Subgrants: Chandra Cost Proposal Common Errors

It is important that all cost proposals be submitted complete and on time. Late cost proposals and errors on cost proposals have a serious negative impact on research projects. Below are some of the errors that are seen on cost proposals every year. Instructions for the preparation of cost proposals are on our web site at:

Note that each cost proposal must be submitted both electronically using RPS and via hard copy.

General Errors

  1. Incomplete cost proposals. All required documents must be submitted. The Chandra Cost Proposal consists of the following:

    • Chandra Cost Proposal Cover Page (Required)
    • Chandra Cost Proposal Budget Form (Required)
    • Budget Justification (Required)
    • Current/Pending Support (Required – if none, a negative response is required)
    • Copy of Federally Negotiated IDC Rate Agreement (Required – NASA is the only exception)
    • Certification for any workstation and general-purpose equipment costing $5,000 or more. (If applicable) The certification form can be found at:
    • Assurance of Compliance - China Funding Restriction

  2. Failure to submit the required signed hard copy of the complete cost proposal either through e-mail or US Mail/Courier. Proposals submitted through RPS alone are not acceptable.
  3. Late cost proposals. Cost proposals (both through RPS and signed hard copy) must be submitted by the due date.

Chandra Cost Proposal Cover Page Errors

  1. Incorrect CXC Science Proposal Numbers.

  2. Incorrect Project Title.

  3. Incomplete Institution Administrative Contact information. This includes incomplete mailing addresses.

  4. Cover Page must be signed by the institution's authorized individual.

  5. Using “group” e-mail addresses such as “”. While e-mail sent to these addresses reaches several people, our experience shows that we do not receive responses to e-mails that are sent to group e-mail addresses. A specific point-of-contact and their e-mail address must be provided.

Chandra Cost Proposal Budget Form Errors

  1. Missing CoI information. If you have a separately funded CoI on the project, the PI must complete the information in Section J.

  2. Section J. Incorrect amounts for CoI awards.

  3. NASA fees (facilities fees, lab taxes, etc.). Recipient institutions that are subject to NASA fees (facilities fees, lab taxes, etc.) and those fees are to be awarded directly to NASA shall treat those fees as a CoI award. Those funds shall be requested under Section J, CoI Awards of the budget form. The budget justification shall identify the type of fee/tax, the rate to be charged and to which NASA office the funds will be sent.

Budget Justification Errors

All items that are listed on the Budget Form must be addressed in the budget justification. The Proposer must provide adequate budget detail to support estimates. Common errors include insufficient information for the following:

  1. Description of item(s) to be purchased. Example: Simply stating "laptop computer" is insufficient. A detailed description of the laptop must be provided and the source of cost estimates for items to be purchased.

  2. Details of the purpose of proposed travel, both domestic and foreign, in relation to the grant and provide the basis of estimate, including information or assumptions on destination, number of travelers, number of days, conference fees, air fare, lodging, per diem, etc.

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