Participant Support Costs

Participant Support Costs are direct expenses for items such as stipends or subsistence allowances, travel allowances, and registration fees paid to or on behalf of participants or trainees (but not employees) in connection with conferences or training projects.

Participant support costs are allowable if all of the following criteria are met:

  • The costs are programmatically justified;
  • The costs are explicitly included in the budget and the budget is approved or prior written approval is received from the Federal awarding agency; and
  • The costs are not included in the F&A calculation.

Note: NIH will only allow Participant Support Costs to be charged if they were approved in the original Funding Opportunity Announcement.

Who is a participant?

  • A participant is the recipient, not the provider, of a training associated with a workshop, conference, seminar, symposium, or other short-term instructional or information sharing activity.
  • Participants cannot be employees of Syracuse University.
  • Participants perform no work or services for the project or program other than for their own benefit.
  • A participant is not involved in providing any deliverable to the University or a third party.
  • Participants may include students, scholars, and scientists from other institutions, representatives of private sector companies, teachers, and state or local government agency personnel.

What expenses can be included in participant support costs?
Participant support costs include expenditures for items such as the following:

  • Stipend. A stipend is a set amount of money to be paid directly to the participant in connection with a short-term training activity. Note that short-term means the appointment period approved by the sponsor.
  • Travel. Travel includes the costs of transportation and associated costs and must follow sponsor guidelines and University travel policy. The sole purpose of the trip must be to participate in the project activity.
  • Subsistence allowance. The cost of a participant’s housing and per diem expenses necessary for the individual to participate in the project are generally allowed, provided these expenses are reasonable and limited to the days of attendance.
  • Fees. The fees paid by a participant in connection with meetings, conferences, symposia, or training projects are generally allowable costs. These fees may include laboratory fees, passport or visa fees for foreign participants, and registration fees.
  • Other. Certain other costs paid on behalf of or to the participant as required for their involvement may be allowable, including training materials, laboratory supplies, and insurance.

What expenses CANNOT be included as participant support costs?
Participant support costs do not include the following types of payments:

  • Honoraria paid to a guest speaker or lecturer.
  • Conference support costs such as facility rentals, media equipment rentals, or conference food.
  • Human Subject fees are not participant support costs, and should be budgeted under ‘other direct costs.’