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United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

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Proposal Guidance

USAID proposals are normally submitted via email by the PI/Department. 

Submission deadline times vary by funding opportunity.

Authorized Representative signatures are typically required on the following documents:

  • Certifications, Assurances, Representations, and Other Statements of the Recipient
  • Cost Application Cover Page
  • Technical Application Cover Page
  • SF-424, SF-424A and SF-424B

Please work with your Proposal Team on obtaining authorized signatures.

Budget Guidelines

The guidelines listed here are generally applicable to this sponsor. Please refer to the solicitation for any deviation to standard guidelines or specific requirements for a program.


Base salaries should be based on KR values unless a known increase/decrease, other than the standard 2-4% escalation, is expected. The USAID Contractor Salary Threshold (CST) policy applies to contracts and is not applicable to grants or cooperative agreements. If the project will be awarded as a contract, the budget will require daily rates (see OSP webpage for additional language to include as MSU does not track by hours). Max daily rate for 2020 is $698.08 (based on 2080 hours or 260 days), or $181,500 annual. When calculating daily rates for MSU faculty, the daily rate is determined based on the individual's appointment type (AN: 229 days, AY: 188 days). For MSU staff, use 260 days to calculate the daily rate. If sponsor required fully-burdened rate, include salary, fringe, and F&A costs in the daily rate.
Fringe should be based on KR values
Research Associate (Post Doc) Salary
Salaries should be based on KR values if a current employee; the current minimum salary for a Post Doc can be found at this link
Research Associate (Post Doc) Fringe
Fringe should be based on KR values; Post Docs are eligible for retirement in the 4th year of employment, or immediately if they participated in a retirement plan at a previous employer that made employer contributions. Please contact HR for more information.
Graduate Student Stipend
Stipend amounts should be based on standard/published college/department levels or HR levels; see above for daily/hourly calculation
Graduate Student Fringe
Appropriate health benefits should be applied based on the current Grad Fringe Chart; 7.65% for summer hourly work
Undergraduate Labor
Usually based on hourly rates; see HR standard rates
Undergraduate Fringe
Fringe of 7.65% applied during the summer; fringe only applied during AY if student is not expected to be enrolled full time
Administrative Staff
Allowable per UG if justified and integral for the project, can be specifically identified with a project or activity, and are not also recovered as IDC; salaries and fringes should be based on KR values; see above for daily/hourly calculation


Allowable; note that the sponsor normally requires equipment to be signed over to the cooperating country; the department will need to work with the mission concerning equipment disposition

Participant Support Costs

Allowable for participants or trainees (but not employees) in connection with conferences or training projects only; should be excluded from F&A


Includes U.S, Canada, Mexico, and U.S. possessions; justification should include the purpose of travel, destination, dates of travel (if known) or estimated number of days, and the number of individuals for each trip

Includes any destination not considered domestic; justification should include travel destination, number of trips, days, and travelers, breakdown of lodging and per diem rates in accordance with Department of State webpage; ground transportation, visa costs, HTH Worldwide Insurance, DBA Insurance, and vaccines/immunizations are often included. For additional guidance budgeting expenses associated with international travel please see our webpage,

MSU International Budget Preparation Considerations

Other Direct Costs

Computer Services/ADP
Justification based on the established computer service rates (internal rates must be approved by Financial Analysis); leasing computer equipment is allowed
Allowable when associated with the proposed work and must be necessary to accomplish proposal objectives or to disseminate its results; USAID funds cannot be used to cover conference costs or travel for any member of a foreign government unless approved by the Agreement Officer (AO) in writing
Consultant Services
Allowable; Justification can include name of individual, expertise, hourly/daily rate of compensation, and the number of days expected on the project
Equipment/Facility Rental
Allowable if not part of the indirect cost structure; if rental costs are part of the indirect cost structure, only the allocable cost to the project may be charged to the grant
Graduate Student Tuition & Fees
Should match the graduate student tuition chart; prorating is recommended
Allowable as speaker fees
Allowable; incentives should not be so great as to coerce or unduly influence participation in the project
Typically not allowable as a direct charge
Materials & Supplies
Details and justification should be included for items requested to support the project; costs of marking equipment and public outreach materials with the USAID logo should be included
Generally not applicable, but allowable when integral and considered a necessary part of a conference (e.g. working meals where business is transacted) for participants
Generally allowable; verify that AIDAR 752.227-14 is not included in the solicitation or applicable documents, as this contains a publication restriction under paragraph (d)(3)
Subaward budget, justification, scope of work, and commitment form must be on file internally; subaward budget and justification will need to be submitted with proposal; additional information may be needed to draft the subcontract after an award is received
Visa Fees
Generally allowable as travel is often anticipated




Applicable MSU NICRA rate should be used based on the activity type, unless limited by the solicitation

Cost Share

Only include if required by the solicitation.


