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Finance & Administration > FAPolicies > Grants and Contracts Accounting > Charging Stipends and Trainee-Related Expenses to a Sponsored Project  
Charging Stipends and Trainee-Related Expenses to a Sponsored Project
Section:4- Grants and Contracts Accounting
Policy Procedure:4-3.15
Subject:Charging Stipends and Trainee-Related Expenses to a Sponsored Project
Established Date:3/31/2009
Responsible Department:Grants and Contracts Accounting

This procedure provides guidelines for processing expenditures for stipends and trainee-related expenses on Sponsored Projects awarded for research training.

General Guidelines

The University receives research training and fellowship awards from sponsoring agencies for the purpose of enhancing the research careers of predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees and fellows. Awards from sponsors other than the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are subject to the specific sponsor's guidelines and specific award terms and conditions.

The majority of the University's fellowships and traineeships are NIH awards, which are subject to special terms and conditions found in the NIH Grants Policy Statement at:

Types of NIH awards are Individual Fellowships (F30, F31, F32, and F33 awards), or Institutional Training Grants (T32 and T35 awards) to develop or enhance research training opportunities for individuals selected by MUSC.

Fellowships and traineeships generally provide for a payment of a stipend to the individual as a subsistence allowance to help defray living expenses and do not generally require the individual to perform services. However, if services (past, present, or future) are required, payment represents compensation and MUSC must pay the individual through the payroll system and withhold taxes. Taxes may have to be withheld on stipend payments to non-resident aliens even if services are not required. This is governed by tax law, the individual's visa status and/or the tax treaty between the U.S. and their country of residence.

Questions regarding processing expenditures for fellowships and traineeships should be addressed to the appropriate Grants and Contracts Accounting Team based on departmental assignment (see Distribution of Grants by Administrator) or at 792-2850.


1. Payments to Fellows and Trainees

a. When the fellowship/traineeship is awarded, the Department must complete a "Memorandum of Understanding - Tax Implications for Fellowships/Traineeships" form with the recipient and determine if the recipient is required to perform related services to receive the award. The MOU explains the potential tax liability for the University and for the recipient. The MOU form and detailed instructions are found in the forms section of this policy.

b. If services are required, the Departmental Business Manager or designated staff must prepare and forward a Position/Employee Action Request (PEAR) Form and a copy of the MOU to GCA for review and approval and processing.

c. If services are not required, the Departmental Business Manager or staff must prepare and forward a purchase requisition coded with the Stipend account object code (55106) to GCA along with a copy of the MOU in order to initiate recurring payments under the award. GCA will approve or contact the department for required corrections, and then forward the purchase requisition to Accounts Payable for payment. Items to note are:

1) Departments must follow current NIH-established stipend levels (based on degree and years of experience) for NIH grants. See The department must also submit to NIH a "Statement of Appointment" form for the individual and should attach a copy to the requisition and MOU.

2) Stipends must not generally be paid from NIH Research (R) awards. Stipend supplementation and acceptable conditions for incidental part-time employment are addressed in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Other Costs:

Other fellowship and traineeship expenses, such as travel, health insurance, and tuition and fees may be reimbursed in accordance with the NIH Grants Policy Statement, specific award terms and conditions, and awarded budget. F&A costs are not generally reimbursed for fellowships because a fixed "institutional allowance" is usually awarded. F&A Costs for training grants are generally limited to 8% of modified total direct costs. Rebudgeting from stipends, tuition, and fees will require prior sponsor approval.


Memorandum of Understanding - Tax Implications for Fellowships & Traineeships

Blank Form

Sample Form

Page last updated: 10/14/2015

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