Types of Non-Sponsored Accounts

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Learn more about the different types of Non-Sponsored accounts. Find out the allowable expenditures for each type.

Types of Non-Sponsored Accounts

Each type of account that can be established from RF F&A funds has both restrictions and allowable expenditures.

Administration, Other Indirect Support and General Institutional Services Accounts


The Master Awards are initially set up for a one year period (in order to control any payroll encumbrances) and receive funding as they are established.

  • Functional projects are then established for each unit receiving RF funding from the university’s internal financial plan. Units may sub-allocate their funds by sending requests to the Non-Sponsored Group, requesting the establishment of additional projects to be funded by their approved allocation.
  • The time period for each project is determined at the discretion of the awarding unit. A project’s end date may be requested to run beyond the initial one year period; however, since the initial award period is only for one year, any payroll commitments beyond the one-year period will not appear on the project during the first year.
  • At the conclusion of the initial year, the Master Award will be extended and the future commitments will then appear against the project. Requests for project extensions beyond the initially designated funding period must be submitted by the awarding unit to the Non-Sponsored Group .
  • Units are strongly encouraged to use previous year’s funds before using new funds, in order for old awards to be closed in the RF Business System, and to minimize the complexity of the review and monitoring needed by departments.
  • Monitoring occurs at the project level, where expenditures may not exceed the budgeted amount.
  • An annual review of project balances should be performed by the awarding units. Upon reaching the designated termination date, projects with remaining balances of less than $100 will be automatically closed by , and the balance returned to the awarding unit’s functional project.

Classification and Expenditures

Following is  a definition and description of appropriate expenditures for various types of accounts within this classification. Since institutions are able to receive reimbursement from sponsors for expenses in areas such as administrative services, building space, utilities, janitorial services and libraries, the classification of these accounts is very important. UB’s F&A (indirect cost) recovery rate is created based on the expenditures from these types of accounts.

1. Sponsored Funds Administration includes the office(s)responsible for administering monies awarded for sponsored projects. Funds in this account are used to cover expenditures generated from the activities of these offices.

Appropriate expenditures in this function include employee salaries, wages and fringe benefits; supplies; travel and office equipment associated with activities such as:

  • Departmental purchasing
  • Administering sponsored project payroll and personnel
  • Billing and collecting from sponsors
  • Preparing and submitting final reports
  • Performing property duties related to administration
  • Pre-award activities (for example developing budgets, processing applications, and establishing accounts). At least 80 percent of the duties of staff assigned to accounts established within this function must be directly related to sponsored programs administered by the RF.

2. General Administration  includes support of administrative offices and other general expenses that do not relate solely to one of the major functions of the university. Staff assigned to accounts established for general administration may not devote more than 80 percent of their time to administering sponsored projects for the RF.

Appropriate expenditures include employee salaries, wages, and fringe benefits, supplies, and travel expenses. Office equipment found in areas of general administration, such as the Vice Presidents’ offices, is included as well.

3. Maintenance and Operations includes central service organizations that are responsible for the administration, supervision, operation, maintenance, preservation and protection of the physical plant.

Appropriate expenditures include janitorial and utility services; repairs and ordinary or normal alterations of buildings, furniture, and equipment; care of grounds; and maintenance and operation of buildings and other plant facilities.

4. Departmental Administration  includes administrative and support services that benefit department activities in academic deans’ offices, academic departments and divisions, and organized research units (such as institutes, study centers, and research centers). Departmental administration also includes proposal development and other specific expenses associated with seeking external support at the department level.

Appropriate expenditures include administration of sponsored programs at the department level, such as monitoring accounts and processing personnel forms and purchase requisitions.

5. Student Services includes services to students. Appropriate expenditures include payments to deans for student services; admissions, registrar, counseling, and placement services; student advisers; student health and infirmary services; catalogs; and commencements and convocations.

6. Libraries  includes operation of the libraries, including the cost of books and library materials purchased for the libraries.

7. General Institutional Services includes services or service units of general benefit to all the major functions of the University. Examples of such services are the computer center, automotive, mail, telephone, and central stores. University policy on service centers must be followed when establishing recharge rates for costs charged back to sponsored projects. See additional information on service center fees

8. Institutional and Departmental Support includes activities or functions that directly support institutional and departmental functions that cannot be reasonably allocated to specific functions or departments. Note: This classification should only be used when one of the other classifications is not appropriate.

9. Academic Support includes activities that support the primary functions of instruction, research, and public service. This classification should be used to support academic administration and separately budgeted course and curriculum development.

10. Organized Activities are activities or functions that are budgeted and accounted for that provide support to specific objectives not related to another classification related to the institution’s missions: instruction, research and public service.

Support and Development Accounts


These accounts and their term dates are authorized by the Provost and/or the VP for Research. A carry forward of unexpended balances beyond the project period must be approved by the Provost and/or the VP for Research. Monitoring by Grants and Contracts Services occurs at the account level and expenditures may not exceed the awarded budget amount.

