Budget Tool

The Budget Tool is an interactive spreadsheet (Excel), which has been designed to help you prepare your project budgets.  It provides links with key data (such as salary scales and levies) and summaries for translation into grant applications.

The Budget Tool can either be used to prepare financial information for an application or as a means to help you manage your awarded budget.


As Research Development and Support (RDS) will periodically update the Budget Tool, we strongly recommend you re-download the budget tool from the website at the beginning of each new project to ensure full functionality.

To use the Budget Tool, please follow these simple steps each time you start a new project:

  1. Download the Budget Tool.
    This is currently under review and will be replaced shortly. If you need assistance in preparing a budget, please contact your College Research Administration staff, or the Research Services Office.
  2. Save the file to your computer, using a file name that relates to your Project.
  3. Close Microsoft Excel (if it has opened automatically on download).
  4. Restart Microsoft Excel.
  5. Open the file that relates to your Project.

If you experience difficulties using the Budget Tool, or require technical assistance please contact the Research Development and Support. If you require assistance in preparing a budget using the Budget Tool, please contact your local Research Development Officer.


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Other Application Resources

The following articles contain useful tips and discussion on grant application writing, project planning and budget construction.


A Short Guide to applying for ARC and NHMRC grants (PDF 6MB)  - Research Development and Support guide on the steps required and assistance provided to submit a ARC or NHMRC application through Flinders.
A short guide about NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarships (PDF 6MB)   - Research Development and Support guide on the categories of award, eligibility requirements and assessment criteria and scoring for the various NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarships schemes.


Grantsmanship: achieving success in research funding  - D C Gotley, Wiley Online Library. Discusses essential principles for constructing a successful research grant application.

Writing a good grant proposal – Simon Peyton Jones and Alan Bundy, Microsoft. Discusses criteria for a good grant proposal and common shortcomings.

Writing Your ApplicationNational Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Extramural Research. NIH grants process resources containing some useful general preparation and writing tips.

How to make a simple research budget – Jonathan O’Donnell, The Research Whisperer. Useful project planning and budget construction advice.

FundAssistNational Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA), Flinders University. Comprehensive toolkit to help prepare, plan and write funding applications.

ARC and NHMRC grant proposals top ten tips from the top

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Flinders University Salary Scales Tool

The Flinders University Salary Scales tool can be used to calculate personnel costs associated with your project, including salary on-costs (superannuation, payroll tax, workers compensation etc.).

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Research Infrastructure Levies

Infrastructure costs relate to the general infrastructure associated with the functioning of the University, rather than costs that can be clearly identified and assigned to the specific project or activity. Even in cases where use of University infrastructure may seem minimal, the University will still incur some infrastructure costs associated with, for example, invoicing the client or funding agency, use of the University systems, insurance and professional indemnity cover for staff.

Inclusion of the University’s minimum standard infrastructure charge of 25% of the sum of the direct costs of the activity may generally only represent a partial contribution to infrastructure costs.

Most research income, other than income awarded from nationally competitive grants, will incur a 25% infrastructure levy. This is levied from GST exclusive research income unless the application meets certain exemption criteria as outlined in the Cost Recovery and Pricing Guidelines.

Projects funded by schemes listed on the Australian Competitive Grants Register (ACGR) are exempt from the 25% infrastructure levy. The ACGR lists schemes that provide competitive research grants to higher education providers (HEPs), and can be found on the Australian Government Department of Education website.

Research Funding Bodies Exempt from the Infrastructure Levy

Projects funded by the following funding bodies are eligible for exemption or reduction of the 25% infrastructure levy:

  • South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) research funding
  • Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation
  • FMC Foundation
  • The Repat Foundation (formerly Foundation Daw Park)
  • Mesothelioma Research Foundation - Mesothelioma Research Grants
  • Endeavour Foundation Endowment Challenge Fund
  • Arthritis Australia Research Grants Program
  • Ophthalmic Research Institute of Australia (ORIA)
  • Office for Learning and Teaching Grants (pay 10% levy only)
  • Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) - Australia Awards Fellowship
  • Premier's Research and Industry Fund
  • Rebecca L. Cooper Medical Research Foundation
  • Diabetes SA

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Further resources you may find useful…