Proposals & Publications Office

Faculty & Staff Salary
Student Costs
Travel & Lodging
Other Important Standard Costs

Faculty & Staff Salary

If you use the UAF internal budget spreadsheet, most of these calculations will be automatic as you fill out your budget.

INE maintains a budget sheet customized for CEM/INE. You can contact us for a copy, complete with the salaries and other standard costs you need.

If you need a quick estimate, here’s how to get it:

  1. Ask the INE Business Office or Proposal Office for an up-to-date hourly salary figure.
  2. Multiply this number by 173.33 hours. This will give you salary per month.
  3. Multiply by the number of months in your budget.
  4. Multiply this figure by the appropriate leave benefit percentage (current figures are available from the UAF Negotiated Agreements page). Always include leave benefits with salary. This gives you the “loaded” salary.

    For example, 2 months of a faculty member’s time might be:
    ($60/hr)(173.33hrs/mo)(2 mos)(1.154) = $24,003 in loaded salary

  5. Take the loaded salary and multiply it by the appropriate staff benefits rate (current figures are available from the UAF Negotiated Agreements page). 

    For example:
    ($24,003)(28.1%) = $6,745 in staff benefits for a faculty member.
    CEM faculty and staff salaries should increase by 2.5% each year, including Year 1.

Facilities and Administration Calculations: There’s a good discussion on the OGCA site.

INE Postdoctoral Salaries

INE's starting postdoc salary is $32/hour, which is equivalent to a 9-month salary of $49,920 (1,560 hours), an 11-month salary of $61,012, or a 12-month salary of $66,560 (2,080 hours). Best practice budgeting for a postdoc to be supported on one project is 1,560 hours (9 months) to 1,914 hours (11 months), depending on the needs of the project. Postdocs are considered members of the United Academics Collective Bargaining Agreement immediately upon hire and are budgeted with the same leave and healthcare benefit costs as faculty (F9). A postdoc's salary increases when promoted to a research faculty position. CEM/INE has access to nationally-based tables of competitive salaries for many engineering professions and can help determine the appropriate transition salary when appropriate.

Student Costs

Guidance below is for graduate and undergraduate student support. For postdoctoral fellow support, please see Faculty & Staff Salary.

When you budget for a graduate student, standard support includes:

  • Two semesters’ tuition
  • 1360 hours of wages plus fringe benefits
  • Health Insurance

When you budget for an undergraduate student, standard support includes 1360 hours of wage support plus related fringe benefits.

Graduate Hourly Student Rates

  • Increases are unknown until the semester starts.
  • Not all fiscal years will have a graduate student rate increase.
  • Different student rankings include different salary levels. A PI can budget for increases (2.5%) annually, but doing so is not mandatory.
Student Status Starting Hourly Rate
Masters Student  $24.00
Ph.D. (prior to Candidacy) $26.00
Ph.D. (after Candidacy) $28.00

FY23 Undergraduate Pay Grid

Below is the pay scale for CEM/INE undergraduate student assistants effective spring 2023. $16.50 is the standard minimum hourly rate. Higher rates apply to positions that require advanced knowledge/expertise as well as increased responsibility of the student.

Intern 1 $16.50
Intern 2 $18.00
Intern 3 $19.50

Please note that rates are different for the Alaska Center for Energy and Power:

Intern 1 $16.00
Intern 2 $17.00
Intern 3 $18.00
Intern 4 $19.00


Budgeting Student Hours

Graduate Students are generally budgeted at 720 hours for two semesters (September to December and January to mid-May) and 640 hours for the summer (June-August). This is roughly 20 hours per week in the academic year and 40 hours per week in the summer.

The academic hours must be budgeted at 720 unless you have documentation that the student has support from another source. Summer hours are more flexible; if appropriate, you can budget, for instance, 20 hours a week (320) for the summer.

Graduate Student benefits come in two forms: fringe benefits on summer hours (part time or full time) and student health insurance costs. How to calculate student summer benefits: ($hourly)*(640)(.088). These are Fringe benefits, not Leave. This percentage (8.8%) changes each fiscal year.

Undergraduate student hours are more flexible; you can budget anywhere from 10 to 20 hours per week in the academic year and from 10 to 40 hours per week during the summer.

Graduate Student Health Insurance

Research proposal budgets must also include student health insurance. While the graduate school breaks this cost down by semester, in practice, if you support a student in the spring, you must also budget for summer health insurance. You must budget health insurance unless you have documentation that a student is covered under another plan (for instance, a working spouse’s). Best practice is to budget these funds. If you don’t need them, you can always re-distribute them.

