Policies and Procedures

Items Generally Disallowed as a Direct Charge
on a Sponsored Project

According to OMB Circular A-21all charges to a Sponsored Project agreement must benefit that Project/Award. If it benefits multiple projects or activities, it must be allocated to each according to the benefits derived.

This is not a comprehensive list. It is for reference purposes only and is subject to change. 
Please contact your grant administrator with questions concerning allowable expenses.


The following items should be charged to institutional funds or indirect cost accounts:

  • General Purpose Equipment
  • Books
  • Calendars
  • Chairs
  • Clerical and administrative salaries and bonuses
  • Computers, computer peripherals and supplies
  • Copiers
  • Desks
  • Fax machines
  • Filing Cabinets
  • Gem Clips, Binder Clips
  • Hanging files/folders
  • Inkjet Stylus
  • Instruction Manual for software such as Excel
  • Internet connections and dial up costs
  • Legal Pads
  • Maintenance contracts on printers, copiers etc…
  • Memberships & subscriptions
  • Overhead light bulbs, other similar items
  • Palm pilots
  • Paper
  • Pens, Pencils, Sharpies
  • Postage
  • Post-its
  • Printers
  • Software
  • Telephones, Pagers, Monthly line charges, Cell phones
  • Toner

Other Generally Disallowed Items

  • Advertising/Public Relations and Promotional Costs
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Alumni Activities
  • Bad Debts
  • Charitable Contributions/Donations/Gifts (cash, services or property)
  • Fund raising and investment management costs
  • Entertainment
  • Bonus (payment without service)
  • Fines and Penalties
  • Goods and Services not specified by the Sponsored Agreement.
  • Housing of Officers
  • Interest Expense
  • Certain Legal Costs
  • Losses on Sponsored Agreements (Overruns)
  • Memberships in Community Organizations, Country Clubs or Social Clubs
  • First Class Air Travel or other Non-Coach Class Travel