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Navigate: Advanced Budgeting I

Navigate: Advanced Budgeting I course

Stay tuned for the next Navigate: Advanced Budgeting I course. 

The application process is now closed.

Advanced Budgeting I- Navigating Research Administration at the University of Michigan

Target Audience

The Navigate: Advanced Budgeting I course is recommended for research administrators:

  • is recommended for intermediate research administrators with two or more years of on-the-job experience 
  • who have been exposed to and regularly produce basic budgets for sponsored research proposals
  • are familiar with various appointment types included in sponsored project budgets, including faculty (U-year and 12-month), staff, and graduate students
  • are familiar with how to calculate common budget elements including indirect costs and modified total direct costs (MTDC)

Course Content

This course will be the first in a series of three that will move the learner through increasingly more advanced budgeting topics. It is designed to provide immersive complex budget development and preparation training to the learner engaged in research administration.

From class demonstrations and modeling, participants will then apply budget techniques to build their own budgets with budget justifications, each with increasingly more complex elements and attributes. Budgets will represent a broad spectrum of budget types and sponsors. The learner will engage and participate in class walk-through demonstrations, discussion of budget-building and problem-solving strategies typical in the context of proposal submission, and then work through reinforcing budget development homework assignments.

Each learning experience will include laboratory assistance and in-class debrief discussion. By the end of this course, the learner will have mastered the building of two moderately complex budgets and will keep the step-by-step documentation and Excel templates to use in developing similar budgets in their own positions. Budget attributes which will be included in this budgeting course include: 

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) (2-year, $315K) and Department of Transportation (DoT) (multi-year, < $1M) budgets for sponsors with mixed effort/appointments in budgets including 12-month, U-Year, VA, and pool (with SVH) appointments;
  • Multiple methods of fringe rate calculation based on sponsor requirements and appointment types;
  • Conversion of effort from percent (%) effort to loaded labor hour(s);
  • Loaded Labor rates included on a task-based, multi-year budget with a base budget period and option years; and,
  • Simple cost sharing.

Additionally, participants will get:

  • Reinforcement and practice in multiple appointment types, including:
    • Veterans Administration (VA) 
    • University-year (U-year)
    • 12-month Approach
    • Graduate Student Research Assistants
    • Temp Hourly
  • Tenets for incorporating VA appointments in proposals and budget justifications
  • Building loaded labor hour budgets for task-based submissions
  • Orientation to nuances of Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Transportation (DoT) submissions
    Tips and tricks for participation with faculty in developing and planning for complex budgets

Schedule and Requirements

The Research Project Lifecycle

Attendees for this course will need to submit an application so that the course design team members can evaluate readiness for participating in class discussions, budget building exercises and homework. This course will be offered as three half-day sessions, with at least a two-week break in between each session for completion of homework and laboratory support as needed. Attendance is mandatory at all sessions since full completion of the course includes demonstration and homework; customized support from instructors can be scheduled for cases of emergency. Completion of this course will require full submission of both budget homework assignments, with one including a budget justification. The pilot course schedule is as follows:

Training Schedule
Location: Wolverine Tower 
Time: See below

  • Day 1:  TBD
  • Day 2:  TBD
  • Day 3:  TBD


Students should have experience preparing general budgets for sponsored research in their current U-M positions, with two or more years of on-the-job experience. In addition, learners should have completed the Navigate: Fundamentals course, former RAIN modules, or equivalent coursework focused on budget preparation for sponsored research.

How to Apply

The application process is now closed.

  • Submit a completed Course Application form.
  • There will be a limit of 15 participants.
Supervisor Requirements
  • Ensure the applicant/participant will be permitted time to attend all three half-day, instructor-led sessions.
  • Support the participant with tasks assigned in between sessions, including in-person meetings as necessary.
  • Participate in training evaluations.

Selected Participant Requirements

  • Attend all three half-day, instructor-led sessions.
  • Complete all assignments.
  • Participate in program evaluations.
  • Participants should bring a fully-charged laptop each day.

Selection Process

  • Applications will be reviewed by the Navigate Training and Design Teams to ensure completeness.
  • The Navigate Team and Design Team will review applications and select participants.
  • Applicants will receive a confirmation email to let them know whether they have been selected.
  • Up to 15 participants will be selected to attend the Navigate: Advanced Budgeting I (Pilot) course.

Course Resources / Materials

  • Canvas will be used to store documents (PowerPoint, job aids, handouts, templates), hold discussion board, post homework materials/assignments (when applicable).
  • All sessions' materials will be provided.

Course Fee

The course fee is $150 per participant and includes:

  • Instructor-led sessions
  • Course materials
  • Refreshments will be served

Note: The fee is payable in advance using a shortcode.


For questions on Navigate and other training initiatives, please contact the Training Team at