Classification and Expenditures

A definition and a description of the appropriate expenditures for the various types of accounts within this classification follows:

1. Sponsored Program Development includes support of broad new programs, the purposes of which are to enhance and/or upgrade the capability to attract future sponsored support.

Examples of appropriate expenditures include:

  • Purchase of scientific equipment that strengthens or upgrades the research or training capability of an academic unit
  • Operation of a formal grant-in-aid program involving submission of applications for funding by investigators and review by peer groups or other committees
  • Travel to scientific conferences not related to current projects
  • Purchase of scholarly journals or publications
  • Pilot project support necessary to attain competitive position for external funding
  • Development costs of research centers and facilities

Seeking support for a specific sponsored project is not an appropriate expenditure for this group of accounts.

2. Organized Research activities that directly support the conduct of existing sponsored projects or programs. These accounts combine expenditures appropriate to the Direct Sponsored Program Support and Sponsored Program Development Accounts.

Examples of appropriate expenditures include:

  • Funding of programs in order to continue the research effort between periods of externally sponsored support (especially the support of key personnel).
  • Purchase of equipment primarily required to maintain current capabilities (such as replacement equipment or enhancements to existing equipment to maintain the unit at the "state of the art").
  • Attendance at scientific conferences not covered by current project funds.
  • Recharge for general institutional services.

Instruction and Departmental Research Accounts


Instruction and Departmental Research includes general teaching and training activities of the operating location, whether the activities are credited or non-credited, and whether they are offered through regular academic departments or separate divisions such as summer school. Appropriate expenditures include research development and scholarly activities within academic departments that are not separately budgeted as organized research, and the support of graduate and teaching assistants. Many of the expenditures related to the monies transferred to support SUNY activities are appropriate to this function as well.

Physical Plant Accounts


The accounts in this group are generally established for the period of time when completion is anticipated.

Classification and Expenditures

The definition and description of appropriate expenditures for these accounts are provided below.

  • Alterations and Renovations of Physical Plant includes structural changes to existing buildings, offices, and laboratories that are of general benefit to one or more of the major functions of the University. Appropriate expenditures include creating additional laboratory space in an existing building and subdividing a building.
  • Physical Plant Facilities includes new plant facilities or major rehabilitation programs that generally benefit one or more of the major functions of the University.
  • Capital Equipment includes major equipment acquisitions that are of benefit to more than one major function of the University. Accounts must remain open until all appropriate charges are recorded.
  • Appropriate expenditures include heating and air conditioning systems.

Other Research Foundation Administrative Accounts

1. Service and Facility Accounts are established to record the costs of a University service or facility of benefit to sponsored programs administered by the University. Costs are incurred on the Service and Facility account and recovered through recharges to sponsored program accounts. Examples of such services include photocopying services and laboratory analysis. These accounts are fiscal year accounts limited to a term of one year. New fiscal year accounts are automatically established with balances rolled over from the old fiscal year.

2. University Service/Revolving Accounts are established to accumulate charges from sponsored program accounts for support services provided from state operations such as mail or central stores. These accounts do not require a term date.

3. Conference Accounts are established for receipt and expenditure of funds for conferences and seminars. These accounts are funded when admission or other fees are collected from conference or seminar participants. Expenditures are made against these accounts in support of the conference or seminar for costs such as speaker fees and administrative costs. All income and expenditures must be recorded and processed within 45-days of the conference and seminar. Original receipts are required to back up all expenditures. Accounts will be closed once all income and expenditure activity is processed.

4. Royalty Account are established to record the receipt of royalties, licensing fees, etc. received in connection with a campus-supported invention. Funds are distributed per the Royalty Distribution Policy.

5. Technology Accelerator Fund Accounts (TAF) was created to support innovation across the SUNY research community and to accelerate the commercialization of invention. Tapping into the entrepreneurial spirit and wide-ranging expertise of SUNY faculty, the TAF set out to identify opportunities where strategic investments can make a significant impact on moving products and services to the marketplace.

6. Income Accounts are generated to house miscellaneous funds received externally not specifically related to the above categories. They are self-sustaining and indirectly support research activities without any specific sponsoring deliverables.

Un-Reimbursable Costs

Funds spent for legitimate RF business expenses that cannot be included in the F&A rate calculations under the provisions the Uniform Guidance are un-reimbursable indirect costs. In most cases these costs are not allowable to the above listed accounts. However, under very unusual circumstances, the Provost or appropriate VP may approve these types of expenditures.

Expenditures that are un-reimbursable in accordance with Uniform Guidance include:

  • Entertainment
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Housing costs of institutional officers
  • Club memberships
  • Most advertising, promotion, and public relations expenses
  • Severance pay in excess of institutional policy
  • Fines, penalties, parking tickets
  • Lobbying
  • Alumni activities
  • Trustees costs

Contact an Expert

Brendan Davis.

Brendan Davis

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Zachary Root.

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