Stewardship and Compliance
for Stanford PIs

"DECISION TREE" FOR
ADMINISTRATIVE AND
TECHNICAL CHARGES

 

For a graphical representation of this table, click HERE.

 

ASK YOURSELF

 

 

If "Yes"

 

 

If "No"

 

  1. Is this expense reasonable and allowable?
Go to Question 2 Charge to a School or Department Non-Sponsored Account.
  1. Is this expense specifically identifiable to this project, i.e., the project benefits and the cost is therefore allocable?
Go to Question 3. Charge to a School or Department Non-Sponsored Account.
  1. Is the expense for a technical purpose,i.e., is it tied to the scope of work?
      ( See Note 1 below.)
CHARGE DIRECTLY TO THE PROJECT. This is an administrative expense. Go to Question 4.
  1. Is this project/activity administratively intensive, i.e., a "major project,"?
Go to Question 5. Charge to a School or Department Non-Sponsored Account.
  1. Was an explicit budget justification for the expense included in the proposal?
      ( See Note 2 below.)
Go to Question 6. Charge to a School or Department Non-Sponsored Account.
  1. Is the expense specifically disapproved by the sponsor in the project award?
If this expense is incurred, is must be accounted for as cost sharing.
  ( See Note 3 below.)
CHARGE DIRECTLY TO THE PROJECT.


Note 1: If the expense would normally be considered administrative (for example, for items such as office supplies, postage, photocopying or local telephone costs), but will be used for a technical purpose (scope of work) that is specifically identifiable to the project, the project does not need to be "major" for those costs to be charged directly. They must however meet the remaining requirements of this policy, and, in particular, must be carefully justified.

Note 2: NIH Modular Grants do not require a specific budget justification. However, the proposal must establish that the project is "major."

Note 3: If administrative costs are proposed in accordance with this policy, and are subsequently disallowed by the sponsor, then, if those costs are incurred to support the project, they must be accounted for as cost sharing. Only actual incurred costs must be treated as cost sharing; this may be less than the amount originally proposed. Cost sharing is discussed in more detail in the next section of this tutorial.
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