Participant Support Costs – Guidelines for Charging to Externally Sponsored Projects

If an award supports a conference, meeting, workshop, seminar, symposium or training program, the direct costs associated with an individual’s participation may be considered by the sponsor as participant support costs.  Participant support costs may be provided as stipends or subsistence allowances, travel allowances and registration fees paid to or on behalf of participants or trainees (but not employees).  With the implementation of the Uniform Guidance on 12/26/2014, Participant Support costs:

  • Are generally not subject to F&A
  • Cannot be rebudgeted to another budget categories without sponsor approval

Participant support costs will be specifically identified on National Science Foundation (NSF) awards.  Other sponsors may include participant support costs, but not necessarily refer to them as participant support costs.  For Kirschstein-NRSA programs, the term does not apply.  NIH will continue to use the terms trainees, trainee-related expenses, and trainee travel to identify these costs. 

Guidelines

For any Federal award that identifies participant support costs in a separate budget category in the sponsor approved budget, Grant Accounting will establish a unique subcomponent to separately budget and track the costs.  

Funds provided for participant support costs that are not spent cannot be rebudgeted for use in other categories except with the prior written approval of the sponsor. 

Identifying Participant Support Costs

Generally, participant support costs could be identified in the following categories:

Category University expense classification
For trainees:
Stipends or subsistence allowances For trainees, fellows or scholars stipends should be paid on institutional accounts, 5610 - Fellowships Student, 5615 - Faculty Research Training, 5620 - Fellowships Non Student, 5640 - Postdoctoral Fellows
Travel Allowances Travel institutional accounts 6030 - Trav In State Student Trainee, 6031 - Trav Out State Student Trainee & 6032- Travel Foreign Student Trainee identify travel costs for Trainees, Fellows or Scholars.
Registration Fees paid on behalf of participant or trainee 6405 - Duties, Licenses, Misc Fees or may be included in travel costs.

 

Category University expense classification
For participants:
Stipends or subsistence allowances For participant, stipends or per diems should be paid on institutional account 6241 - Non Employment Compensation
On-campus housing allowances or meal plans University housing costs use institutional account 6235 – Other Services.  University meal plans use institutional account 6137 – Food and Beverages.
Travel Allowances Travel institutional accounts 6055 - Travel In State Other, 6056 - Travel Out State Other, & 6057 - Travel Foreign Other identify travel costs for participants. 
Registration Fees paid on behalf of participant or trainee 6405 - Duties, licenses, Misc Fees or may be included in travel costs.
Transportation costs 6058 – Motor Vehicle Rental

 

Last Updated: 11/16/2015