Post-Award Grant Financial Management


All expenditures must be routed to the Post-Award Grants Financial Management office for approval. The completed form should be signed by the Department head and Project Director before forwarding to Post-Award. Post-Award will provide the second signature and forward the paperwork to the appropriate Financial Services department.

Towson University is exempt from sales tax on items purchased in the state. Please present the tax exempt certificate when making purchases. In most cases Financial Services will not reimburse for sales tax.

  • Personnel/Compensation

    • Salary Payments - Faculty, Staff, Hourly Student Worker

    • Faculty members on a 10-month academic year appointment may earn up to 33% additional compensation from all sources on an annual, fiscal year basis during the Summer and Winter/minimester combined. Summer salary on sponsored projects is limited to 2 months. Compensation for Summer sponsored research activities must be consistent with the level of effort provided during the Summer and not the academic year. Please refer to the Faculty Handbook Chapter 9, part II, section VII.

      Please note: Contingent positions must follow USM policies and procedures for position classifications. Budgets prepared at the time of proposal may not represent the actual pay for the position.

      1. Faculty (Adjunct, Clinical, Lecturer, Tenure Track, Tenured, and Visiting)
      2. To pay a regular faculty member from a grant:

        1. Request for Additional Compensation – Faculty
        2. Flat Rate FormIf pay crosses fiscal year one form must be completed for each fiscal year

      3. Regular Staff

        1. Sponsored Project Employment Contract
        2. Secondary Employment Requisition
        3. Flat Rate Form

      5. Contingent Staff (Exempt, Non-Exempt)
      6. To pay a contingent staff member (New Hire [short-term] or current contingent TU employee) from a grant:
        If employee is of non-exempt status: Employee cannot be a full time non-exempt employee. Employee CAN NOT exceed working 100% of their time. If this is a short-term New Hire, a TU application must be completed:

        Current Contingent I Employee :

        1. Sponsored Project Employment Contract
        2. Contingent Category I Position Requisition
        3. Flat Rate Form

        New Hire-Contingent I Employee:

        1. Sponsored Project Employment Contract
        2. Contingent Category I Employment Agreement/with Employment Application
        3. Payment may be hourly or flat rate depending on the employment status.

        Current or New Hire-Contingent II Employee :

        1. Sponsored Project Employment Contract
        2. Position Requisition-Recruit
        3. Payment may be hourly or flat rate depending on the employment status.

        Contingent I - appointed to a position for six (6) months or less, a position that is intermittent or seasonal in nature, or has a written agreement as flat-rate exempt, not eligible for university benefits

        Contingent II – hired through competitive recruitment to a position for more than six (6) months, but no more than twelve (12) consecutive months, eligible for university benefits

        Exempt employee – Flat Rate form (e.g. Faculty, Deans)

        Non-Exempt employee – Timesheet/hourly (e.g. Research Associates, Admin. Assistants)

        Definition of job types can be found at

        Principal Investigators must file an "Employment Separation Form" with the Office of Human Resources for all regular and contingent employees who are separating employment. The form must be completed and returned to OHR at least two weeks before the employee's last day of work. Non-exempt employees should give at least two weeks written notice. Exempt employees should give at least 30-calendar days written notice.

        Separation Form:

        Please contact for more assistance.

      7. Hourly Student Worker
      8. Hourly Student Worker – Information found at: Please note, if a student is already on payroll, you just need to complete a new 311T for this additional position and send to the Payroll Office. Please be sure to send Post Award Office a copy for the file.

        When a student terminates his or her position with your grant, you must terminate the student using the Quick Change Form. This form can also be used for changing the student's hourly rate and supervisor change within the same department. If you are changing the funding source of this position, you must terminate this job and complete a new 311T for the new funding source.

        Quick Change Form:

        Student Clearance Process
        (To Put Student Employees on the Payroll)

        1.   If you are hiring a new employee:

        • As the Hiring Department, you must send the new employee to the Office of Human Resources (OHR) to complete the Federal Government's Immigration & Naturalization Services Form I-9.
        • Each new employee must provide proof of eligibility and identity to work in the U.S.
        • Each new employee must complete this process with OHR prior to start of employment. This is a federal mandate.
        • Complete the 311T form, (Special Payments Payroll Authorization) for Payroll Office

        2.  OHR: Verification of Employment & Eligibility- I-9 Process:

        • o Instructions for the I-9 Process and a list of acceptable identification documents can be found at or obtain this information from OHR.
        • o Report to OHR during scheduled hours with original documents (copies are not acceptable). OHR will establish eligibility and instruct you further on the employment process. Any change in immigration status or work authorization must be communicated to OHR prior to the expiration date of the document(s).
          • OHR will process I-9 forms
          • OHR is located on the first floor of the Administration Building.

        3.   Payroll Office:

        • Bring the completed 311T Form and Tax Residency Status Form (received from OHR) to the Payroll Office on the 4th floor of the Administration Building
    • Stipends

      1. Research stipend payments to Non-Employees or non-TU Students: Department must complete a Miscellaneous Expense Voucher and a W9

        Miscellaneous expense voucher should read "Stipend for attendance for (name of program) on (dates of program)."

