Participant Support Costs as defined by 2 CFR 200.7571 and 200.456 are direct costs for items such as stipends or subsistence allowances, travel allowances and registration fees paid to or on behalf of participants or trainees (but not employees) in connection with conferences, or training projects (NOTE: participants support costs do not apply to NIH training grants). Sponsor approval must be obtained before incurring participant support costs on sponsored awards.
A participant is defined as the recipient, not the provider, of a service or training associated with a workshop, conference, seminar, symposium or other short-term instructional or information-sharing activity. Participants may include students, scholars, and scientists from other institutions, individuals from the private sector, teachers and state or local government personnel. Employees of the University of Iowa are not eligible to receive participant support.
Participant Support Costs:
- Should follow F&A rate per sponsor award (usually unallowable or capped amount)
- 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.
Participant/Trainee Support Costs must be explicitly identified in the budget and budget justification and be included in the sponsor approved budget. Grant Accounting will establish a unique subcomponent to separately budget and track the costs. Funds provided for Participant/Trainee 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/Trainee Support Costs
Some common unallowable expenses under the Participant/Trainee Support Budget include (NOTE: some of these expenses may be allowed on the main award):
- Incentives/prizes, memorabilia, or gifts, unless they are specifically noted and justified in the budget justification and approved by the sponsor.
- Honoraria or fees paid to a quest speaker or lecturer
- Conference/workshop support costs such as facility rental, catering, supplies, or media equipment rental.
- Expenses for the PI, project staff, and collaborators to attend.
- Human subject payments for participating in research projects.
Generally, Participant/Trainee Support Costs could be identified in the following categories:
How to Charge Participant/Trainee Support Cost
|Category||University expense classification|
|Stipends||A stipend is a set amount paid directly to the participant/trainee (not UI employee) in connection with a short-term training activity. For trainees or fellows stipends should be paid on institutional accounts, 5610 - Fellow/Trainees – Undergrad and Grad, 5615 - Faculty Research Training, 5620 - Fellowships/Trainee Non Stud, 5640 - Postdoctoral Fellows, 6365 – Student Stipends|
|Travel Allowances||Travel includes the costs of transportation and associated travel-related expenses, and must follow University and sponsor guidelines. The purpose of trip must be to participate in a training activity. Travel costs for Trainees use institutional accounts 6030 - Trav In State Student Trainee, 6031 - Trav Out State Student Trainee & 6032- Travel Foreign Student Trainee|
|Other/Training related expenses||Other costs in support of the trainee’s involvement may be allowable, including training materials or laboratory supplies that can be tied to specific trainees. Other costs use institutional account 6115 – Non-Clinical Laboratory Supply, 6210 – Publication Costs, 6235 – Other Services, etc.
Fees paid on behalf of a trainee in connection with meetings, conferences, symposia, or training projects. Fees may be included in the travel costs or use 6405 - Duties, Licenses, Misc Fees
|Category||University expense classification|
|Stipends||A stipend is a set amount paid directly to the participant (not UI employees). For participant, stipends or per diems should be paid on institutional account 6241 - Particip Stipends & Support Costs|
|Substance Allowance||Substance Allowance is the cost for a participant’s housing and per diem expenses necessary for the individual to participate in the conference, these expenses must be reasonable and pertain to the days of attendance. These costs can use travel or University housing costs use institutional account 6235 – Other Services. University meal plans use institutional account 6137 – Food and Beverages.|
|Travel Allowances||Travel includes the costs of transportation and associated travel-related expenses, and must follow University and sponsor guidelines. The purpose of the trip must be to participate in the conference, workshop, etc. Travel costs for participants should use institutional accounts 6055 - Travel In State Other, 6056 - Travel Out State Other, & 6057 - Travel Foreign Other, 6058 – Motor Vehicle Rental.|
|Other/participant related expenses||Other costs in support of the participant’s involvement may be allowable, including training materials or laboratory supplies that can be tied to specific participants. Other costs use institutional account 6115 – Non-Clinical Laboratory Supply, 6210 – Publication Costs, 6235 – Other Services, etc.
Fees paid on behalf of a participant in connection with meetings, conferences, symposia, etc. Fees may be included in the travel costs, or use institutional account 6405 - Duties, Licenses, Misc Fees
** Additional information regarding payment determination guidelines for US citizens can be found here.
|Proposal (prime)||Budget appropriately||Review budgeted costs & submit proposal to sponsor||Review and approve or reject proposal|
|Award Setup||Ensure that participant support costs can be separately accounted for|
|Period of Performance||Conduct project as approved, follow budget, & initiate transactions; monitor financial progress of projects; maintain documentation;||Answer re-budgeting questions; review and submit prior approvals||Monitor expenditures; monitor financial progress of projects; maintain documentation;||Review interim reports; oversee progress and programmatic deliverables; review and act upon prior approval requests; issue notifications as appropriate|
|Subaward||Budget appropriately||Review budgeted costs & submit proposal to sponsor||Review budgeted costs|
|Closeout||Review expenditures; ensure back-up documentation is complete||Review expenditures, perform final review of expenditures; close out award||Close out award|
|Post-closeout Audit||Provide back-up documentation; retain records for appropriate period||Act as liaison between sponsor/auditor and department; provide institutional response to audit & implement corrective action as needed||Ask questions; request back-up documentation; publish audit findings|
Last Updated: 08/22/2023