Institutional Activity and Proposal Preparation by Research Faculty Supported 100% by Sponsored Funds

Procedure Date: August 2021
Revision: 5
Last Review: August 2022

The University of Nevada, Reno is committed to supporting faculty research endeavors. A significant aspect of that support is to ensure the University is compliant with sponsor requirements. The University is required to make certain that sponsors are appropriately charged for work benefitting the scope of work funded by the sponsor. Since salary and the associated fringe costs generally make up the bulk of a project budget, sponsors are increasingly concerned about the allocability of those charges.

Research faculty whose salaries are paid 100% from sponsored projects (extramural funding) may need institutional support if they expend effort on activities that would not be allocable to existing sponsored projects. This faculty group typically does not participate in a significant percentage of non-sponsored effort. However, if an employee in this group expends effort on activities that are not allocable to existing sponsored projects, the payroll expenses associated with the non-sponsored effort must be moved off the sponsored worktag(s) via a cost transfer to a source of non-sponsored funds such as state, foundation or indirect cost recovery (F&A) funds intended to finance other institutional activities.

Institutional Activities Not Directly Related to Sponsored Projects

When determining if an institutional activity benefits a sponsored project, a researcher must first consult the scope of work and budget justification for the applicable projects to determine if the activities are allocable to the project.

Example: Human resources requires supervisor training, and the budget justification indicates that the principal investigator (PI) will be supervising employees. If the PI supervises employees solely because they work on the sponsored project, the training for the PI would be allocable to the sponsored project worktag.

Typical Activities Not Allocable to an Existing Sponsored Project

The following activities are more typical of those that would not be allocable to an existing sponsored project worktag:

  • Serving on committees within the University.
  • Offering guest lectures or other instructional activities within the University that are not expected as a deliverable on a sponsored award.
  • Serving on graduate student committees for students not working on projects supported by the external funding of the faculty member.
  • Participating in University outreach activities that are not expected as a deliverable on a sponsored award.
  • Writing proposals for additional sponsored projects.
  • Engaging in other University activities that cannot be directly charged to a sponsored project.