Budgeting Graduate Students on Mentor’s Sponsored Research Grant

Determine NIH Maximum (if NIH Proposal)

Per NIH NOT-OD-02-017, Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) support (salary + benefits + tuition/fees) must not exceed the current NRSA postdoc level 0.

While the SF424 instructions say to request actual compensation amounts for graduate students, OSR policy is to apply the Postdoc level 0 in all NIH proposals.

Establish GSR Institutional Base Salary and Escalations

  1. Determine the graduate program in which the GSR is enrolled and whether the program is Basic Science or Social and Populations Sciences. 
  2. Establish the institutional GSR base salary and escalations based on the GSR program:

Basic Sciences

  • Use their agreed upon salary/stipend amount.
  • For 2022-23 starting September 1 the stipend level is $44,000. 
  • For budget purposes because the GSR max effort is limited to 50%, the institutional base salary for 2022-23 is $88,000. On the budget, OSR staff will put the institutional base salary on the budget, with effort level at 50%.
  • Stipend increases/escalates $1500 each year. The institutional base salary increases $3000 each year. 

Social and Populations Sciences

  • Contact the program administrator to determine if they have a salary/stipend amount for their students. 
  • If they do not, the PI and/or department can set their salary and effort levels. 
    1. UCOP Graduate Student salary scale, table 22 
    2. OSR recommends using Step X
  • Follow their program's stipend escalation policy. If they do not have a policy, treat the GSR as an academic; so they receive same raises as other academics in the proposal.


If the sponsor does not fully cover all of the expenses (salary + benefits (8/7/15: currently 1%) + tuition/fees) the PI or Department in the basic sciences programs must supplment using discretionary funds. This is not considered cost sharing