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Office of Sponsored Awards Management


Participant Support Costs

A participant is any person—students, visiting scholars, private sector representatives, etc.—not employed by the university who participates in a sponsored project event. Participants perform no work and provide no service as part of the project, and are not required to provide any deliverables.

Participant support costs can include direct costs for items such as stipends, subsistence allowances, training materials, travel and/or registration fees paid to (or on behalf of) participants or trainees (but not employees) in connection with a sponsored project's meetings, conferences, symposia or training projects. Indirect costs are not charged on participant costs. Participant support costs are an allowable expense on NSF and NIH grants. Before including these costs in a proposal budget for any other sponsor, contact the sponsor to determine whether participant support costs are allowed.

Incentives paid to research subjects are not considered participant support costs.

Participant Stipend

  • A set amount paid directly to the participant, who is not a USC employee.
  • These costs may be included in a specific budget category (NSF) or as other expenses (NIH).

 

Participant Travel

  • Housing, transportation and subsistence are allowable when appropriate for the program/project.
  • These costs may be included in a specific budget category (NSF) or as Other Expenses (NIH).

 

Participant Registration and Fees

  • Any allowable charges required to be paid for participation in the project.
  • These generally are listed as other expenses.