Having been an academic researcher before managing outside government research grants, I have seen that academic researchers applying for grants often make up extravagant salary costs in the budgets accompanying grant proposals, just to round to the maximum advertised award. For example, a professor earning $120 k/year might charge $195 K/year for her service on the grant. There is no hard review of these budgeted costs that I'm aware of.
We could either 1) cap salaries budgeted in grants to some equivalent level in the federal government, e.g. a full professor as GS-15, associate at GS-14, etc.
2) at a minimum, verify that the salaries paid through research grants actually correspond to salaries these researchers have negotiated with their institutions.
This, along with other submitted ideas on reforming assistance research grants, would save large amounts of money, allowing many more brilliant research ideas to be funded for the same budget.