      2. Research stipend payments to faculty, staff, and students – please contact the compliance administrator at

      3. Participant Support Costs (travel, supplies, etc.) are to be reimbursed as described in the normal policies and procedures of the University for reimbursement and travel. Original receipts are required.

        Stipends and participant support costs must be budgeted in the grant and supporting documentation will be requested.

        For non-TU affiliated individuals, please use the Miscellaneous Expense Voucher and use the appropriate account code.

      4. Note: Stipend payments are not for work related activity or for an hourly rate; no services are required to be performed by the stipend recipients. It is a set amount of money to be paid directly to the participant as an incentive for recruitment and participation in a specific project. Since the grant student stipend payment is being processed through the Payroll Office, a W2 will be mailed out to the student at the end of the calendar year. Depending on the student's tax status - the stipend payment may be taxable.

      5. Please find attached the two forms: Graduate Research Stipend Form and the Grant Research Stipend Checklist
    • Consultants and Honorariums

    • University's policy concerning consultants can be found at: Please follow the necessary steps for Consultants being paid $499 or less and $500 or more.

      University's policy concerning honorariums can be found at:

      Paperwork required for nonemployee vouchers:

      ** CONSULTANTS $500 or less: (Account #502123)

      • Consultant Agreement $500 or Less Form
      • Invoice from consultant
      • W-9

      ** CONSULTANT over $500: (Account #502123)

      Contact Procurement Office before entering into an agreement with the consultant.

      • Request for Independent Contractor Services Over $500 Form
      • Invoice from consultant (can be multiple invoices)
      • W-9

      ** HONORARIUM: (Account #502123)

      An honorarium is a small payment to a guest speaker, visiting scholars or other individual invited to provide a unique service to the University.

      • Letter of Invitation
      • Honorarium Request Application
      • Miscellaneous Expense Voucher
      • W-9

      Payments can be made at time of event if stated in written agreement and Account Payable office receives request 20 days prior to event

      ** NOTE ** - All travel expenses must be included in the payment to the consultant/honoraria. Towson CANNOT make payments for travel on behalf of individual, they must be reimbursed. The only exception is for the Burkshire because it is located on TU property.

      Blank Invoice: Here is a sample of an invoice that may be used to pay the consultant.

    • Graduate Assistantships

      Please visit the GAO website at:

    • Grant Scholarships

      If your grant has scholarships budgeted, please contact to make an appointment to discuss what process must be taken.

  • Non-Personnel Expenditures

  • Office supplies, postage, local telephone costs, and memberships are unallowable as direct cost on most sponsored projects. Except if costs incurred are for the sole benefit of the sponsored project and are specifically budgeted and approved by the sponsor.

    • Travel

    • Forms needed:

      International Travel

      If foreign travel is not included in budget at time of award, please review award terms to determine if sponsor requires prior approval.

      Fly America Act

      In accordance with the Fly America Act (49 U.S.C. 40118), international travel that is federally funded, must be performed by a U.S. flag air carrier or under a code-sharing arrangement with a U.S. flag air carrier even if the cost of using a U.S. flag air carrier is more expensive than using a foreign flag air carrier.

      Code-sharing is an industry practice whereby an airline puts its code on the flight of another airline in order to coordinate services and to market the flight as if it was their own. This practice complies with the Fly American Act as long as the boarding pass or ticket identifies the U.S. air carrier’s designator code and flight number.

      For example, if a Japanese airline carrier has a code-sharing agreement with American Airlines, the flight should be coded as AA#### for American Airlines and the flight #### even though the flight is on a foreign air carrier.

      Exceptions to the Fly America Act:

      1. Airline Open Skies Agreements – A foreign flag air carrier may be used if the transportation provided is under a bilateral or multilateral air transportation agreement between the United States and a foreign government, and which the Department of Transportation has determined meets the requirements of the Fly America Act. More information can be found at the following link
      2. Please note : Open Skies Agreements do not apply to travel funded by the Department of Defense (DoD).

      3. A matter of necessity- U.S flag air carrier cannot provide the air transportation needed, medical reasons, to avoid an unreasonable risk to a traveler’s safety, traveler cannot purchase a ticket in an authorized class of service on a U.S. flag air carrier, but the authorized class of service is available on a foreign air carrier.

      4. No U.S. air carrier provides service on a particular leg of your route - A foreign air carrier can be used only to or from the nearest interchange point to connect with a U.S. flag air carrier.

      5. Involuntary Rerouting – if a U.S. flag air carrier involuntarily reroutes the traveler via a foreign air carrier.

      6. Shorten travel time – if service on a foreign air carrier is three hours or less and the use of a U.S flag air carrier doubles en route travel time. If a foreign air carrier would eliminate two or more aircraft changes en route. If use of a U.S. flag air carrier on a nonstop flight extends travel time by 24 hours or more.

      Exceptions to the Fly America Act must be documented on the Certification/Justification Statement and must accompany the travel authorization and/or voucher form(s).

