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Frequently Asked Questions

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Indirect Costs

Q: What indirect cost rate should I use for my grant proposal?
A: The appropriate rates are listed in the Rates section.
Q: How do I calculate the indirect cost on my grant proposal?
A: The appropriate formula is listed in the Rates section.

Fringe Benefits

Q: How much money do I need to budget for fringe benefits on my grant proposal?
The appropriate rates are listed in the Rates section.

Office Supplies

Q: Why can't I charge office supplies to my federal grants?
A: Federal OMB Circular A-21 "Cost Principles for Education Institutions" requires postage and office supplies be considered a departmental expense (indirect cost) unless the expense can be shown to be a significant part of the project or activity and they are purchased for the sole direct technical benefit of the project. Postage for routine correspondence, including correspondence with the sponsoring agency should not be direct charged to the project.

Other Unallowable Costs

Q: Are there other costs which are not allowable on federal grant funds?
Yes. Some of the most common are listed below. For a more complete discussion of allowable and unallowable costs on federal funds, please see OMB Circular A-21.
Salaries of departmental secretarial and clerical staff are allowable only when the project or activity explicitly budgets for these salaries, and the individuals can be specifically identified with the project or activity. This means the individual must be involved in a significant role in the project. This situation will arise very infrequently and these charges will normally not be allowed as direct costs.
Local telephone costs that include purchase, installation and/or monthly line charges, are not allowable as direct costs.
Memberships are not allowable as direct costs.

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North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8357 / Fax: (701) 231-9414
Campus address: SGC 100
Physical/delivery address: 1919 University Dr N, Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 3130 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: Grant and Contract Accounting

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 2:52:19 PM