Office of
Sponsored Programs


Guidelines for Budgeting and Charging Direct Costs on Sponsored Projects


In accepting government sponsored projects (grants, contracts, and other types of agreements) Stevens agrees to abide by government regulations regarding the use of those funds. Office of Management and Budget Circular A-21 sets forth general criteria for determining the allowability of direct costs on government sponsored projects at educational institutions. Many government agencies publish additional cost guidelines specific to those agencies, and familiarity with such regulations is also necessary.

Although generally not as stringent as government requirements, non-governmental agencies may also have cost guidelines with which faculty (principal investigators), departmental business officers, and/or grant administrators should be familiar.

This Guide summarizes pertinent overall government regulations and Stevens practices used to determine whether or not a particular cost item would be considered an allowable direct cost for budgeting and/or charging on a government sponsored project. Government auditors may use the same guidelines when conducting audits of government sponsored projects awarded to Stevens.

Appendix C contains a listing of OSR contacts for assistance in interpreting various circumstances. In addition, business officers/administrators within each department are a valuable resource in applying the principles to particular circumstances.