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MJFF Team and Budget Guidelines

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Team Definitions

Collaborating Institution: A collaborating institution is an institution that will contract directly with MJFF and has authority in directing the project. If requesting funds, a collaborating institution will receive funds directly from MJFF. The Principal Investigator must be an employee of the primary institution. Each collaborating institution must have a Co-PI on the grant. There may not be more than three (3) institutions on a project, including the primary institution. Consultants or subaward organizations do not count towards this total.

Subawards: Subawards are contracts or grants that either the main institution or one of the collaborating institutions has negotiated (or will negotiate) with other organizations who contribute to the completion of the project. These are often institutions providing a service or resource to a collaborating institution. The collaborating institution will pay the subawardee directly and manage their portion of the project. A subaward is a part of the overall grant award, as the collaborating institution will receive the funds from MJFF and pass them on to the subawardee, but the subawardee will not sign the grant agreement with MJFF. The institution responsible for the subaward must ensure that the subawardee’s project budget is compliant with the MJFF policies described in this document. Subawards should be listed in the Subawards section of the budget—NOT under Other Direct Costs or Personnel. Likewise, team members from subawardees should NOT be on the Research Team Grid of the online application.

Principal Investigator (PI): The Principal Investigator is the primary applicant and the person overseeing the project who has the appropriate level of authority and responsibility to direct the grant. There should only be one Principal Investigator on the application.

Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI) (if applicable): Co-Principal Investigator(s) are other individuals who have the appropriate level of authority and responsibility to direct the grant and will do so in conjunction with the Principal Investigator. Each collaborating institution must have a Co-PI on the grant. There may not be more than two (2) collaborating institutions on a project, in addition to the primary institution. There may be more than one Co-PI listed for each institution. All Co-PIs listed on the application will be expected to sign the award agreement if the project is selected for funding.

Paid or Unpaid Collaborators: Paid or Unpaid Collaborators are other individuals working on the project who are affiliated with the institution of the Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator(s).

Consultants: Consultants are individuals not affiliated with the main institution, collaborating institutions, or subaward institutions who will play a role on the project and if receiving funds, will receive a fee for their contribution (rather than a portion of their salary).

Lab Personnel: Post-doctoral fellows and Research Scientists/Research Assistant Professors working more than 75% effort on the project must be named on the Research Team Grid as either Paid or Unpaid Collaborators, depending on their role. Students and research assistants are not required to be listed on the Research Team Grid.

Allowable Costs

MJFF permits the inclusion of the following costs in grantee and subawardee budgets:

  • Personnel salaries, subject to the following limitations:

    • All salaries per full time equivalency (FTE) must be accurately reported in the budget, and the allocations must accurately reflect the amount of time that individual is anticipated to spend on the project in that year.

    • Proposed Annual Salary per FTE for personnel may not exceed the NIH salary cap at the time of application. Please refer to the most recent NIH salary cap to determine the cap. Prorated salary increases that exceed the current NIH salary cap for future project years are not allowable.

  • Consultant fees

  • Fringe benefits, in accordance with your institution's policy and practice. MJFF reserves the right to request substantiation of any fringe rates used.

  • Subawards, inclusive of indirect costs accruing to the subawardee organization. Please note that even though subaward indirects are not detailed in the MJFF budget template, the collaborating institution paying the subaward is responsible for ensuring that the subaward complies with MJFF’s Indirect Cost Rate Policy.

  • Research supplies required for the project

  • Standard research equipment and maintenance that is required to conduct the proposed research, excluding general office computer and software upgrades. Specialized equipment and technology needs may also be considered.

  • Travel costs that are required to complete the project

  • Post-Doctoral Fellow stipends if the individual is providing ≥ 75% effort on the project

  • For clinical studies only, the following costs are allowable:

    • Costs associated with recruitment & retention, including participant travel and/or accommodations

    • Costs associated with grantee regulatory submissions, including the filing and maintenance of an IND application

    • Costs associated with manufacturing, reformulating, or packaging investigational drugs

Unallowable Costs

MJFF does not permit funding to be allocated toward any of the below costs by grantees or their subawardees:

  • General office technology, including computers, software upgrades, and fees. Specialized equipment and technology needs may be considered, if deemed necessary to conduct the proposed research.

  • General office expenses, such as office supplies

  • Publication costs. These will be covered by MJFF if the project is funded according to the terms of the MJFF Open Access Policy and are not to be included in the application budget.

  • Travel to conferences and MJFF initiated meetings. MJFF hosts a forum in which project outcomes will be shared, if funding is allocated.

