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Participant Support Costs

About this Policy

Participant Support Costs

Policy Number: 27012

Effective Date:
Dec 12, 2017

Last Updated:

Responsible Office:
UM System Controller’s Office

Responsible Administrator:
UM System Controller

Policy Contact:

Campus Sponsored Program Office


  • Finance

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Participant support is provided by a number of federal agencies and other sponsors. The National Science Foundation has the most restrictive policies governing the budgeting, expending and reporting of these funds. Therefore, this policy is based on NSF and Uniform Guidance requirements.

Reason for Policy

This policy is designed to outline the University’s policy in accordance with Uniform Guidance code §200.75 and §200.456 to ensure that sponsor regulations related to Participant Support Costs are applied.

Policy Statement

Participant support is allowable as a direct cost when the sponsor (federal or non-federal agency) funds a project aimed at supporting outreach programs. These programs aim to bring experts together to discuss research, education findings, or to expose other researchers or students to new research and education techniques. Funding provided by the sponsor may include those categories of expenses.

Any costs for items such as stipends or subsistence allowances, travel allowances, and registration fees paid to or on behalf of Participants or trainees for conferences, meetings, symposiums, or training projects are classified as Participant Support Costs.  These costs are not subject to indirect cost recovery (F&A) and must be specifically identified in the budget proposal and award notice. Requests to re-budget these specific budget items must be approved by the awarding agency.


Participant Costs - defined by Uniform Guidance 2 CFR 200.75 as 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 conferences or training projects.

Participant – An individual who is a recipient of a service or training session in a workshop, conference, seminar, symposium or other information sharing activity funded by an external grant or award.


Sponsored Programs Office (SPO):

  • Ensures that Participant Support Costs are identified in the budget in accordance with sponsor guidelines
  • At award, activates the multi-project PeopleSoft proposal to separately account for Participant Support Costs
  • Submits to the sponsor any requests to rebudget funds from Participant Support Costs
  • Ensures all project costs are reported in accordance with sponsor requirements

Principal Investigator (PI):

  • Identifies costs that meet the definition of Participant Support Costs as outlined in the Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200)
  • Ensures Participant Support Costs post to the appropriate MoCode
  • Ensures that subcontract invoices properly reflect Participant Support Costs
  • Works with the OSPA Post-award Team to submit any rebudget requests related to Participant Support Costs

Additional Details



Related Information

NSF Guidance: Participant Support II.C.2.g(v), II.D.9

NIH Guidance: For the purposes of Kirschstein-NRSA programs, this term does not apply. NIH will continue to use the terms trainees, trainee-related expenses, and trainee travel in accordance with NRSA Regulations.




Reviewed 2017-12-06