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Appendix: Awards Cost Category Examples

What to Know
Cost Category Examples

Direct Costs

  • Employee compensation, including benefits, for performing work under a sponsored award.
  • Expenses for goods and services used to perform work under a sponsored award.
    • May include the extraordinary use of utilities or services of specialized facilities
  • Administrative or clerical support costs, if all of the following conditions apply.
    • The amount of support is significantly greater than the routine level provided by an academic department (A-21, F.6.(b)). Examples include:
      • Preparing a mass mailing
      • Conducting a telephone survey
      • Planning and organizing large conferences
      • Project-specific computer programming and systems development
      • Extensive data entry related to a survey
      • Extensive research data collection
      • Extensive interviewing and associated transcription
    • The original or revised sponsored award budget explicitly allows for the costs to be directly charged to the award.
    • Adequate documentation exists to support the costs.

Indirect Costs (Facilities and Administrative Costs)

  • General departmental administration
  • Contracts and grants administration
  • Development of proposals and associated activities
  • Budgeting, accounting and personnel activities
  • Routine filing, typing, copying, mailing
  • Processing vouchers and payments
  • Routine travel planning
  • Routine data entry
  • Routine telephone answering and reception
  • Newsletter/brochure preparation
  • Preparing, processing, and tracking routine purchase orders
  • Maintaining administrative databases

Unallowable Costs and Activities

  • Lobbying costs associated with partisan political activity, including, but not limited to, lobbying, publishing, and preparing materials intended to influence legislation
  • Fundraising costs associated with campaigns, endowment drives, gift and bequest solicitations, and other activities intended solely to raise funds.
  • Commencement and convocation costs, except as they relate to the administration of student affairs or provide services to students
  • Student activity costs, including student publication production, student club operations, intramural activities
  • Alumni activities
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