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Grants & Contracts Office

NIH Budgets

Prepare your grant with a thoughtful budget. 

Modular Budgets

The Modular Grant concept establishes specific modules or increments in which direct costs must be requested, as well as a maximum level for requested budgets of $250,000 direct costs per year (excluding any consortium F&A costs).The Modular Grant application does not require a categorical breakdown of direct costs requested in the application; however, other requirements still apply.

Carefully read your specific Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for budget requirements and criteria. You should look for limitations on the types of expenses, spending caps, and overall funding limits. Depending on your specific FOA, you will submit your budget using one of two forms:

  1. R&R Budget Form
  2. PHS398 Modular Budget Form.

Additional information and tips regarding your NIH application budget can be found at NIH Develop Your Budget website.

Modular vs Detailed R&R Budget

The application forms package associated with most NIH funding opportunities includes two optional budget forms.

  1. R&R Budget Form
  2. PHS 398 Modular Budget Form

NIH applications will include either the R&R Budget Form or the PHS 398 Modular Budget Form, but not both. To determine whether to use a detailed versus modular budget for your NIH application, see the flowchart on the NIH website.

What to Include

As applicable:

  1. Personnel Justification: The Personnel Justification should include the name, role, and number of person-months devoted to this project for every person on the project. Do not include salary and fringe benefit rate in the justification, but keep in mind the legislatively mandated salary cap when calculating your budget. (When preparing a modular budget, you are instructed to use the current cap when determining the appropriate number of modules.)
  2. Consortium Justification: If you have a consortium/subcontract, include the total costs (direct costs plus F&A costs), rounded to the nearest $1,000, for each consortium/subcontract. Additionally, any personnel should include their roles and person months; if the consortium is foreign, that should be stated as well.
  3. Additional Narrative Justification: Additional justification should include explanations for any variations in the number of modules requested annually. Also, this section should describe any direct costs that were excluded from the total direct costs (such as equipment, tuition remission) and any work being conducted off-site, especially if it involves a foreign study site or an off-site F&A rate.

NIH Budget FAQ