Budget CategoriesReference: Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)
CFR Title II, Grants and Agreements, Part 200, Office of Management and Budget Circulars
CFR Parts 200, 215, 220, 225, and 230 cover the topics of Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. The cost principles in these sections of the CFR provide the general accounting "rules" for colleges and universities. These principles define those costs that are allowable and allocable to the Federal Government.
Entertainment costs cannot be requested in federal grant proposals, except where specific costs that might otherwise be considered entertainment have a programmatic purpose, per CFR 200.438.
Equipment is defined by the UO and CFR 200.439 as any piece of tangible personal property with a unit value of $5,000 or more, a life expectancy of more than one year, and which is not consumed in the normal course of operation, unless the sponsor specifies otherwise. Equipment includes both purchase and fabrication of equipment and vessels. (see Fabrication below). Each piece of equipment should be listed on the budget with a description and cost of each item.
Equipment Service Contracts
Equipment service contracts can be included in budgets if the equipment is also included in the budget (or in the case of continuing awards from the same sponsor). The service maintenance contract cannot be for a time past the end date of the agreement.
Fabrication of Equipment
Definition: Supplies and minor equipment created into an identifiable unit by fabrication and meets the following criteria:
Fabricated, assembled or constructed equipment that meets the above definition will be capitalized and added to the University of Oregon (UO) equipment inventory.
Fees and Services
These costs are for professional fees, e.g., consulting and legal fees, services rendered by commercial firms; service charges by institutional service departments; and fees assessed by other state agencies. Generally, all services must be performed within the award period. Consulting costs are normally identified separately in the budget and may also be called Personal Services Contracts (PSC). UO employees and graduate students may not be listed as consultants on UO budgets. If naming a specific individual or entity under this category, it is important to include additional detail justifying why the named individual or entity is required for your research.
Entertainment and Interdepartmental Refreshment costs are not an allowable budget item CFR 200.432 and CFR 200.438. However, hosting groups, guests and meals/expenditures for hosting official guests, can be directly charged to sponsored project funds when hosting a speaker or other activity is appropriate to the award per CFR 200.75 and CFR 200.432.
Maintenance and Repairs
Maintenance and repairs cover buildings, grounds, and equipment. They are intended for ordinary expenses of a recurring nature, including maintenance contracts. Outside labor charges for maintenance and repair services are included.
Any item that appears to be general purpose or that will outlast the project cannot be direct charged in most circumstances. Examples include tires and automotive batteries.
Memberships and Dues
Normally, memberships are considered to be institutional and not individual (personal). To be a direct expense, the membership must be necessary toward the goals or functions of the program. CFR 200.454 allows expenses for memberships in business, technical, and professional organizations; and forbids memberships in social or lobbying organizations.
Participant Support Costs
2 CFR §200.75 Participant Support costs:
Participant support costs means 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.
2 CFR §200.456 Participant Support costs:
Participant support costs as defined in §200.75 Participant support costs are allowable with the prior approval of the Federal awarding agency.
Reference the sponsor's Request for Proposals (RFP), or Solicitation, Program Announcement, or other sponsor guidance document to determine if Participant Support costs will be applicable to the proposal budget.
Participant Support costs appropriately included in the proposal budget are exempt from indirect costs.
Some program solicitations may have special instructions for treatment of participant support.
Note: "Participant Support" and "Participation Incentives" are not budgeted the same way on a proposal budget. Incentives for Participation should not be budgeted under Participant Support, but should be budgeted under the "Other" section of the proposal budget accordingly. Incentives for Participation are subject to indirect costs unless strictly prohibited by the sponsor's publicly posted guidelines.
Questions about budgeting Participant Support or Participation Incentives should be directed to your SPS Sponsored Projects Administrator. If not sure who to contact, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 541-346-5131 for assistance.
The federal government encourages grantees to earn program income whenever possible as a way to defray program costs. Program income may be used to meet cost sharing or matching requirements or add to the funds already committed to the grant. The University is accountable for the use of such income. Program income may come from a number of sources, both federal and non-federal; the following are typical examples:
Program income is the gross income generated by the funded activity. The University can deduct the costs of generating program income only when specifically permitted under the federal agency's regulations or the terms of a specific award.
Showing program income in proposal budgets:
The method for using program income detailed in the proposal budget must then be reflected in the award, or the default methods described above will apply. If the sponsor approves either the matching or additive alternatives in the award, the University must account for any program income in excess of the approved limits in accordance with the deductive alternative, unless the sponsor approves an increase of the limit.
Public Relations Activity
Public relations and fundraising activity costs should not be placed on sponsored project funds.
Real Property, Land
Land (real property) cannot be purchased on restricted funds without specific sponsor approval.
Rentals & Leases (Space)
Office space or buildings that are utilized for non-UO purposes are not allowed as a direct cost item or cost share item. However, if space (or buildings) is rented, and that space is used exclusively for research or programmatic uses (other than administrative), this is an allowable direct cost (F&A would not then be charged to this item). Justification and explanation of rental space usage must be included in the budget justification.
Salaries and Wages
Salaries and wages must include an itemization of all UO employees and students involved with the activity and who are either paid from the sponsor budget or who are cited for contributed effort. Additional rules apply:
UO faculty should generally not request more than two months' salary during any twelve-month period of NSF funded projects, unless prior approval is received from NSF.
"Research supplies" are allowed when directly related to technical use on the project (e.g., research notebooks, survey forms). General office supplies (e.g., pencils, copier paper, memo pads) are not allowable budget items (these items are included in the F&A rate). In no instance should research supplies be requested to replenish an inventory (supplies purchased are to be used with the activity).
Travel costs follow the UO policies for travel. Foreign travel is eligible to use the U. S. Department of State Foreign Per Diem Rates. For UO travel rates and policies see: http://ba.uoregon.edu/staff/travel-reimbursement
Foreign / International Travel
All Foreign / international travel using federal funds must be by U.S. flag air carriers if service by such a carrier is available. Cost is not a factor in determining availability. The first or last leg of travel from or to the U.S. must be by a U.S. flag air carrier in almost all instances. Business class is permitted. http://www.tvlon.com/resources/FlyAct.html
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