  • Entertainment

  • Accommodation costs or living expenses

  • Laboratory or facility renovation

  • Tuition-related costs for students and post-doctoral fellows, including student insurance, housing, visa, and tuition fees

  • Indirect costs in excess of MJFF’s policy (up to 10% for for-profit institutions and up to 15% for non-profit and academic institutions—please refer to the MJFF Indirect Cost Rate Policy below)

MJFF reserves the right to make final decisions on allowable and unallowable costs within individual project contexts.

MJFF Indirect Cost Rate Policy

MJFF believes in maximizing its impact through good stewardship of its funds, while also acknowledging
the true cost for our partners of delivering efficient results. In keeping with this belief, MJFF's indirect cost policy is to contribute funding for expenses that are associated with the general running of our partners' business through an indirect cost rate, applied to each institution’s direct costs.

MJFF defines DIRECT COSTS as expenses required to execute a grant that are directly attributable to and can reasonably be allocated to the project. Direct costs are comprised of the sum of the Personnel, Consultants, and Other Direct Costs sections of the MJFF budget template.

In contrast, MJFF defines INDIRECT COSTS as general overhead and administrative expenses that support the entire operation of the grantee and may be shared across projects (for example, utilities, IT systems, and general administrative staff such as a grants office). These expenses would be incurred regardless of whether the grant is funded.

Recouping indirect costs on a grant is optional. If you are not requesting indirect costs, please enter the indirect rate as 0% on the provided budget template.

MJFF allows grantees and subawardees to apply an indirect cost rate to their budget's total direct costs (the sum of personnel, consultants, and other direct costs), subject to the following limitations:

  • Non-profit and academic institutions may apply up to a 15% indirect cost rate to their direct costs

  • For-profit institutions may apply up to a 10% indirect cost rate to their direct costs

Please note that these are the maximum rates allowed. An institution with an actual indirect cost rate lower than the maximum should not apply the maximum rate. MJFF expects that institutions are regularly assessing their overhead costs in relation to their ability to operate effectively and efficiently.

MJFF reserves the right to request substantiation of any institution’s indirect cost rate.

Indirects and multi-institution collaborations

If multiple institutions are collaborating on a grant and both receiving funding directly through MJFF,
each institution may apply an indirect cost rate to its institution's total direct costs in accordance with MJFF policy. If one institution is a non-profit and the other is a for-profit, the first may apply a rate of up to 15% to that institution's direct costs and the second may apply a rate of up to 10% to that institution's direct costs.

INDIRECTS AND SUBAWARDS

If one collaborating institution’s budget includes subawards (paid directly by the collaborating institution
and reported in the Subawards section of the MJFF budget template), then the subawardee(s) may recoup indirect expenses through the application of an indirect rate to their direct costs. If the subawardee is a non-profit or academic institution, up to 15% may be applied. If the subawardee is a for-profit institution, up to 10% may be applied. Although subawards are reported to MJFF as lump sums on the MJFF budget template, MJFF expects collaborating institutions to request detailed budgets from their subawardees and ensure compliance with MJFF policy.

It is MJFF's policy that an institution may not apply its own indirect cost rate to its subawards. For
example, if an institution has $100,000 in personnel costs, $50,000 in consultant costs, $300,000 in other direct costs, and a $60,000 subaward, it may only apply its indirect cost rate to the sum of the personnel costs, consultant costs, and other direct costs. However, the $60,000 subaward may include indirect costs accruing to the subawardee institution.

indirects and co-funding

If an institution will be receiving co-funding for any personnel, consultant, or other direct costs, then its
indirect cost rate is applied to only the portion of these costs that MJFF is funding (the direct costs less any co-funding).

Exchange Rates

Non-U.S. based institutions should apply the exchange rate between local currency and USD at the time of application.

In the budget justification section of the Proposal Template, please note the date the rate was calculated, exact exchange rate, and source of information.

Should significant changes to the exchange rate occur between the time of application and distribution of funds, a discussion, and potential adjustment, should occur with your MJFF project manager.

Completing the MJFF Budget Template

General Guidelines: On the detailed budget tab of the MJFF budget template, you will enter values in the orange cells. The gray cells are locked for editing, as many contain formulas. They will auto populate based on the values you enter in the pink cells.

The detailed budget tab contains a budget section for up to three institutions. If there are less than three institutions, you may leave sections blank as needed but applicants should not delete, as this will cause computational errors.

The following sections should be completed for each collaborating institution: Personnel, Consultants, Other Direct Costs, Indirect Costs, and Subawards. The budget template accommodates up to a 3-year project. Only enter data for years 2 and 3 if applicable. You may hide the columns of years you are not using, but please do not delete.

All costs must be represented in USD.

