Program Income

Program Income is income earned that is directly generated by a sponsored project. It must be accounted for in accordance with the sponsors terms and conditions and reported to the sponsor.


Questions about this topic can be answered by:

Vrinda Gopal

Director, Office of Research Administration Policy and Compliance

Policy and Compliance

(650) 723-9102

Timothy Reuter

Sr. Director, Post Award Operations, OSR

Office of Sponsored Research Post Award

(650) 721-1758

What is Program Income?

Stanford defines program income as gross income earned by Stanford that is directly generated by a supported activity of a federal award or earned as a result of the federal award during the award’s period of performance.

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What is Included in Program Income

Program income includes but is not limited to income from:

  • fees for services performed under the award
  • the use or rental of real or personal property acquired under federal awards
  • the sale of commodities or items fabricated under a federal award
  • principal and interest on loans made with federal award funds

Registration fees collected under National Science Foundation supported conferences are considered program income.

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What is Not Included in Program Income

Program income does not include:

  • license fees and royalties on patents and copyrights
  • proceeds from the sale of real property, equipment or supplies  
  • interest earned on advances of federal funds
  • rebates, credits, discounts, and interest earned on any of them unless specified in the award terms and conditions or regulations

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Federal Contracts & Non-Federal and State of CA Awards

If income is generated on a Federal Contracts contact the Director of Financial Compliance & Services (RFCS), listed above or the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) for guidance.

Non-federal and State of California awards are not required to account for program income unless specified in the award terms and conditions or regulations.

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View the Policy and FAQs on Program Income