary to conduct project or travel for professional meetings and development. Domestic and foreign travel should be separated. List items in appropriate category including costs associated with UW sponsored events.
Additional information on the UW guidelines for reimbursing travel is available on the Accounting Services travel web page.
Enter each amount into the cell corresponding to the first year of travel. The spreadsheet will automatically multiply that amount by the appropriate yearly inflation rate and enter the amounts for the subsequent years into the appropriate cells. This automatic calculation can be overridden by typing new values directly into the desired cells or by using the delete key to delete the calculated value in the cell.
Participant support costs are direct costs to support individuals who are receiving a training opportunity as part of a workshop, conference, seminar, symposium or other short-term instructional or information sharing activity funded by a sponsored award. Costs may include stipends or subsistence allowances, travel allowances, and registration fees paid to or on behalf of participants (not employees).
Participant support costs may be included in an NIH budget only if specifically identified as allowable in the Funding Opportunity Announcement. For the purposes of the Kirschstein-NRSA program, the term “participant support costs” does not apply.
Additional information on participant support costs is available at this link.
The federal definition of "Other Direct Charges" are those charges that are directly allocable and allowable to the specific project. (See 2 CFR 200, Subpart E.)
Includes tuition remission (see the "Excluded from MTDC section") goods, assistance, or technical expertise from University units, outside vendors and individuals.
The following categories are excluded in the indirect cost calculations if the MTDC base is used:
Enter each amount into the cell corresponding to the first year that each service will be needed. The spreadsheet will automatically multiply that amount by the appropriate yearly inflation rate and enter the amounts for the subsequent years into the appropriate cells. This automatic calculation can be overridden by typing new values directly into the desired cells or by using the delete key to delete the calculated value in the cell.
List name of non-UW entity performing a portion of the scope of work. Amount of each sub-agreement in excess of $25,000 is excluded from indirect cost calculations using an MTDC base.
Definition of sub-agreement: A grant from one institution to another institution in support of a project in which the programmatic activity is carried out through a cooperative arrangement between or among the grantee institution (UW-Madison) and one or more other institutions or individuals which are separate legal entities, administratively independent from the grantee. These cooperative agreements, in this context, refer to consortium costs/subagreements/subcontracts. The involvement of the non-grantee institution or individual is that of actually performing a portion of the scope of work as opposed to simply providing a routine service or consulting activity.
Enter each amount into the cell corresponding to the first year that the sub-agreement or sub-award will be in effect. The spreadsheet will automatically multiply that amount by the appropriate yearly inflation rate and enter the amounts for the subsequent years into the appropriate cells. This automatic calculation can be overridden by typing new values directly into the desired cells or by using the delete key to delete the calculated value in the cell.
Additional information on UW policies regarding sub-agreements is available on the Outgoing Subagreements website.
This page is provided for informational purposes only and details the values used for calculating indirect cost when using MTDC base.
MTDC (Modified Total Direct Costs) is shorthand for the calculations that exclude certain categories from being included in the direct costs that indirect costs are applied against.
The total page contains the figures you should use for non-modularized NIH budgets (budgets with Direct Costs greater than $250,000 per year). It includes the information from the Title page and totals from each worksheet. Total direct costs , total direct costs minus MTDC exclusions, total calculated MTDC (indirect costs) and overall total cost of the project are listed on this page. For NIH modular budgets, do NOT use the totals on this page; rather, use the Modular Budget Template Page (see below).
Choose the "Print All Pages" button to print the entire worksheet (except the indirect cost rate table, fringe benefits rates table, and MTDC costs table). Only pages that have values entered will print.
Choose the "Print Totals Page" button to print only the Project Budget summary page.
This modular budget template page does all calculations required to complete an NIH Modular Budget.
Since this budget preparation spreadsheet will do both the detail and the modular budgets, please attach the entire spreadsheet to the WISPER record as part of the budget approval process.
NIH excludes Consortium F&A Costs from the determination of whether a proposal's budget may be modularized. For more information about this policy see this page.
This policy impacts eligibility to submit a modular budget. The modular budget format continues to be used for applications requesting $250,000 or less in direct costs per year. However consortium/contractual F&A costs are not factored into this direct cost limit. They may be requested in addition to the $250,000.
The policy also impacts applications requesting a budget of $500,000 direct costs or more for any year. These applications continue to require prior approval from Institute/Center staff; however, this limit is exclusive of any consortium F&A costs.
This modular budget template will automatically make the correct calculations in accordance with NIH policy, and will provide, on the last page of the spreadsheet, all the figures necessary for filling out an NIH Modular Budget.
Year One Additional Modules: If it is necessary to have additional modules in Year 1 because of an equipment purchase or other one-time cost, select the number of additional modules to appear in Year 1. The system will subtract the equivalent dollars from the total cost, divide by the number of years and then add the dollars back into Year 1.
Example: Total Estimated Direct Cost = $650,862
# of years = 5
Equipment in Year 1 = $65,000
Results with no additional modules in Year 1:
$650,862 / 5 = $130,172
round up to $150,000 per year
($750,000 total direct cost)
Results with 2 additional modules in Year 1:
$650,862 - $50,000 = $600,862 / 5 = $120,172
round up to $125,000 per year, add $50,000 to Year 1
$175,000 for Year 1 and $125,000 per year for Years 2-5
($675,000 total direct cost)
Choose the "Print Modular Page" button to print only the project NIH Modular Budget page.