    • Procurement Card (Pro-Card)

    • The VISA Procurement Card is available and enables card holders to make purchases up to $4999 per transaction ($15,000 per month).
      Please visit the Procurement website for more information on obtaining a procurement card

      Procurement cards cannot be assigned to a grant number, but it can be linked to your department number. If you purchase an item through your Department's Procurement Card, the charge can be reallocated to the grant before it is charged to your department number. Please send an email to stating the Cardholder's Name, Department Number and Account (Procard is linked to), the name of the vendor, the amount, the transaction date, and the grant number and account that the expense should be charged too. On the email cc: the PI/Cardholder (if not one in the same) and

      An activity log must be maintained as each purchase is made. Using the Pro-card Web for reconciliation is the easiest way for cardholders to maintain their monthly log. The completed activity log and original receipts should be kept on file for auditing purposes. In the event of an audit, auditors may visit the department to review original receipts. The department may also send copies to Post-Award.

      If the Pro-card is used to purchase computers, technological devices, or participant support costs, departments are required to send a copy of the receipt to Post-Award.

    • Gift Card Purchases

    • MUST HAVE PRIOR APPROVAL BY SUE BRODIE, Associate Director of Financial Services. Please follow this process:
      "For approval of the purchase of gift cards, an email or memo must be sent to Sue Brodie with the following information:

      1. Who will purchase the gift cards.
      2. The value of the gift card (and what store the gift card is to, if known).
      3. Who will be receiving the gift card and why. Please note: Gift cards should NOT be given to any faculty or staff or student employee of Towson University. If a gift card is given to a TU student it should not be related to employment activity, but rather, (in our case -for research purposes) an incentive for attendance to a workshop or participation in a research study/event/survey. If the study doesn't ask for anonymity or confidentiality, a form can be included as back up that X person received the gift card. This documentation can either be included in the reimbursement request or supplied upon request (in the event that the gift cards are not distributed soon after purchase). In order to be reimbursed for this purchase, you must submit a Miscellaneous Expense Voucher with the original receipts.

      Once that is sent to Ms. Brodie, she will review and either approve or deny the request. Failure to comply with this procedure will result in non-reimbursement of these gift card purchases."


    • Processing Invoices

    • Invoices must be approved and signed by the Principal Investigator. If an invoice is mailed directly to the academic department, affix a Code Block Label to the invoice, sign, and forward to Post-Award for second signature.

      When submitting an invoice for a catered affair (e.g. The Burkshire) a memo of explanation must be included along with a list of attendees and their affiliation. If a list is not attainable, please state this in your memo. If the event is a conference, attach the conference brochure.

      Invoices should be returned to Accounts Payable within 5 days of receipt. This is a very short turn around period so please return signed invoices immediately. If there is a delay in returning the invoice in a timely manner, please note the reason for the delay on the invoice.

      Information concerning invoices can be found at:

    • Miscellaneous Expense Voucher

    • Miscellaneous expense vouchers are used for non-travel expenditures and when an invoice is not available (ex. reimbursements, memberships)

      Reimbursement requests should be submitted within a month after the expenditure is incurred.

      Information concerning Miscellaneous Expense Vouchers can be found at:

    • Procurement

    • All purchases of goods or services totaling $5,000 or more must be requisitioned through the Procurement Office.

      Information concerning Procurement can be found at:

    • Equipment

    • For purposes of this section, equipment is defined as tangible nonexpendable property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5000 or more per unit.
      Any equipment that is to be purchased, which has not been specifically included in the proposal budget, must have prior written approval from the sponsor. Requests for such equipment should be submitted to OSPR for negotiation with the funding agency.

    • Facilities & Administration Costs

    • Facilities and administration (F&A) costs also known as indirect costs are costs that are incurred for common or joint objectives and, therefore, cannot be identified readily and specifically with a particular sponsored project, an instructional activity, or any other institutional activity.

      OMB Circular A-21 Definition of Facilities and Administration:

      "Facilities" is defined as depreciation and use allowances, interest on debt associated with certain buildings, equipment and capital improvements, operation and maintenance expenses, and library expenses.

      "Administration" is defined as general administration and general expenses, departmental administration, sponsored projects administration, and student administration and services.

      An F&A rate is formally negotiated with the federal government for use on grants and contracts and other agreements with the Federal Government. Towson University's current F&A rate is 45% of modified total direct costs for on-campus projects and 25% of modified total direct costs for off-campus projects. Off-campus projects are defined as those to which rent is charged as a direct expense. The modified total direct cost base includes all direct costs other than equipment (single item of $5,000 or more with a useful life of more than one year) and subcontracts. These rates are valid through June 30, 2014 (at which time we will continue using the current rates until a new agreement is negotiated).

      F&A cost recovery is distributed monthly as follows:

      Principal Investigator 5%
      Principal Investigator's Department 10%
      Principal Investigator's College 15%
      Academic Affairs/Provost Office 20%
      Office of Sponsored Programs & Research 25%
      Division of Administration and Finance 25%



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