Allowable/Unallowable Expenditures

Costs are allowable when they are directly attributable to specific work under a sponsored agreement. The items listed in this section are some of the more common costs involved in sponsored programs and are provided as guidance only. Failure to mention a particular item of costs is not intended to imply that it is either allowable or unallowable.

When expenditures relate to multiple projects, those projects should be charged an appropriate amount based on use to the extent practical. 

For a list of common expenditures, and whether they should be charged directly or indirectly to federally sponsored programs, see Sponsored Projects Allowable and Unallowable Costs. If you have any questions about the allowability of any cost on your project, please contact Sponsored Programs or Sponsored Programs Accounting.

Following are examples of indirect costs that normally should not be direct charged to sponsored programs:

  • Memberships
  • Office Supplies (including general purpose computers & standard computer software)*
  • Local Telephone Costs (including line charges, network connections & cell phones)
  • Postage or Delivery Costs *
  • Proposal Preparation Costs
  • Electricity
  • Insurance
  • Security Costs
  • Library Costs

See sponsored projects allowable and unallowable costs.