Skip to Main Content

Salaries, Overhead, and ROSES Proposal Budgets

The text further down on this page has been updated for ROSES-2016. If you are preparing a proposal for A.2 Land Cover / Land Use Change, or A.44 SERVIR Applied Sciences Team, those are ROSES-2015, they don't follow the new rules. Our apologies for the confusion. If you don't have any civil servants on your proposal to A.2, or A.44 then you don't need to redact anything, just summarize everything in your cover page budget and include a full and complete detailed budget in your proposal document as you always did. If you have a NASA Civil Servant on your ROSES-2015 proposal to A.2 or A.44 then you will need to redact their costs and tell the NASA Civil Servant to see the instructions at That's only for the last due dates in ROSES-2015. For ROSES-2016 due dates (e.g., B.4 Heliophysics Guest Investigators due on 04/22/2016, D.2 Astrophysics Data Analysis due on 05/13/2016, A.29 NASA Data for Operation and Assessment due on 05/20/2016, A.46 Ecological Forecasting, or E.3 the Exoplanets Research Program, due 05/26/2016) then follow the new instructions below.

As described in Section IV(b)iii of the ROSES-2016 Summary of Solicitation, all salaries and overhead, including those for NASA civil servants, must be included in the NSPIRES cover page budgets, which will not be seen by the peer reviewers. However, no salaries or overhead should be included in the body of the main proposal, which will be seen by peer reviewers. Budgets are not requested for Step-1 nor (Swift and Fermi) Phase-1 proposals and some program elements, such as K2 Guest Observer - Cycle 5 specifically say budgets are not requested. Other than that, however, most Step-2 proposals will require a budget justification and a detailed budget as part of the proposal as you have done in the past, the only difference being that you will omit costs of salaries, fringe/overhead/indirect costs, and total cost from the body of the budget justification and a detailed budget in the proposal. In addition, all ROSES program elements are set up to allow proposers to separately upload a "Total Budget" PDF to the same ROSES program element NSPIRES "response structure" to which the proposal is submitted. This "Total Budget" PDF will not be seen by the peer reviewers, only by NASA staff. This "Total Budget" PDF is where you will provide all of those extra details that NASA needs that you could not include in the proposal document. Your  "Total Budget" PDF will include all of the detailed budget that you got from your organization and from other organizations, including indirect rate information and, in the case of NASA centers, phased by fiscal year. For more information see below and see Section IV(b)iii of the ROSES-2016 Summary of Solicitation.

1.    Salary and overhead for team members from your organization

All proposers, including NASA centers, must include the cost for the time (and fringe) of the PI and all Co-Is from your organization in Section A. Senior/Key Personnel, see Figure 1, below.

Paid team members from your organization who are not Co-Is (e.g., students or technicians) go in Section B. Note, commas between entered numbers will give an error. Once you have correctly entered the salary and overhead numbers from your organization for the team members and save it then the system NSPIRES will total it up for you.

When the proposal is evaluated by the peer review panel they will not see any of the $ numbers in the Personnel Sections (A & B), or the overhead in Section H, all of that will be automatically redacted. No $ for anyone’s salary, fringe or any organization’s overhead should appear anywhere in the body of the proposal. All NASA funds for all organizations participating in this proposal must be in the NSPIRES cover page budget so that the total is correct. See the next section if you have funds going to another organization in addition to yours.

2. Funds for other organizations working with you

All NASA funds for all organizations participating in your proposal must be in the NSPIRES cover page budget somewhere so that the total is correct. However, there are two very different ways that organizations working with you will be funded: Funds for Co-Is at non-governmental organizations (like universities, research non-profits, or subcontracts commercial vendors) will pass through your organization i.e., the funds will come to your institution and then you will send it to them via a subaward of some kind. For those pass through awards your organization may collect some kind of overhead (typically up to a certain threshold). We’ll deal with these subawards to non-governmental organizations in the section 4, below. But first, we need deal with any funds going to government labs, such as NASA centers, including JPL. Your NASA program officer really needs to know about any funds going to a governmental organization because it’s that person’s responsibility to send the right amount the right place. If you have any funds going to organizations other than your own its imperative that you break this out clearly in the cover page budgets and separately upload a "Total Budget" PDF. If you don't have any funds going to a government lab or NASA center, you may skip ahead to Section 4.

