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.

12.8 Allowable and Unallowable Costs

Policies included in the applicable cost principles in 45 CFR 75, Subpart E and the NIHGPS govern the expenditure of all CDA funds, unless otherwise indicated in the NoA.

12.8.1 Salaries and Fringe Benefits

Requested salary and fringe benefit amounts must be in accordance with institutional policies applied consistently to individuals in like circumstances and must be supported by acceptable accounting principles. If full-time, 12-month salaries are not currently paid to comparable staff members, the salary proposed must be appropriately related to the existing salary structure. Salary amounts requested on CDA grants must be based on the investigator's institutional base salary (IBS) prorated for their commitment on the project. While requested salary and fringe benefit information is provided in the initial application, confirmation of these costs may be required prior to the issuance of an award.

The amount funded as salary for a CDA is not uniform throughout the NIH participating ICs. Salary limits vary by IC and are noted in the FOA. Note the limit is on salary only; applicable fringe benefits are provided in addition to the salary. The candidate is strongly advised to contact the relevant awarding IC for any distinct guidelines, requirements, and allowable funds. Salary costs charged cannot exceed the applicable legislative salary cap (

The recipient institution may supplement the NIH salary contribution on the CDA up to a level that is consistent with the institution's salary scale. For effort directly committed to the CDA, salary supplementation is allowable, but must be from non-Federal sources (including institutional sources). In no case may PHS funds be used for such salary supplementation. Non-federal or institutional supplementation of salary must not require extra duties or responsibilities that would interfere with the goals of the CDA. For effort not directly committed to the CDA, CDA recipients may devote effort, with compensation, on Federal or non-Federal grants as the Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) or in another role (e.g., co-Investigator), as long as the specific aims of the other supporting grant(s) differ from those of the CDA.

NIH IC limitations on awarded salary levels do not limit the recipient's rebudgeting authority. Institutions may rebudget the total costs awarded to cover additional salary charges, provided they are within the approved scope of the project and consistent with the institution's salary scale as long as the cost charged is within the applicable legislative salary cap.

Salary support for ancillary personnel (e.g. administrative assistance or secretarial support) on CDAs is not allowable.

Salary support for mentors is not allowable on individual mentored CDAs.

Salary support for research technicians or study coordinators for clinical studies are generally allowable but are budgeted as part of the Research Development Support Costs described below.

12.8.2 Research Development Support Costs

CDAs may include a fixed amount for research development support costs. This amount may vary by IC and is commonly used for supplies, equipment, technical personnel, travel to research meetings or training, tuition/fees for courses and computational services.

12.8.3 Proposal Preparation Costs

Mentored CDA programs provide support with a goal of leading to research independence for an individual. Since research independence is achieved through applying for other research support, consistent with these objectives, it is allowable for effort devoted to proposal preparation costs for subsequent research support to be charged to a mentored CDA award. This can be considered part of the awarded effort commitment of the mentored CDA or an increase to that commitment with the allowable salary provided as applicable.

12.8.4 Facilities and Administrative Costs

For career awards other than the R00 phase of the K99/R00 and other than State, local, or Indian tribe (or "federally recognized Indian tribes"), recipients will receive F&A costs at 8 percent of modified total direct costs. State and local agencies, and Indian tribes (or "federally recognized Indian tribes") are eligible for full F&A cost reimbursement. For this policy, State universities or hospitals are not considered governmental agencies.