The Office of Management and Budget issues Circulars regarding cost principles and administrative requirements for entities receiving federal money.

The circulars pertaining to educational and non-profit organizations may be found at the OMB Circulars site.

OMB circular A-21 provides principles for determining the costs applicable to research and development, training, and other sponsored work performed by colleges and universities under grants, contracts, and other agreements with the Federal Government. These agreements are referred to as sponsored agreements. More specifically, section "J" provides guidelines for unallowable costs.

Examples of allowable and unallowable costs:

Cost Type

Allowable

Comments

Alcoholic Beverages

NO

Use Foundation Account

Communications charges

Some

Line and unit charges are NOT allowed. Local, long distance are allowed

Donations/Contributions

NO

The value of donated goods and services qualify for cost sharing under A-110

Entertainment

NO

Use Foundation Account

Equipment & other Capital Expenditures

Yes

Must be budgeted in the approved award.

Maintenance & Repairs

Yes

Actual costs incurred on items used on research project

Memberships/Subscriptions

Yes

Technical & Professional only. No civic etc. memberships. Subscription/membership timeframe must not exceed end date of grant.

Pre-Agreement Costs

NO

See OPAS under "Expanded Authority"

Professional Services

YES

See also PSI, PSC.

Alteration Costs

YES

Special alterations for specific project must be pre-approved.

Recruitment Costs

YES

e.g. Reasonable relocation costs

Equipment & Building Rentals

YES

 

Scholarships & Student Aid

NO

GRA Salaries allowed. Pay on Training Grants allowed