3. Proposals with Government Co-Is

Any proposer who plans to have funds sent to a government lab should read this section carefully. These instructions about Government Co-Is are the same whether the proposal is from a university with a funded NASA Center Co-I or if it's a proposal from one a government lab with a Co-I at another government lab. Funds for government Co-Is will not pass through your organization, your organization may not collect overhead on that portion of the award, those funds will be split off and sent directly from NASA HQ. However, those funds still must appear in the NSPIRES cover page budget. The best place for those is in Section F lines 8 or 9. Those lines are blank and you can type anything you want in there, so you can tell the program officer where those funds are going, see Figure 2, below, in which I have noted that the $150K in line 8 is for my Co-Is at the Naval Research Lab, and the $80K in line 9 is for my Co-I at Goddard Space Flight Center. Don't use line 10 for salary or overhead, its not redacted. If you have funds going to a government organization you really should get a detailed budget from them, phased by fiscal year, and include that in the separately upload a "Total Budget" PDF.

One may also use line 5 for a subaward to a government lab as well, but the generic subaward line in Section F line 5 cannot be customized, so generally its used for pass through sub awards of the type described in the next section. In any case, lines Section F lines 5, 8 & 9 will all be hidden from the peer reviewers but seen by NASA, and the budget justification section of the proposal should explicitly state which lines are for which organization. This is especially important when using line 5, since there would otherwise be no way of knowing what that's for.

If you have three or fewer other funded organizations then put them separately inSection F lines 5, 8 & 9, break out procurements in the detailed budget, and rationalize procurements and time of investigators in the budget justification section. If you have more than three organizations in addition to your own that are receiving funds via this award then you will have to combine at least two. If you have more than one subaward to a non-governmental organization passing through your institution then combine those first, they are all going to your organization anyway.

If you have Co-Is at more than three different governmental organizations then combine those in one of the customizable lines (Section F lines 8 or 9) as seen in the example below and definitely upload to NSPIRES a separate detailed "Total Budget" document file that explains all of this.

Again, do not use line 10 for salary or overhead because it’s not automatically redacted.

When the proposal is evaluated by the peer review panel they will not see any of the $ numbers in the Personnel Sections or in Section F lines 5, 8 & 9, all of that will be automatically redacted.

4. Proposals with subawards going to non-governmental organizations

Funds for non-governmental organizations that pass through your organization go in Section F line 5. Subawards/Consortium/ Contractual Costs, or in lines 8 or 9, which are customizable, if you have not already used lines 8 and 9 for funds going to government labs. If you have three or fewer other funded organizations then put them separately in Section F lines 5, 8 & 9. As above, in Section 3, if you have more than three other funded organizations then some of them will need to be combined. Always combine the funds for the non-governmental participants first, because those are passing through your organization. Always keep funds for government labs separate in lines 8 and 9 if you can.

Don’t forget to include in the main proposal PDF all procurement items (including those in a sub award) in the detailed budget and explain them in the budget justification section, since the peer reviewers are best qualified to assess whether those procurements make sense. For example, lets say your Co-I supported by the subaward says she needs to purchase a Tektronix MDO4000C digital oscilloscope. You would list that with a price (e.g., $3,450) in the detailed budget. In the budget justification you would provide explanations e.g., why does she need a $3.5K MDO4000C oscilloscope, why wont a $450 TBS1000B suffice? Also, in the budget justification in the main proposal PDF you will also make reference to the subaward e.g., “0.5 FTE are allocated for Co-I Dr. H. West as can be seen the summary table of work effort. Dr. West will be funded via a subaward to the Miskatonic foundation in Arkham, Mass. The total cost for that subaward is given in the cover page budget in Section F line 5 and is included in the separately uploaded Total Budget pdf file.”

If you have questions feel free to send then to

Subscribe to the SARA mailing list: