Allowable and Unallowable Costs
The PI is responsible for ensuring that all expenditures are reasonable, allocable and allowable under the terms of the award and sponsor regulations. ORSP can provide assistance in determining whether a cost is allowable or unallowable.
Examples of unallowable costs may include, but are not limited to: advertising (except for job searches), alcoholic beverages, food, entertainment, public relations, memberships, subscriptions, certain travel costs, and costs incurred before the start of the project or after the end date of a project. Membership dues are unallowable for NSF and NIH, but may be allowable for other funding agencies. The principal investigator should verify the funder requirements.
The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs will review and approve all grants related requisitions to ensure expenses are appropriate and allowable based on the budget included in the award. However, occasionally expenses are charged erroneously. When an erroneous entry affects a sponsored award, the correction must be made within 90 days and sufficient information must be provided to allow for a clear audit trail back to the initially recorded expense. ORSP will work with the PI to transfer mistakenly charged unallowable costs to the PI’s department account. For specific questions on allowable and unallowable costs, please contact Mirela Boariu (firstname.lastname@example.org). Further directions for processing a cost transfer are listed in the next section. If you have questions about an expense or a cost transfer, please contact ORSP at email@example.com.