Office of Sponsored Programs - 300.07, Procedure 5 - Estimating Fully Loaded Labor Hours


Office of Sponsored Programs - 300.07, Procedure 5 - Estimating Fully Loaded Labor Hours

Corresponding with:


Most funding agencies require a proposed budget that estimates the total costs of the project, with a breakdown of cost per year. A budget based on hourly rates is one that includes the Institutional Base Salary (IBS), fringe benefits, health insurance, and Indirect Costs (F&A) together in a lump sum. It is most often found in subrecipient budgets and must be calculated and shown at the proposal stage.

Once an award is established, the sponsor will request an explanation of the process used to determine the loaded hourly rate. Thus, proposal budgets should show the cost and designation of each cost within the calculation to accurately report expenditures to the sponsor.

These costs are added together and divided by the number of hours worked per year to calculate an hourly salary rate. The procedure below provides the steps for calculating such costs.


Use the standard base hours as designated below to calculate fully loaded hourly rates for each. These have been calculated using a total of 2,080 hours per year (based on a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year) minus sick days/vacation days/holidays per year.

Employee Categories and Hours Worked
Employee Category Number of Hours Worked Per Year
EHRA Employees, Full-Time, 12-month Appointment 1,696 hours
SHRA Employees, Full-Time, 12-month Appointment 1,768 hours
EHRA Employees, Full-Time, 9-month Appointment 1,272 hours
EHAR Employees, Full-Time, 3-month Appointment 424 hours
Post-Docs, Full-Time 1,808 hours

Contact Information

For questions regarding this procedure and its related operating standard, please contact

For questions regarding Pre-Award management or Post-Award administration, please contact the assigned Sponsored Projects Specialist (SPS).

For invoicing, reporting and other financial matters, please contact the assigned Sponsored Projects Accountant.
OSP Staff assignments may be found in RAMSeS or on the OSP website.


History Table
Date Description
07/01/2022 Revised to reflect new office name.
05/15/2018 Revised to coincide with the release of the new OSP Website.

The operating standards in the Office of Sponsored Programs Operating Standards & Procedures Manual supersede any OSP operating standards, procedures and appendices previously included in the University Business Manual, a publication of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Division of Finance.

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Article ID: 132292
Thu 4/8/21 9:28 PM
Fri 1/19/24 11:06 AM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Research-Office of Sponsored Programs
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Vice Chancellor
Next Review
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01/19/2025 12:00 AM
Last Review
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01/19/2025 12:00 AM
Last Revised
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07/01/2022 12:00 AM
Effective Date
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07/01/2022 12:00 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
05/14/2019 12:00 AM