Principles of Sponsored Project Support

6.1 Principles of Sponsored Project Support

The majority of externally sponsored funding at BU is provided by the federal government. Cost accounting principles for higher education awardees are established by the Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has published revised and consolidated guidance on the management of federal awards. This new guidance, officially called the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, will be effective for awards issued on or after December 26, 2014. It replaces existing OMB circulars A-21, A-87, A-110, A-122, A-89, A-102, A-133; and the guidance in Circular A-50 on Single Audit Act follow-up.

6.1.1 Reasonableness: The nature of the expenditure and the amount are prudent under the circumstances.

6.1.2 Allocability: The expenditure provides a direct benefit to the project (i.e., the cost of a piece of equipment that is required to accomplish the work of two projects may be proportionately shared by those projects).

6.1.3. Consistency: Costs incurred for the same purpose in like circumstances are treated consistently as direct or F&A (indirect) costs across the institution.

6.1.4 Allowability: Costs conform to any limitations or exclusions as set forth in OMB Circulars.

Examples of unallowable costs under federal sponsorship include: alcoholic beverages, entertainment costs, and most memberships. Costs that do not meet all of the above criteria may NOT be charged to federal awards. Non-governmental sponsors may apply different cost principles. Investigators must read the sponsor instructions carefully and consult with the OSP offices for further advice.

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