What is the purpose of the budget justification?
CU Boulder has fiduciary responsibility as a steward of Federal and other sponsored funding that requires us to demonstrate on all proposals submitted and awards received that the costs budgeted are allocable, allowable, and reasonable. A Budget Justification:
- Provides details that demonstrate adherence to these critical qualifications and assures that, if awarded, a submitted budget will be charging against costs meeting those standards.
- May be required for prior approval of some costs, such as administrative salaries, as well as detailed justification for costs, including equipment, travel, participant support, materials and supplies, and the F&A rate.
- Is used at the end of a project for award closeout to confirm that all costs charged are allowable and, as needed, had prior approval from the sponsor.
Instances where a sponsor does not require a Budget Justification at proposal phase are rare; however, beginning in April 2018, OCG and the Campus Controller’s Office will no longer require a Budget Justification if one is not required by the sponsor. In some cases, sponsors require additional budget information after the proposal has been submitted which could include a justification of costs. In these instances the justification of applicable budget items will be requested from the PI, submitted to the sponsor as required, and will become a permanent part of the proposal record.
Even if a sponsor does not require a Budget Justification at proposal or award, costs supported by sponsored funding must still be allocable, allowable, reasonable, and abide by University policy. See the Cost Principles for more details.