When requesting funding for a grant presenting an appropriate and accurate budget is very important. More specifically:
- You cannot start spending funds until the project period has been set and the grant has been signed. You must spend all funds within the project period.
- Costs defined in the budget must be consistent with the narrative description of planned activities.
- Any budget entries that are too vague such as a line item for “Miscellaneous Expenses” are not acceptable. All expenses must be identifiable, specific cost items.
- Items we cannot fund include: fines, childcare, medical expenses, entertainment and alcohol.
- “Conducting Research” or similarly activity part of the proposal will not be supported.
- Food is an allowable item if necessary for the program. For example if you were getting coffee, tea and fruit for a break, that would be fine. But we could not pay for a dinner. In general, we support food served between program sessions.
- Please be aware that if international flights are a part of the budget you must comply with the Fly America Act. This means that the person travelling must fly a US carrier (code share is fine) if one is available. So the Turkish Airways flight from NY to Istanbul would not work, but the United/Lufthansa flight via Munich would work.
- Per Diem amounts cannot exceed the maximum per diem amount allowed under the Federal Travel Regulations. For maximum per diem amounts please see guidance under “Foreign Per Diem Rates in U.S. Dollars”.
Other things to keep in mind when submitting a grant proposal and planning a grant budget:
- Although grant budgets can be amended while the project is underway, amendments due to poor budget planning are unacceptable. Therefore, please plan carefully. Costs for line items in the budget should be exact where ever possible. If you must estimate a cost, please do your research carefully!
- Funds must be spent as specified in the budget unless approval is sought from the grants officer and an amendment is made to the budget.
- At the end of the program, if there are unspent funds these must be returned to the US Embassy.
- If cost sharing is involved please specify how much will be provided for each cost item in the budget.