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Participant Support Costs. August 2005. Participant Support Costs. NSF Grant Policy Manual (GPM)

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Participant Support Costs

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participant support costs2
Participant Support Costs
  • NSF Grant Policy Manual (GPM)

618.1 “Participant support costs are the 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 meetings, conferences, symposia or training projects”

indirect costs
Indirect Costs
  • NSF generally provides no indirect costs for participant support costs
  • However, an administrative allowance limited to 25% of Line F.1 (Participant Support Costs: Stipends) of the proposed budget is allowed for REU Site and Supplement awards in lieu of indirect costs
  • Funds provided for participant support may not be used by grantees for other categories of expense without the specific prior written approval of the cognizant NSF Program Officer
    • Unused funds should be de-obligated
  • Organizations must account for participant costs separately (Caltech uses expenditure types)
project accounting role
Project Accounting Role
  • In addition to being used for meetings and conferences, these expenditure types are sometimes used to pay stipends to SURF students working on training projects (but they may only be used if participant support costs were included in the proposal)
  • (Note that the normal SURF expenditure type (when there is no participant support in the budget) would be “Student Wages NB”)
  • When you see participant support cost expenditure types being used the PA should review the award summary and / or the award document to ensure these costs were approved by the funding agency
information included in the proposal
Information Included in the Proposal
  • NSF Grant Proposal Guide
    • Line F on the Proposal Budget

The number of participants to be supported must be entered in the parentheses on the proposal budget. These costs must be justified in the budget justification section of the proposal

project accounting role8
Project Accounting Role
  • At close out verify that, if some of the funds budgeted for Participant Support costs were in fact used for other purposes, the appropriate NSF program manager approval was obtained
  • Prior approval is not required to allocate additional funds to participant support costs (but of course the costs must be allowable as participant support, so administrative costs such as room rental, copying, postage and clerical services would not qualify as Participant Support costs)
potential problems
Potential Problems
  • Using the incorrect stipend expenditure type may result in overhead problems
  • “Stipend Participant Support UG” should only be used for students on NSF-REU awards because it is set up to be subject to the indirect cost rate (25% when the REU-allowability schedule is used)
    • If its used on non-REU awards then the full indirect cost rate is applied