Office of Sponsored Programs - 500.15 - Additional Non-Personnel Expenditures


Office of Sponsored Programs - 500.15 - Additional Non-Personnel Expenditures


The University offers this operating standard to provide clarification and guidance as to University practices regarding expenditure inquiries about non-personnel issues in conjunction with Federal regulations governing allowability.

Policy Statement

The following non-personnel expenditures, which are not all-inclusive and can be classified as either "direct" or "indirect" costs are described below:

I. Office Equipment, Materials, and Supplies

Office equipment, materials, and supplies that do not meet the criteria for capitalized equipment are allocated as Indirect or Facilities and Administrative (F&A) expenditures.

Examples of such costs include but are not limited to:

  • General Office Equipment (costing less than $5,000)
  • Office Supplies
  • Postage
  • Memberships
  • Computers

Grant and contract funds can be used to purchase appropriate lab and project-specific research supplies delivered on or after the begin date and received sufficiently in advance of the end date of a project period. Purchases made during the latter part of a project are subject to particular audit scrutiny and therefore require proof of sustainability from the viewpoints of relevance and usefulness to the project.

Supplies received following the budget end date of an award or contract is generally charged to a continuation award or another active project that requires and can effectively utilize the supplies. If the usage and charges for such supplies cannot be legitimately absorbed by another active project or departmental budget, outstanding orders must be canceled to avoid the incurrence of a financial obligation not covered by an authorized budget.

II. Research Patient Care Costs

Research patient care costs are the routine and ancillary services provided by hospitals to individuals participating in research programs. The costs of these services are normally assigned to specific research projects through the development and application of research patient care rates or amounts.

They exclude:

  • Otherwise allowable items of personal expense reimbursement, such as patient travel or subsistence, consulting physician fees, or any other direct payments related to all classes of individuals, including inpatients, outpatients, subjects, volunteers, and donors.
  • Costs of ancillary tests performed in facilities outside the hospital on a fee-for-service basis (for example, an independent, privately-owned laboratory) or in an affiliated medical school/university based on an institutional fee schedule.
  • Data management or statistical analysis of clinical research results.


Because of the inconsistent nature of possible exclusions and exceptions, these are broached on an individual, case-by-case basis. However, there are some general guidelines for specialized non-personnel costs listed below:

I. Alterations and Renovations (Remodeling)

Such costs are authorized only for specialized facility requirements and exceptional cases, not for general-purpose space.

II. Rental Space

In some cases, a University department, school, or center may require rental space to house a sponsored project. If the rental space is within a ten-mile radius of the University campus, the rent is paid from F&A receipts and the on-campus indirect cost rate applies. If the rental space lies outside the ten-mile radius of the campus and is not owned by the University, the rent is included as a direct project charge and the off-campus indirect cost rate applies.

Contact Information

For questions regarding this operating standard and its related procedure, please contact

For questions regarding Pre-Award management or Post-Award administration, please contact the assigned Sponsored Projects Specialist (SPS).

For invoicing, reporting and other financial matters, please contact the assigned Sponsored Projects Accountant. OSP Staff assignments are found in RAMSeS or on the OSP website.


Document History
Date Revision
07/01/2022 Revised to reflect the new office name.
05/15/2018 Revised to coincide with the release of the new OSP Website.

The operating standards in the Office of Sponsored Programs Operating Standards & Procedures Manual supersede any OSP operating standards, procedures and appendices previously included in the University Business Manual, a publication of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Division of Finance.

100% helpful - 2 reviews
Print Article


Article ID: 132320
Thu 4/8/21 9:28 PM
Fri 1/19/24 12:09 PM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Research-Office of Sponsored Programs
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Vice Chancellor
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
01/19/2025 12:00 AM
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
01/19/2024 12:00 AM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
07/01/2022 12:00 AM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
07/01/2022 12:00 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
07/01/2008 12:00 AM