AY23-24 Graduate Student Health Insurance Rates

  • Annual (August 2023August 2024) $3,298
  • Fall (August 2023January 2024) $1,197
  • Spring & Summer (JanuaryAugust 2024) $2,101
  • Summer only (mid-MayAugust 2024) $901

These charges are considered "student aid cost" and they collect F&A. This number is released by the UAF Graduate School every year, in the fall. To successfully meet these costs in outyears, UAF policy is to estimate a 7% increase annually in proposals.


In or Out? Students who are U.S. citizens must be in Alaska for two years to qualify for the in-state tuition rate, or they can apply for resident status after residing in the state for one year under the university's "bona fide resident" provision. For budget planning on proposals, best practice is to include two years of out-of-state tuition, 9 credits a semester, a total of 18 credits per year. International students are not eligible for in-state tuition (unless they become an Alaska resident defined as a person who is a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen who has been physically present in Alaska for at least the past two years.) Researchers are strongly advised to budget out-of-state tuition unless the international student has a green card in hand.

The CEM tuition figure includes the CEM differential tuition cost. You must request tuition for a graduate student research assistant unless the agency explicitly refuses to fund tuition (include documentation w/proposal). If you wish to supply tuition from another source, please include a memo confirming the source and available funds. If you're in doubt about which tuition rate to use, apply the out-of-state rate. CEM policy currently is that researchers are not required to cover fees for students. However, if you wish to budget these costs, you can. Basic fee costs can be reviewed in the Student Handbook.

Travel & Lodging

Per Diem (Effective 2019)

UAF limits M&I to $70/day for the Alaska cities of Anchorage, Juneau and Fairbanks only.

For ALL other Alaska locations, please consult the U.S General Services Per Diem Overview for Alaska and Hawaii to determine the correct rate.

Day travel less than 12 hours is no longer eligible for M&I. So, for instance, if you fly down to Anchorage for a meeting on an 8 am flight, and you get back on the 5 pm flight, no M&I for you! If you go down on the 7 am flight and come back on the 9 pm flight, you can charge a day’s M&I at the GSA rate, or half a day. If you stay overnight, you must budget a night’s lodging at the GSA rate. INE uses the rates established by the General Services Administration for domestic travel and by the U.S. State Department for foreign travel. Find current rates on one of the external websites below:

Domestic Per Diem – U.S. General Services Per Diem Overview

Foreign Per Diem Rates by Location – U.S. Department of State

Vehicle Costs

Costs for using a personal vehicle should be listed in the TRAVEL section of the internal budget spreadsheet. For 2023, the personal vehicle mileage rate is $0.655 per mile. This includes fuel use, so don’t budget fuel separately.

Costs for RENTING a vehicle from the university goes in the “Rental and Leases” section of the budget spreadsheet (section 311X), and these costs do not incur F&A costs. The same is true of renting/leasing a boat, a snowmachine, or a plane THAT YOU WILL DRIVE/FLY yourself. Aircraft and ship charter services also go under “Rental and Leases” and these are also F&A-free. For vehicles in this category, you should budget fuel costs under “Supplies.”

Renting a vehicle from the university pool: Information on how to estimate costs and how to reserve a vehicle from UAF Facilities. Please note the extra charges for unpaved road use, which are significant. If you are driving any distance up the Dalton Highway, you should budget for this surcharge. You should also budget fuel for these vehicles.

Other Important Standard Costs

UAF requires that all members of a field research team undergo field safety training annually. This includes all students as well as staff and faculty who will access the field site. We strongly urge that you visit this site ( and plan your costs and training accordingly.

Where will your fieldwork take place? Do you need permitting from Alaska State agencies or federal agencies? These costs can be significant and require significant hours from your faculty or staff to complete the permitting process. Best practice is to identify the requirements for your site and budget these costs under “Services” and “Personnel.” For instance, there is excellent information for Toolik Field Station here. Be sure you use current costs for Toolik Field Station use.

How much staging or logistical support do you need? Be sure to budget adequate staff hours for mobilization/demobilization for all fieldwork and experimental set-ups. Best Practice is at least 20 hours per field season.

Have you adequately budgeted for using UAF labs? For most CEM or INE-related labs, if you intend to have graduate or undergraduate students performing tests, you must budget at least two weeks of time for the appropriate lab manager to train and guide your students.

Publication Costs: If you list publication of your results in professional journal as a deliverable or an outcome of your project, you should also include about $500 a publication for page fees and open journal costs.

Data Archiving: The National Science Foundation and other federal agencies explicitly state that data resulting from your project should be available to other scientists via a well-established public repository. You should budget adequate funds in “Services” and “Personnel” to meet this requirement.

Conference Registration Costs: If your planned travel includes presenting your work at a conference, you should budget conference registration costs for each traveler. Usually these can be based on the last conference’s costs, which are published on the conference web site.