Jump to section:
Entertainment, Meeting Expenses, Meals & Food
Long Distance Telephone
Moving and Relocation Costs
Participant Support Costs
Patient Care Costs
Below are examples of common other costs. It is important that you read the sponsor’s guidelines and policies for specific regulations or restrictions regarding these costs.
The Federal government allows direct charging of costs normally treated as Facilities & Administrative (F&A) costs only where a project explicitly budgets and justifies for the administrative costs in the award document and the costs are specifically identified with the project.
Examples of administrative costs that require sponsor approval include, but are not limited to:
- Salaries of administrative and clerical staff
- Office supplies
- Membership fees and dues
Refer to the Direct and Indirect (F&A) Cost Policy for further explanation
There are two categories of animal costs – animal purchase and animal maintenance (or per diem). Animal purchase costs are listed in the Materials and Supplies category. Include details about how you developed your estimate for animal costs, listing the type and number of animals you expect to use and the purchase price for the animals.
Animal care costs (per diem) and shipping costs are included in the Other Costs category. Provide the daily maintenance costs for the number of animals or cages that you plan to use, computed annually.
IACUC approval is required prior to starting any research using vertebrate animals. Please contact the Institutional Animal Use and Care Committee for information and assistance.
Entertainment costs are not allowable on sponsored projects except where specific costs that might be considered entertainment have a programmatic value and are authorized either in the approved budget or with prior written approval from the Federal awarding agency (CFR 200.438). This includes costs for meals, lodging, transportation and gratuities.
Meetings and conferences may be allowable, if the primary purpose is the dissemination of technical information and is necessary and reasonable for successful performance. Costs that may be allowable include rental of facilities, speakers' fees, costs of meals and refreshments, local transportation, and other items incidental to such conferences unless further restricted by the terms and conditions of the award (CFR 200.432).
Meals and Food: Sponsored funds are not to be used for meals or coffee breaks for intramural meetings of the University or any of its components, including, but not limited to, laboratories, departments, and centers.
Auditors and agency regulations are applying a conservative interpretation of the cost principles in this area and consider the cost of meals and food as an exceptional activity. Therefore, the University requires that meeting and conference expenses directly charged to a sponsored project be supported by documentation showing that the activity is directly related to the project. Examples of acceptable documentation include:
- A line item in the approved project budget for the meeting or conference
- Narrative in the proposal referring to the meeting or conference
- A published agenda for the meeting or conference
- Correspondence with the sponsor
Honoraria are unallowable as a cost if the intent is to confer distinction on or symbolize respect, esteem, or admiration for the recipient of the honorarium. A payment for services rendered, such as a speaker’s fee under a conference grant, is allowable.
Human subjects provide identifiable, private information or participate in surveys or interviews as part of a research project. All projects that meet the definition of human subjects research require Institutional Review Board (IRB) review and approval prior to conduct of the research. While some principal investigators may use the term “participant” instead of “human subject”, there are important differences between these two terms. Regardless of terminology, these costs may not be budgeted in the participant support category. Instead, they are budgeted in Other Costs and are subject to F&A costs. The Human Subjects Protection Program can assist you with your human subjects research.
Long distance telephone calls are listed as an Other Cost. They must be specifically related to your project and allowed by the sponsor.
Not all Federal agencies allow recruiting, moving and relocation expenses to be charged, and those that do generally require the recipient to be 100% effort for a minimum of twelve months.
Moving costs are paid as an allowance to the recipient per the University implementation of requirements of the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which requires these expenditures to be treated as taxable income to the recipient. Refer to the FSO Policy on Relocation Costs for more information. Only actual costs of moving supported by receipts are allowable on Federal awards.
In the proposal budget, they should be listed as follows:
- “Relocation/moving related expenses are budgeted in the amount of $X. Due to the implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (Public Law PL 115-97), relocation/moving related costs will expense as taxable income with associated fringe benefit rates in accordance with the current federally negotiated indirect cost rate agreement.”
