Participant Support Costs are excluded from the Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC) base for federal projects. Indirect costs may not be applied to Participant Support Costs for federal projects.
Last updated: 3/28/2015
Participant support costs are defined in the Uniform Guidance 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.
MTDC is the base to which F&A (indirect cost) rates are applied. The Uniform Guidance excludes participant support costs from the MTDC base and defines this base for sponsored projects awarded on or after December 26, 2014 as follows:
MTDC means all direct salaries and wages, applicable fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and up to the first $25,000 of each subaward (regardless of the period of performance of the subawards under the award). MTDC excludes equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each subaward in excess of $25,000.
Application at Stanford
The Uniform Guidance is effective for federally sponsored agreements and new funding increments incorporating the Uniform Guidance awarded on or after December 26, 2014. Federal awards incorporating A-21 and received before December 26, 2014 must continue to follow the requirements in OMB A-21 and Stanford policy. Review the Terms and Conditions on the sponsor’s notice of award to determine applicability of the Uniform Guidance or A-21.
Federally sponsored agreements incorporating the Uniform Guidance must use expenditure type 52436. (see the ET definition below). Participant Support Costs are excluded from the MTDC base and will not accrue indirect costs. The expenditure type for Participant Support Cost must not be used on non federal sponsored projects unless required by the sponsor. Categorize such costs using the expenditure types for travel, stipend etc.
52436 PARTICIPANT SUPPORT COSTS UG (UNIFORM GUIDANCE):
Use only to charge participant support costs on federal funding (NSF and all other federal funding) subject to OMB Uniform Guidance. Costs include stipends, subsistence or travel allowances, and registration fees paid to or on behalf of participants or trainees (not employees) in connection with conferences or training projects. Do not use for Stanford University employees. Ref: Uniform Guidance 200.75 and 200.308(c)(5). Sponsored award terms and conditions, sponsoring agency guidelines and prior approval requirements regarding re-budgeting of participant support costs must be reviewed to determine the requirements for budgeting and charging these costs. Use ET 52435 on NSF funding subject to OMB Circular A-21.
For funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded prior to 12/26/14 you must use expenditure type 52435 (see the ET definition below).
52435 PARTICIPANT SUPPORT COSTS NSF (ONLY):
Use only to charge participant support costs on NSF funding subject to OMB Circular A-21. Direct costs for items such as stipends, subsistence or travel allowances and registration fees paid to participants (not employees) in connection with meetings, conferences, symposia or training projects. Do not use for Stanford University employees. Use ET 52436 to charge participant support costs on federal funding subject to OMB Uniform Guidance.
Please also see expenditure types in the 58xxx Interdepartmental Transfer series for Participant Support Costs.
Funds provided for participant support typically may not be used for other categories of expense without specific prior agency written approval. Review the terms and conditions of your award.
Affected Stanford Policies
RPH 15.1 Facilities & Administrative (Indirect Cost) and Fringe Benefits Rates
Are participant support costs allowable? updated 3/11/2015
For NIH awards these cost are only allowable when specifically identified in the funding opportunity announcement (FOA). 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.
Reference: 45 CFR 75.456 /NIH Interim Grant General Condition (Section 5.4)