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Participant Support Costs

Awards from Federal agencies and other sponsors may include funds for participant support costs.  Participant support costs are direct costs for items paid to or on behalf of participants or trainees in connection with conferences or training projects.

Who is a participant?

A participant is an individual who is the recipient of a service or training provided at a workshop, conference, seminar, symposium or other instructional or research activity funded by a sponsored award.

What are participant support costs?

Participant support costs are those costs paid to or on behalf of the participant.  All costs that are reimbursed to or paid on behalf of participants must be incurred within the project period and specifically allowed by the sponsoring agency. These costs may include the following expenses, when required to participate in the project:


·Subsistence allowance

·Tuition and registration fees

·Event registration fees or lodging and meal expenses paid directly to the event facility, only if the payment is made on behalf of the participant

·Travel costs, including meals and incidentals

·Training materials and supplies

Budgeting participant support costs

Participant support costs cannot be rebudgeted for use in other categories without prior written approval of the sponsor.

Management of participant support costs

When a sponsored award includes participant support costs, the Principal Investigator (PI) and the Department Business Administrator (DBA) are responsible for ensuring compliance with those requirements.

The PI/department is also required to retain records detailing:

·Criteria by which the participants were selected

·Copies of applications of selected participants, with documentation as to how they meet the selection criteria

·A list of program participants and documentation of their participation in the program

Links and Resources


NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG)

Restrictions on Purchasing of Equipment and Services

Please note that under 2 CFR 200.216 and FAR 52.204-25 that purchasing on federal funding of telecoms, video surveillance equipment or services from specific Chinese companies and their affiliates (Huawei Technologies Company, ZTE Corporation, Hytera Communications Corporation, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company, or Dahua Technology) is prohibited. NIH FAQ