Personnel Section: This section should only contain employees of the collaborating institution (not Consultants or subawardees). All research team members listed on the Research Team Member grid of the application, should be included in the personnel section, regardless if listed as paid or unpaid personnel. When completing this section for each collaborating institution, you must enter:

  • Name

  • Role played on the project

  • Years 1, 2, and 3 Annual Salary per FTE: enter each employee's Annual Salary per Full Time Equivalent (FTE) (or annualized wage compensation) for each year of the project. In other words, what is the person’s full-time salary at their institution? If they are not working full time, what would their salary be if they were working full time? MJFF adheres to the NIH salary cap when determining the maximum annual salary per FTE, so please check this cap before completing your budget. If a team member’s salary will not be supported by MJFF funding, please enter their salary as $0.00.

  • Year 1, 2, and 3 Allocation: enter each employee’s allocation as a decimal for each year of the project. This is the proportion of time they will spend on the project. This is based on FTE hours. For example, if the employee will be spending 100% of their time on the project in Year 1, enter 1. If the employee will be spending 25% of their time on the grant in Year 1, enter 0.25. However, if an employee is working at an institution 50% of the time and they will be spending 50% of their available part time hours on the project, then the allocation should be 0.25 as this is the proportion they would be working on the project if they were full time.

  • Year 1, 2, and 3 Months on Project: enter how many months each employee will spend on the project for each year. For example, if you expect the project to last 12 months and a person’s role will be involved throughout the 12 months, enter 12. If their role will only be working on the project for 6 months in Year 1, enter 6.

  • % Benefits (or fringe rate): express the value of the employee's benefits package, if applicable, as a percentage of their FTE salary (even if they will not be working full time on the project). This must be in accordance with your institution’s policy and practice. MJFF reserves the right to request substantiation of any fringe rates used.

  • The totals will auto populate in the gray cells. For each year, the following calculation will determine personnel costs: annual salary per FTE x allocation x (Months on Project/12) x (1+ % Benefits).

Consultants Section: Please refer to how MJFF defines consultants under the Team Definitions section of this document. When completing the budget template, you must enter:

  • Name

  • Purpose on the project

  • Year 1, 2, and 3 billing rate: this could be a daily rate, a monthly rate, or a fixed fee. Just enter the dollar value. If the consultant will not receive a fee, enter their billing rate as $0 and complete the rest of the fields.

  • Year 1, 2, and 3 billable units: for example, if the billing unit is days and the consultant will work 30 days in the first year, enter 30. If the billing unit is months and the consultant will work 6 months, enter 6. If the consultant will be paid a fixed fee, enter 1.

  • Billing unit that corresponds with the billing rate entered (for example, days, months, fixed fee, etc.)

  • The totals will auto populate in the gray cells. For each year, the following calculation will determine consultant costs: billing rate x billable units.

Other Direct Costs Section: The Other Direct Costs portion of the budget should include direct costs that are not personnel or consultant costs. Some examples of costs that should be included in this section are research supplies, equipment required by the project’s needs, and travel costs that directly pertain to the project needs. Please refer to the guidance on allowable costs when completing this section. When completing the budget template, you must enter:

  • Item Description: describe the specific item(s). For example, instead of “Supplies” please include more specific line items like “Cryotank” or “Animal Husbandry."

  • Purpose of Item: succinctly describe the purpose of the item.

  • Cost per Item: this can either be a single unit cost or a lump sum cost, if appropriate.

  • Year 1, 2, and 3 Quantities: enter the quantities needed of the item for each year. If the Cost per Item is a lump sum, the quantity should be 1.

  • The totals will auto populate in the gray cells. For each year, the following calculation will determine other direct costs: cost per item x quantity.

Indirect Costs Section: Please refer to the MJFF Indirect Cost Rate Policy for guidance on applying indirect rates. For each collaborating institution, enter the appropriate indirect rate as a percentage (for example, 10%). The budget template will apply that rate to the sum of that institution’s personnel, consultant, and other direct costs for each year.

Subawards Section: Please refer to how MJFF defines subawards in the Team Definitions section of this document. When completing the budget template, you must enter:

  • The subaward organization

  • Purpose of Subaward: provide a succinct description of the subaward purpose.

  • Year 1, 2, and 3 direct costs plus indirect costs as a lump sum. Please note that even though subaward indirects are not broken out in the MJFF budget template, the collaborating institution paying the subaward institution is responsible for ensuring that the subaward complies with MJFF’s Indirect Cost Rate Policy (for-profits may apply up to 10% to their direct costs and non-profits may apply up to 15% to their direct costs).

Grand Total: The detailed budgets for all collaborating institutions will flow into the orange Grand Total portion at the bottom of the sheet. This section provides a breakdown of total funding requested for each cost category for each year, across all institutions. This number should match exactly the number input in the Total Requested Amount field under the Attachments tab in the online application.

Summary Tab: The Summary tab is locked for editing and will auto populate from the values entered in the Detailed Budget tab. However, you can still access the Summary tab to view a breakdown of all proposed costs for the project.

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