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Cost considerations are critical throughout the life cycle of a grant. An applicant's budget request is reviewed for compliance with the governing cost principles and other requirements and policies applicable to the type of recipient and the type of award. Any resulting award will include a budget that is consistent with these requirements.
NIH anticipates that, because of the nature of research, the recipient may need to modify its award budget during performance to accomplish the award's programmatic objectives. Therefore, NIH provides some flexibility for recipients to deviate from the award budget, depending on the deviation's significance to the project or activity. More significant post-award changes require NIH prior approval. Prior approval requirements and authorities are discussed in Administrative Requirements-Changes in Project and Budget.
During post-award administration, the GMO, or a GMO designee, monitors expenditures for conformance with cost policies. The GMO's monitoring includes, among other things, responding to prior approval requests and reviewing progress reports, audit reports, and other periodic reports. The GMO also may use audit findings as the basis for final cost adjustments (see Administrative Requirements-Closeout).
This chapter addresses the general principles underlying the allowability of costs, differentiates direct costs from F&A costs, and highlights a number of specific costs and categories of cost for NIH applicants and recipients. It is not intended to be all-inclusive and should be used as a supplement to the applicable cost principles.