NIH Grants Policy Statement
Revised November 2016. This document applies to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements for budget periods beginning on or after October 1, 2016.
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14.10 Allowable and Unallowable Costs

The following highlights allowable and unallowable costs under conference grants. No costs other than those specified in this subsection as allowable, including any qualifications on their allowability, are permitted under conference grants.

14.10.1 Allowable Costs

In general, consistent with 45 CFR 75.432, conference hosts/sponsors must exercise discretion and judgment in ensuring that conference costs are appropriate, necessary and managed in a manner that minimizes costs to the Federal award.

Conference Services. Grant funds may be used for necessary recording of proceedings, simultaneous translation, and subsequent transcriptions.

Consultant Services. Grant funds may be used to pay consultant fees, including travel and supporting costs (per diem or, where applicable, subsistence).

Equipment Rental. Grant funds may be used for the rental of necessary equipment.

Federal Employees. See Grants to Federal Institutions and Payments to Federal Employees under Grants chapter.

Meals. When meals are justified by the applicant as an integral and necessary part of a conference (i.e., a working meal where business is transacted), grant funds may be used for such meals, as qualified under Travel below. However, direct charges for meals/food and beverages are unallowable charges to an NIH grant where the primary purpose is to support a scientific meeting/conference.

Publication Costs. When grant funds are awarded to pay for either the entire or partial cost of publication of proceedings or a book or pamphlet, allowable costs include special plates, charts, diagrams, printing, distribution, mailing, postage, and general handling, unless otherwise specified at the time the grant is awarded.

Registration Fees. Grant funds may not be used for registration fees paid by the recipient to other organizations on behalf of attendees. Grant funds may be used to help defray registration costs for some select conference attendees (for example, women, racial/ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, other individuals who have been traditionally underrepresented in science, graduate students).

Salaries. In accordance with the policy of the recipient organization, grant funds may be used for all or part of the salaries of professional personnel, clerical assistants, editorial assistants, and other non-professional staff in proportion to the time or effort directly related to the conference.

Speakers Fees. Speakers' fees for services rendered are allowable.

Supplies. Grant funds may be used for the purchase of supplies for the conference if the supplies are received and used during the budget period.

Travel. Funds may be used for the travel of staff, speakers, participants, and attendees, if identified in the application and approved at the time of award. Travel expenses for employees of the recipient organization are governed by the recipient's travel policies, consistently applied regardless of the source of funds.

Any U.S. foreign travel restrictions that are in effect at the time of the award will be followed, such as

Proposed per diem or subsistence allowances must be reasonable and limited to the days of attendance at the conference plus the actual travel time to reach the conference location by the most direct route. Local mileage costs only may be paid for local participants. Where meals and/or lodgings are furnished without charge or at a nominal cost (e.g., as part of the registration fee), the proposed per diem or subsistence allowance must take this into consideration.

Transportation costs for attendees and participants at the conference may not exceed coach class fares. In all cases, U.S. flag carriers will be used where possible (see Cost Considerations-Allowability of Costs/Activities-Selected Items of Cost-Travel in IIA).

In accordance with 45 CFR 75.474, temporary dependent care costs (as dependent is defined in 26 USC § 152) above and beyond regular dependent care that directly results from travel to conferences is allowable provided that:

(i) The costs are a direct result of the individual's travel for the Federal award;

(ii) The costs are consistent with the non-Federal entity's documented travel policy for all entity travel; and

(iii) Are only temporary during the travel period.

Travel costs for dependents are unallowable, except for travel of duration of six months or more with prior approval of the HHS awarding agency. However, as indicated in 45 CFR 75.432, as needed, the costs of identifying, but not providing, locally available dependent-care resources are allowable.

14.10.2 Unallowable Costs

A&R. Not allowable.

Entertainment and Personal Expenses. Costs of amusement, diversion, social activities, ceremonials, and related incidental costs, such as bar charges, tips, personal telephone calls, and laundry charges of participants or guests, are unallowable. However, meals may be allowable as provided under Allowable Costs-Meals above.

Equipment Purchase. Grant funds may not be used for the purchase of equipment.

F&A Costs. Not allowable.

Honoraria. Honoraria or other payments given for the purpose of conferring distinction or to symbolize respect, esteem, or admiration may not be paid from grant funds.

Local Participants' Expenses. With the exception of local mileage as indicated under Allowable Costs-Travel above, grant funds may not be used to pay per diem or expenses for local participants in the conference.

Meals. Direct charges for meals/food and beverages are unallowable charges to an NIH grant where the primary purpose is to support a scientific meeting/conference.

Membership Dues. Not allowable.

Research Patient Care. Not allowable.

Visas and Passports. Not Allowable.