- The proposal preparer needs to consider the impact of fringe benefits associated with the moving expense. For example, $5,000 of actual moving expense for a full benefit employee will be budgeted as a sum of $6,600. ($5,000 of moving expense +$1,600 fringe).
The process for charging the allowance is as follows:
- The allowance should first be charged to a non-sponsored account. Then, the department can then collect receipts from the recipient, and transfer the amount of the allowance that is supporting by actual costs onto the Federal award. Copies of receipts and a reconciliation will need to be attached to the salary expense transfer.
- The offer letter may include language dictating that the allowance will be reimbursed only up to the amount of receipts provided by the recipient, due to Federal grant funding restrictions.
If the costs were not listed in the proposal budget, agency rebudgeting terms should be consulted.
For nonfederal sponsors, their terms should be reviewed for allowability of moving and relocation costs.
Participant support costs are direct costs for items such as costs of transportation, per diem, stipends, and other related costs for participants or trainees (not employees) in connection with conferences, meetings, training activities, or workshops (2 CFR 200.75) and are allowable with prior approval from the Federal awarding agency. A participant is an individual who is a recipient of a service or training session in a workshop, conference, seminar, symposium or other information sharing the activity funded by an external grant or award and is not involved in providing deliverables to the University or to a third party. A University of Arizona employee generally cannot be a participant.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has specific policies regarding the budgeting and use of participant support funds. See NSF Award and Administration Guide, Chapter II.C.2.g.v.
Patient care costs include routine and ancillary medical costs of any laboratory or clinical procedures that are conducted in an out-patient clinic or in-patient facility that are within the scope of your sponsored research project (National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grants Policy Statement, Part II, Subpart B.19).
- Routine services include the regular room services, minor medical and surgical supplies, and the use of equipment and facilities for which a separate charge is not customarily made.
- Ancillary services are those special services for which charges customarily are made in addition to routine services, e.g., x-ray, operating room, laboratory, pharmacy, blood bank, and pathology.
- Patient care costs should not include such costs as consulting physician fees or patient travel, parking, lodging, subsistence or donor/volunteer fees. These costs should be requested under the "Other Expense" category.
Read the sponsor’s guidelines carefully when computing patient care costs. Specify any research patient care costs that are expected to be covered by other sources of support, such as a pharmaceutical company (including donated products) or other third parties. Your budget justification should itemize, in detail, the basis for estimating patient care costs, including the number of patient days, estimated cost per day, and cost per test or treatment. If both inpatient and outpatient costs are requested, provide information for each separately and if multiple sites are to be used, provide detailed information by site. Also provide information about patient accrual, including variations anticipated among the project/budget years.
Copying charges that can be traced through a chargeback system or through photocopy services should be budgeted in the Other Costs category, if they are allowed by the sponsor.
Publication and printing costs are those costs associated with the publishing of the results of your research project in order to disseminate and share your findings. Page charges for publication in professional journals are allowable on Federal grants if the published paper reports work supported by your grant and the charges are levied impartially on all papers published by the journal (2 CFR 200.461). The costs of reprints and publishing in other media such as books, monographs, and pamphlets may also be allowable.
Stipends are payments made to individuals for subsistence or tuition support. Stipend payments are not compensation for services rendered and, therefore, are generally not allowable on sponsored projects unless the purpose of the agreement is to provide training support. Individuals who receive stipends are not engaged in an employee-employer relationship with the University, and the stipend is issued to the benefit of the individual, not the University or the Principal Investigator. If an individual is providing benefit to a project, they should be hired and paid as an employee rather than issued a stipend. Please contact your unit or college HR representative if you are unclear about which category the invididual's activity falls under.
Sponsored projects intended to support training and stipend payments will state that intention clearly in the award and/or program announcement. The project scope of work should also explicitly state that training of specific individuals is the purpose of the award. In such cases, stipend expenses are allowable. Typical training awards include NIH "T" and "F" awards and NASA fellowship programs. Other awards where the training intention is clearly described by the sponsor can incur stipend expenses. Individuals who are employees and plan to participate in these types of training programs, will generally need to relinquish their employment to be eligible for stipend support. Salaries and wages cannot be substituted for stipend support on these awards, since the two compensation mechanisms are for completely different types of activity.