Export Control

All USAID awards require ECORRW routing.  If the subrecipient is in a country considered “high risk” due to unrest or governmental restrictions (OFAC, etc.), an ECORRW may be needed for the individual subaward.  When unsure, contact ECTS to confirm requirements.

Human Subjects

If the project includes human subject’s research, IRB approval will be required prior to account set-up.

Animal Subjects

If the project includes animal subjects, IACUC approval will be required prior to account set-up.

Conflict of Interest

Project-based Conflict of Interest disclosures are required for all key personnel prior to account set-up.

Award Guidance

Generally USAID grants and cooperative agreements do not include difficult language, however, a compliance plan for the prevention of human trafficking is required for each project.  Subawards under contracts issued to MSU, (usually the prime recipient is a for-profit entity), normally include a publication restriction in AIDAR 752.227-14 that must be removed.


OSP will draft all USAID subawards and amendments.  Required documentation includes:

  • Statement or Scope of Work (SOW)
  • Budget
  • Budget narrative
  • Subrecipient Commitment Form
  • Current financial audit
  • EBDs (Technically required only for contracts; MSU uses these as a means to verify salaries for all types of awards.)

Prior Approvals

Common prior approvals include, but are not limited to:

  • Change in Scope or objectives.
  • Change in key person specified in the application or award.
  • Disengagement from the project for more than 3 months or a 25% reduction in time devoted to the project by the approved project director or principal investigator.
  • For awards over $150,000, transferring funds among direct cost categories that exceeds 10% of the total budget approved by the sponsor.
  • Subawarding, transferring or contracting out any work not included in the approved budget.
  • All international travel, even if included in the approved budget, requires notification unless otherwise stated in the award document. Notification should be given to the Mission prior to visiting the Mission Country.
  • Administrative/Clerical staff not included in the approved budget.
  • Equipment not included in the approved budget.
  • Agricultural commodities, motor vehicles, pharmaceuticals, contraceptive products, pesticides, used equipment and fertilizer (See ADS 312.3.3.1 through 312.3.3.7).


Requirements may vary by agreement and as such the information below encompasses a wide range of possible reporting requirements, though additional requirements may be necessary as they pertain to the specific award.

Financial Reporting

Recipients of USAID awards generally must comply with the financial reporting requirements set forth in 2 CFR 200.327. Financial reporting requirements will depend on the method of payment.

  • Submit quarterly financial reports (SF425) not later than 30 days after the end of each government calendar quarter. 
  • Final report is due not later than 90 days after the end date.
  • Submit all financial reports following 2 CFR 200.328 to the AOR and a copy of the final report to USAID LOC Unit.

The timeline and schedule for submitting expenditure data by implementing partners to USAID Missions will be set by the terms of the implementing mechanism (e.g. contract, agreement). Quarterly submission is recommended, to align this reporting with the standard financial reporting.

Programmatic Reporting

  • Annual Work Plans are due no later than 60 days from the effective date of the award. Submit one draft copy to the AOR covering year 1. Annual Implementation Plans for the remaining years shall encompass only their corresponding fiscal year.
  • Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Plan is due no later than 60 days from the effective date of the award. Submit a copy of a draft MEL plan to the AOR.
  • Semi-Annual Program Performance Reports shall be submitted April 30 of each year covering the period of October 1 (of the previous year) through March 31, and October 31 of each year, covering the period of April 1 through September 30. Submit a copy to the AOR.
  • Submit one copy of the annual and/or final results report to the AOR. Reports shall cover the period of October 1st through September 30th of each year. Report is due no later than 90 days after the project end date.

Other Reporting

  • Reporting host Government Taxes is due April 16 each year of the award.  Submit reports to the Embassy, Mission, or M/CFO/CMP as appropriate.  Reports are required even if there were no taxes paid or received any reimbursements during the reporting period.
  • All patents/inventions must be reported through iEDISON ( Reports on utilization of subject inventions must be submitted annually to the Agreement Officer’s Representative (AOR) with a final report due within 90 days after the end of the project.
  • Submit no later than 90 days after the project end date, a final inventory report to the AOR.

Effort Reporting / Cost Share

Effort Reporting

MSU effort reporting overview and FAQ’s can be found on the Sponsored Program Administration website at the following link:

Effort reporting instructions can also be located on the Sponsored Program Administration website:

For additional questions and information, please contact the CGA Effort Reporting inbox at

Cost Share

Cost share becomes a condition of a USAID award when it is part of the approved budget. The cost share must be verifiable and documentation must be maintained.

Information on cost share can be found on the Sponsored Programs Administration website at the following link:

In cases where salaried cost share has been committed, MSU uses the effort reporting system for tracking and documentation.  Non-salary cost share is documented through PI certified operating statements.

Record Retention

Financial records, supporting documents, statistical records, and all other records pertinent to an award shall be retained for a period of three years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report (2CFR 226.53).

Sponsor Resources

Forms and Templates

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