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Participant Support Payment Guide

This guide provides information on how to obtain a payment for personal expenses incurred by an individual, or the individual’s employer, in order to participate in a single, specific, UCSC-sponsored event such as a conference, symposium, workshop or training activity.

Some contracts and grants, especially those from the National Science Foundation, allow for the payment of personal expenses associated with participation in a specific, UCSC-sponsored, contract and grant-funded conference, symposium, workshop or training activity. These payments may be made to the individual or to the individual’s employer. Please contact the FAST/AP Help line at 459-4488 with questions or locate your representative directly.​​​​

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  • Before you start

    Important information to know.

    1. Special conditions: The following conditions apply to this type of payment.
      • Only contract and grant awards may incur participant support costs.
        • The contract or grant must include a specific budget line item allocating funds for the purpose.
    2. Tax information: Payments may only be made to recipients with a Social Security Number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Use IRS Form W-7 Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number to apply for an ITIN number.
    3. Payment: If this is the first time the recipient will be receiving a UCSC non-payroll payment, complete a Payee Setup 204 form.

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  • Eligibility

    A payment, regardless of the institution administering the funds, may only be made to an individual meeting all of the following criteria:

    • Non-UCSC employees
    • For employees from other UC campuses the following conditions must be met:
      • Employee must not be paid directly from the grant funding the event
      • Employee must not have a role in organizing the event or forwarding the project's aims
    • An individual who does not receive any other type of compensation from the Federal government.
      • Exception: Undergraduate students who are supported by an National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) grants are allowed to receive participant payments.

    Since guidelines vary from sponsor to sponsor and from program to program, it is important to refer to agency and program-specific guidelines.

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  • Allowable costs

    Participant support cost payments are limited to the following types of expenses:

    • Event registration fees
    • Transportation to/from the event
    • Meals and incidental expenses
    • Personal expenses incurred in participating in the event
    • Event support costs for lodging and food expenses paid directly to the event facility, only if the payment is made on behalf of, or reimbursed directly to, the participant

    Payment will not be made for the following types of expenses:

    • Event support costs, such as facility rentals, media rentals, charters for transportation, or event food, except as allowed under the conditions described in the section above
    • Sub-award payments associated with a contract that provides for multiple events or deliverables
    • Reimbursement to the participant’s employer to defray costs related to sending the participant to the event

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  • Ways to pay

    This type of expense is procured by requesting a payment to be made by completing and submitting a Direct Payment form.

    • The Campus Purchasing Card cannot be used to procure this good or service.
    • Out-of-pocket payment for this type of good or service will not be reimbursed.

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  • Requesting a direct payment

    Follow these steps to request a direct payment.

    • If this is the first time the recipient will be receiving a UCSC non-payroll payment, complete a Payee Setup 204 form.
    • Complete a Direct Payment form and obtain approval from an authorized expense approver.
      • Include the recipient’s social security or individual taxpayer identification number on the form.
      • Attach supporting documentation, such as original receipts. Refer to the “Receipt and Documentation” topic for more information.
      • Non-resident alien payments: Additional documentation requirements apply. Refer to the appendices for more information.
    • Submit the Direct Payment form to the divisional or departmental business office for review and “second-tier” approval.
    • The divisional or departmental business office will submit the form and supporting documentation to the Financial Administrative Services and Transactions/Accounts Payable Office (FAST/AP) for processing.

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  • Receipt and documentation requirements

    The following supporting documentation must be submitted with a completed Direct Payment form.

    • Receipt: Submit all original vendor contracts, invoices, and itemized receipts.
      • An electronic receipt is acceptable as long as it provides the detail needed to substantiate the expense.
      • Photocopies of receipts are not an acceptable substitute for original receipts
    • Nonresident Alien Payments:
      • Refer to the appendices for information about additional documentation requirements associated with payments made to foreign visitors.

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  • Authorization and approval

    Only an individual with written delegated authority provided on the Manual Signature Authorization and Approval form may approve the payment.

    An employee having delegated authority may not approve his or her own reimbursement or payment request.

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  • Tax withholding and reporting

    Important things to know:

    • Refer to the appendices for general tax withholding and reporting information.
    • Refer to the appendices for foreign visitor tax information.

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  • Funding sources

    A participant payment may only be incurred for and charged against a contract and grant fund.

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  • Common oversights

    Speed up the payment process by avoiding these common oversights:

    • Forgetting to provide the recipient’s social security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number on the Direct Payment form.
    • Forgetting to obtain the appropriate approvals on the Direct Payment form.
    • Forgetting to attach required supporting documentation to the Direct Payment form.
    • Forgetting to submit all the pertinent visa and/or immigration documentation associated with payments made to non-resident aliens.
    • Forgetting to submit a Payee Setup 204 for a first-time reimbursement or payment recipient.

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  • Policy references

    Procedures for making participant support payments are governed by National Science Foundation Grant Policy Manual 05-131, Section 618

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  • Where to get help

    Assistance is available for the following topics:

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  • Relevent Appendices

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