NIH Grants Policy Statement
Revised October 2017. This document applies to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements for budget periods beginning on or after October 1, 2017.
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17.6 Allowable and Unallowable Costs

Allowable and unallowable costs under grants to Federal institutions will be determined by the established policies of the institution, consistently applied to both its own activities and to grant-supported activities, and the requirements of this subsection. In the absence of a governing organizational policy, the cost principles in 45 CFR 75, Subpart E will apply.

Salaries. See Federal (U.S. Government) Employees below.

Institutional Allowances Under Kirschstein-NRSA Individual Fellowships. Institutional allowances may be requested by Federal institutions sponsoring a predoctoral or postdoctoral fellow.

F&A Costs. F&A costs will not be provided to Federal institutions.

Federal (U.S. Government) Employees. Whether or not costs will be charged to the grant, when a Federal employee will be involved in an NIH grant-supported activity in any capacity other than as an employee working on a grant to a Federal institution, or a study subject, special conditions apply as provided in this subsection. The limitations in this subsection do not apply to individuals that are classified as special government employees because of service on advisory groups or as a result of a formal consulting arrangement with a Federal agency. (See the HHS Standards of Conduct at 45 CFR 73, Subpart J for additional guidance.) The Federal employee should consult with their agency ethics officials to determine whether outside activity approval is required by their employing agency.

Only four types of costs-consultant fees, subject costs, salary or fringe benefits, and travel costs-can be charged to NIH grants on behalf of Federal employees, whether by a recipient or a consortium participant, and under the conditions specified only. Applicants/recipients should advise any Federal employee with whom these types of arrangements may be made to consult with their employing agency concerning their ability to participate and to meet the required conditions for payment. The applicant organization must submit, as part of the grant application, any letters or documentation specified below, and that documentation must be deemed acceptable by the GMO before the Federal employee's involvement in the project.

Consultant Fees. Consultant fees are allowable only for medical personnel of the Uniformed Services of the United States (excluding PHS Commissioned Officers) and when all of the following conditions are present:

Outpatient or Subject Costs. These costs are allowable when the federal employee is an outpatient or subject under study in connection with grant-supported activities.

Salary or Fringe Benefits. In most circumstances no salary or fringe benefit payments may be made from NIH grant funds to support Federal employees. While the level of effort required for the research project must be allowed by the employing agency as part of the individuals' official duties, salary and fringe benefit costs associated with an individual participating in an official capacity as a career, career-conditional, or other Federal employees (civilian or uniformed services) are not allowable. Salary and fringe benefits payments may only be made when prior approval is obtained from an authorized official of the employee's agency and the employee is one of the following:

Travel Costs. Travel costs are allowable if the employee is

Such payments must be made in accordance with established organizational policy and consistently applied regardless of the source of funds, and the parties concerned must take reasonable steps to ensure that there is no actual or apparent conflict of interest.