Budget Preparation

When a faculty member or unit based research office seeks the help of ORSO to develop or
review a budget, ORSO will do so to ensure that all proposed costs are allowable per the
proposal guidelines and the Uniform Guidance, 2 CFR 200. Particular attention will be paid to
the budget justification to check that there is sufficient explanation about each line item to be
sure that all costs are coded correctly for F&A cost recovery. It is important to note that costs
associated with participant support costs, human subjects incentive fees and any stipend
related proposed costs must have a clear explanation in the budget justification so that there is no
confusion about the purpose of these costs and that they are listed in the budget correctly with
associated F&A costs as allowed. Questions can be addressed with your college-based research
office or the central pre-award research office (Research Services and Outreach) as well as your
assigned research administrator in Grants and Contracts Administration.


F&A Costs 



Raises for succeeding years should be estimated an average increase of two (2) percent per year. Raises are effective July 1 of each year.


Minimum Wage:

  • $7.25 / hour Student Temporary
  • $10.75 / hour Non-student Temporary
  • Actual rate based on job duties and responsibilities as described by Office of State Personnel


Fringe Benefits

(updated July for FY 2020 fringe benefit rates effective 7/1/2019)*


Chart of Average Fringe Benefit Rates

The below rates are based on average faculty & staff salaries for each Employee Category. If the average project salary is anticipated to be considerably lower, appropriate benefits should be calculated (Chart for estimating Fringe Benefits by salary). The reason is because health insurance is a static amount ($) per year and not a function of an employee's salary (rate %). As such, if the annual FTE salary is less than the average salary bases specified below, the effective rates associated with health insurance increase.

Employee Category Average Salary Base FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2021 FY 2022+
(Approved) (Projected) (Projected)
EHRA Faculty & Staff $71,000 29.1% 30.7% 32.3% 33.3% 34.4%
SHRA Staff $41,000 39.2% 42.2% 45.0% 48.2% 51.4%
Post Doc $47,000 18.8% 16.7% 16.9% 17.2% 17.4%
Graduate Student*** $15,000 20.0% 0.13% 0.13% 0.13% 0.13%
Undergraduate Student*   3.02% 0.13% 0.13% 0.13% 0.13%
Non-Enrolled Undergraduate/Graduate Student (SUMMER)*   10.7% 7.8% 7.8% 7.8% 7.8%
Temporary** $ 41,000  14.4% 11.8% 11.9% 12.1% 12.2%

* Undergraduate & Non-Enrolled (Summer) Students and Temporary Employees do not receive health insurance. Therefore, an average salary base was not calculated.

**Temporary employees were eligilble for health insurance beginning FY15 as a result of the Affordable Care Act.  A premium of $141.75/month is paid by the employer for employees who elect this coverage.  This premium has been included for FY19 and subsequent rate projections.

***Graduate Student Health Insurance is budgeted in addition to the costs above. The 2019-2020 Student Health Insurance premium is $2,627. Project yearly increases at 3% above the previous year's rate. 

To facilitate the budgeting of grant and contract proposals to external agencies, the Cost Analysis Unit of the Office of Grants & Contracts Administration has provided a three-year rate projection. Rates for fiscal years 2019-22+ are based on approved/projected rates for medical insurance premiums paid for employees by the state, a biennial state directive on retirement rates, & federally negotiated Claims-Made rates.  If you have questions about these rates, please contact the Cost Analysis Unit at 704‑687‑1875.


Detail Breakdown of FY2020 Fringe Benefit Rates (effective 7/1/2019)

Employee Category Retirement FICA / Social Security Claims-
Total Fixed Fringe Rate w/o Health Insurance   Annual Health Insurance Premium   Average Fringe Benefit Rate
EHRA Faculty & Staff 13.27% 7.65% 2.43% 23.5%




SHRA Staff 19.66% 7.65% 2.43% 29.7% $6,262 45.0%
Post Doc 0% 7.65% 0.13% 7.78% $4,277 16.9%
Graduate Student* 0% 0% 0.13% 0.13% $2,627 0.13%
Undergraduate Student 0% 0% 0.13% 0.13% - 0.13%
Undergraduate / Graduate Student (SUMMER) 0% 7.65% 0.13% 7.78% - 7.8%
Temporary 0% 7.65% 0.13% 7.78% $1,701 11.9%

For more information, please see the links below:

Annual Health Insurance Premium Costs:



North Carolina Senate Bill 257 (pg 403)

Post Doc:


Postdoctoral Fellows - Benefits

Graduate Student:


UNC Charlotte Student Health Insurance

*UNC Charlotte Student Health Insurance is now separately budgeted in addition to the claims made rate. The 2019-2020 premium is $2,627.

Retirement & FICA/Social Security

Claims-Made Rates



  • Include undergraduate/graduate student tuition as needed as a separate line item under other direct costs.
  • Click here for the university's tuition and fees information.
  • Project yearly increases at 5.5% above the previous year's rate. (This escalation rate is projected based on historical data and trend in tuition increases across the state of North Carolina.)


Facilities and Administrative Cost (Indirect/Overhead):