Developing a Budget

Sample Proposal Budget

With rare exception, every proposal to an external sponsor requires some type of budget, displaying the intended use of funds sought.

International Projects

For International Projects deemed to be complex, high risk and/or in excess of the mandatory thresholds:


Annual Threshold






































Please contact the University Committee on International Projects and Sites (UCIPS) with the following information: PI Name and TUB, brief description of the scope of work, period of performance, total budget and a list of the countries where the project will take place.

For staff or faculty involved in long-term projects outside the US, please visit the US Department of State website for information about allowances for expatriate staff located overseas. For information regarding maximum per diem allowances for foreign travel, visit the US Department of State, Foreign Per Diem Rates. The guidelines and allowances listed apply to federal grants, but can serve as a useful tool for non-federal overseas projects as well.

Budget Considerations
Below is a list of some things to consider when developing a budget for an overseas project:

  • Housing Payments
  • Housing Deposits
  • Security Payments
  • Utility Payments
  • Furnishings (Harvard /Projects Retains Ownership)
  • Shipping to Post (New Hire from Outside Harvard)
  • Shipping to Post (Harvard Employee)
  • Shipping from Post (Not Returning to Harvard)
  • Shipping from Post (Returning to Harvard)
  • Education Payments
  • Settling In/Out Days
  • Home Leave
  • R & R
  • Family Travel
  • Relocation to Post (New Hire from Outside Harvard)
  • Relocation to Post (Harvard Employee)
  • Relocation from Post (Not Returning to Harvard)
  • Relocation from Post (Returning to Harvard)
  • Foreign Taxes
  • Storage Payments
  • Required fees and benefits by local governments







For further information, contact the following:
Hiring and contracts:
Contact your local Human Resource office and Global Support Services (GSS)

Insurance and other benefits:
Contact your local Human Resource benefits officer and GSS

Tax implications:
Harvard University Financial Administration, Tax Operations - 495-7815
I.R.S. Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad

Setting up an overseas bank account:
Harvard University Financial Administration, Cash Management - 495-1647

Uniform Guidance

This UG establishes principles for determining costs applicable to grants, contracts, and other agreements with educational institutions. The principles deal with the subject of cost determination, and make no attempt to identify the circumstances or dictate the extent of agency and institutional participation in the financing of a particular project.

The principles are designed to provide that the federal government bear its fair share of total costs, determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, except where restricted or prohibited by law. Agencies are not expected to place additional restrictions on individual items of cost. Provision for profit or other increment above cost is outside the scope of the UG.


Direct Costs

Direct costs on sponsored projects are those that can be directly associated with the project with a high degree of accuracy. Direct costs are essential to the project's fulfillment.

Each of Harvard University's three segments (University Area, Medical School, and School of Public Health) has defined direct costs typically charged to sponsored projects in their disclosure statements. Please refer to these for specific guidance.

Additional Resources: