Budget development and resources

The development of a comprehensive research budget that reflects the true cost of the research is the first crucial step when applying for external research funding. The following resources and information support budget development.

  • Key contacts

    The Grant Development Team provides advice on the interpretation of funding rules and budget requests to ensure what is being requested is appropriate. The Teamalso help with:

    • possible access to exemplar applications
    • completing and approving the Budget Approval Form
    • advice regarding internal approval processes for accessing leverage funding from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research Development and Industry).

    Discipline Experts

    Discipline Experts are part of your network of colleagues who have previous experience in creating budgets and applications directed at specific funding organisations or for a specific purpose.

    Where possible researchers are encouraged to seek the input of a discipline expert or previously successful applicant to the same funding body who will be a good resource to review your application and provide valuable support.

  • Budget Approval Form

    The Budget Approval Form (referred to as the BAF) is designed to help you develop your budget at the application phase. The BAF can help you:

    • cost your project into separate funding years
    • incorporate income and expenditure items from several internal and external sources either as a cash or in-kind investment to the project
    • calculating budget expenditure, such as:
      • academic and professional salary expenses
      • travel expenses
      • computer shop expenses
      • catering
      • printing
      • current scholarship rates

    For all funded projects, researchers need to complete the BAF. This should match the project budget approved under the research agreement.

    The BAF also facilitates the creation of the project budget in the University finance system. For assistance in completing the BAF researchers can contact the Grant Development Team at research-preaward@csu.edu.au.


  • Employment Cost Calculator

    The Employment Cost Calculator is an interactive excel spreadsheet.

    The staff costing builder allows the user to add positions of an area/unit (except of Executive positions) into a sheet, which then calculates the staffing costs including salary rates, leave loading, workers compensation and payroll tax where applicable to an individual appointment. It can also be used to simply cost a single position.

  • University leverage support

    University leverage is used to support research costs or demonstrate in-kind commitment to a project above what you are requesting from the funding organisation. Forms of leverage include both cash and in-kind investment. Leverage requests can also be made for PhD student scholarships.

    Requests for leverage support are considered on an individual application basis and should be deemed necessary requests that enable the conduct of the research.

    The maximum cash leverage to funding requested ratio is 1:4. For example, if you are seeking $600k from a funding body the maximum CSU cash contribution will be $150k. A higher ratio will be considered for significant strategic reasons. It is recommended that your request include a brief justification for the cash contribution, particularly if seeking a higher ratio than 1:4.

    How to request university leverage support

    The following steps provide a guide to requesting university leverage support. Note that leverage should be in place prior to finalising the RPR Form.

    1. Submit your leverage request to the PVC-RI

    Send your leverage request in a single email titled the scheme name, include your name and the external closing date to pvcri@csu.edu.au with the following attachments:

    • Leverage request form
    • A near final proposal
    • A near final detailed budget/BAF
    • Brief justification for the cash contribution request
    • Any other relevant information (e.g. evidence of internal and external parties support)
    • The PVC-RI will respond to your email and notify you of the decision as soon as possible.

    2. If approved, upload leverage approval to the RPR Form

    • If your request for leverage has been approved by the PVC-RI, please upload this approval (i.e. email from PVC-RI) as part of your application in the RPR Form. This should be uploaded while your RPR Form is in draft.
    • If you have any difficulties with the RPR Form please contact the Grant Development Team at research-preaward@csu.edu.au.

    3. Approach external partners (if applicable)

    • It is strongly recommended that you commence internal Charles Sturt University leverage discussions before approaching an external partner.
    • In discussions with external parties, please ensure they understand you have not received final approval to submit from Charles Sturt University until sign-off from the appropriate delegated approver (i.e. Director Research, DVC-R or PVC-RI).
    • Confirm the external parties support in writing, or as per the requirements of the funding scheme in preparation for your application.
    • Please ensure external partners understand that you cannot commit Charles Sturt leverage funding without PVC-RI approval.
  • Cost Recovery (Indirect)

    As of the 1 May 2023 the University applies a Cost Recovery (Indirect) procedure  to ensure sufficient funding is available to enable the University to continue to provide a high quality research environment.

    For more information, please refer to the Cost Recovery (Indirect) - Division of Finance