Some agencies may use the terms stipend, fellow, and support interchangably with terms about payroll and employement. It is the unit's responsibility to correctly identify the individual's activity, and budget and compensate them accordingly based on the guidelines written above.
Research projects involving human subjects may offer a small payment to the research subjects for purposes of recruitment or encouragement for participation in the project.
The Human Subjects Protection Program provides guidance about the requirements and expectations for the initial approval and continual monitoring of research involving human subjects conducted at the University of Arizona, Banner-University Medical Center Tucson Campus, Banner-University Medical Center Phoenix, and the Tucson Veterans Administration Medical Center.
Reimbursement for subject payments is accomplished by preparing a disbursement voucher with an attached log sheet indicating the number of subjects, the dollar amount(s) paid to the subjects, and the date of participation. The signatures of the investigator and one other support staff member must appear on the log sheet.
The principal investigator must maintain backup information on file supporting the disbursement voucher. The supporting documentation includes the date, amount, subject’s name, and subject’s signature of receipt of payment. This documentation should remain on file for audit purposes at least 5 years from the date of acceptance of final technical report for the project.
If the research project is a confidential study, it is not necessary to identify the human subjects by name or social security number. However, a Confidentiality Certificate must be provided along with the check request, and the total payment to any individual participating in a confidential study must be less than $600 in a calendar year. The principal investigator should maintain the disbursement record on file and make it available upon request.
Subject Payments Less than or Equal to $50 per Year per Subject
Single study payments of less than or equal to $50 to subjects are exempt from Internal Revenue Service 1099 reporting requirements. The $50 threshold encompasses the cumulative amount a subject receives from all University of Arizona studies in a single calendar year. Please refer to Financial Services Manual, Section 9.12 Independent Contractor Services.
Technology costs may include cell phones, data plans for devices, and other communication devices. Federal agencies generally consider technology costs to be an F&A cost since they often benefit multiple activities. Technology costs are only permitted as a direct charge if they are exclusive to the award and accompanied with strong justification that warrants them as direct charge. Refer to the Direct and Indirect (F&A) Cost Policy for further explanation. Technology costs may be direct charged to a Federal award if the payment is made directly to the vendor from the UA for the actual cost of the technology. If the technology cost is being issued as a technology allowance through payroll to an individual, it is not allowable on a Federal award since allowances are not cost based. Refer to FSO Policy for Technology Cost.
Tuition remission is a mandatory benefit for students employed as Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs) which is budgeted separate and distinct from ERE/fringe benefits, usually in the Other Costs category of operations. Tuition remission is applicable to Fall and/or Spring academic terms but is not available for Summer or Winter terms. The cost of tuition remission excludes mandatory fees and any program or course-specific charges. Tuition remission will be directly billed to the sponsored account(s) funding GRA's for each pay period.
For more information, see:
- UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator: Budget the current standard graduate resident tuition rate, excluding fees.
Make the following calculator selections to find the appropriate tuition amount:
Term: Spring or Fall
Campus: Main Campus
Academic Career: Graduate
Select Continuing or Non-Continuing: any selection yields the same result
Academic Program: Not Listed Below
- Graduate College GA Manual
- Payroll Calendars are posted each fiscal year by the Financial Services Office (FSO) including dates when Graduate Tuition Remission will post to sponsored accounts.
Sponsored Project Budgeting Tips:
- GRAs working .50 FTE or above (50% or 66%) should be budgeted using the full base tuition amount.
- GRAs working less than .50 FTE (25% or 33%) should be budgeted using half of the base tuition amount.
- Budget as if each GRA will be enrolled full time for 7 or more units to avoid budget shortfalls.
- Exclude tuition remission from the Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC) F&A base.
- 8% inflation per future year is recommended for tuition remission.