Forms & Policies
In an effort to keep in compliance with the ever-changing rules and regulations, we have created this page to assist with understanding the policies that Princeton University must abide to whether for 6000 accounts or 4000 account.
If you ever need assitance in understanding any guidelines, please contact the Grants Administration Department.
Postage, Copy Charges & Office Supplies
Under federal regulations and sponsor requirements, departmental types of expenses including but not limited to administrative or clerical salaries, office supplies, postage, local telephone costs, photocopy costs, network charges, cell phones, etc. should normally be treated as a Facilities and Administrative (F & A) cost and recovered throught he F & A cost rate (also known as indirect cost rate). In exceptional circumstances where the nature of the work performed requires extensive departmental support, administrative or clerical salaries may be treated as a direct charge. However, administrative or clerical salaries or other general administrative costs must directly benefit and be easily identified with the particular sponsored project or program.
Only FedEx charges are allowable on a grant when they clearly support the research (equipment shipping, etc).
Mobile Phone Usage & Charging to Accounts
Mobile phone charging to accounts falls under the "Direct Charging Computers" section of the Direct and Indirect Cost Policy - this includes smartphones. In order for a smartphone to be allowable on a sponsored project, it must only have "incidental use" for non-sponsored project activities. A further description of "incidental use" is included in the "Direct Charging Computers" section of the policy. It is difficult to justify a personal iphone as meeting the criteria of direct charging to a sponsored project. You would have to answer:
- Is the iphone almost exclusively used for this sponsored project? If so, SRA would need a statement that indicates that all functional use of the phone (i.e. phone, text, web, other..) is principally used for the specific project that is being charged and that any other use is incidental as defined in University policy.
- Does the professor have a secondary mobile phone for non-sponsored project communications?
Criteria for incidental use include the following:
- Incidental use never interferes with project use.
- Incidental use is solely for short time periods for convenience purposes only (e.g., quick e-mail check, preparing short occasional document, etc.).
- Incidental use itself would not have justified the purchase of the computer.
- Incidental use does not require removing the computer from the project location.
(The use of a laptop computer to store non-sponsored project information or for use outside of the lab or office where the research is conducted - except for field work - is likely to be questioned during an audit of the allowability of the laptop computer on a project.)
Examples of circumstances whereby a computer might qualify as a direct cost to a sponsored project or program are as follows:
- A computer is functioning as, or is in direct support of, scientific equipment that is required for collection and/or analysis of data for the project.
- A computer is specifically needed to record data while the researchers are in the field at a remote location (such as an archeological site). In such situations, the computer is used either exclusively or primarily for the project.
- Training grant institutional allowance funds might be used to purchase a computer for a student supported on the training grant in order for the student to document their research