Spend Grant Funds

It is the principal investigator's (PI) responsibility to gather college-level approvals before routing expenditure forms to the post-award grants financial management team. All expenditures must be routed to the post-award team before they receive final approval.

This page contains policies, procedures and forms for common grant/contract expenditures.


The new Financial Services system, StraTUs, launched in July and will continue to impact active grants. All grants have been migrated into the new StraTUs system and assigned new account numbers that must be used to charge expenditures. The grant number is no longer the seven-digit code beginning with a 5XXXXXX. StraTUs uses an alphanumeric code that consists of five characters.

Please reach out to your designated Grant Administrator for you new grant number if you have not already. Also, if you have questions or need access to StraTUs training materials, please reach out to the team at

Thank you for your patience and dedication as we adapt our current processes to the new financial system.

Personnel Expenses/Compensation

Paying faculty, staff, and hourly student workers from a grant

Faculty (Adjunct, Clinical, Lecturer, Tenure Track, Tenured, and Visiting)

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

Faculty supplemental pay policies

  • Faculty on a 10-month academic year appointment may earn up to 33% additional compensation (based on contractual salary) from all sources in a single fiscal year
  • Summer effort on sponsored projects is limited to two (2) months
  • Supplemental pay compensation on sponsored projects must be consistent with the level of effort provided during the summer - not the academic year 

Regular Staff

  1. Sponsored Project Employment Contract (PDF)
  2. Secondary Employment Agreement
  3. Flat Rate Form (PDF)

    Note: Please use either Google Chrome or Internet Explorer to download or open these documents. 

Please note:

  • Staff member must be named in proposal stage
  • Staff must take leave if the time worked on grant is during normal business hours

Overtime Pay Approval

In rare situations that an existing TU hourly personnel is requested to work beyond the 40hr work week will need prior approval from OSPR before being compensated for their time. Please complete and obtain the necessary signatures on the Overtime Authorization form and submit to OSPR for further processing.

Contingent Staff (Exempt / Non-Exempt)

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
  • Full-time non-exempt employees cannot be hired to work on a grant, as employees may not go above 100% effort
  • Short-term new hires require a completed form, please see "New Hire - Contingent I Employee" below

Current Contingent I Employee

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

New Hire - Contingent I Employee

  1. Sponsored Project Employment Contract (PDF)
  2. Contingent Category I Employment Agreement / with Employment Application (DOCX)
  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 (PDF)
  2. Position Requisition-Recruit (DOCX)
  3. Payment may be hourly or flat rate depending on the employment status.

For definitions of job types, download the Definition of Job Type (PDF).

Methods of reporting effort

Employee separation

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. Please see the "Separating Employees" page for more information.

Non-exempt employees should give at least two weeks written notice. Exempt employees should give at least 30-calendar days written notice.

Hourly Student Worker

Hiring a new student worker

  1. See the Hiring Student Workers page

Hiring a student worker currently on TU payroll

  1. Only a Student Employee Hiring Form (PDF) (replaced the 311T) needs to be completed - forward the original to the Payroll Office, and a photocopy to the OSPR's post-award team

Quick Change Form

There are three quick change forms available for use.

Stipend payments are not for work-related activitiy or for an hourly rate; no services are required to be performed by the stipend recipient(s). Stipends are a specified amount of money paid directly to the participant, typically as an incentive for recruitment or participation in a project.

The grant student stipend payment is processed through the Payroll Office, so a W2 will be mailed to the student at the end of the calendar year. Depending on the student's tax status, the stipend payment may be taxable.

Non-Employees or Non-TU Students

The PI must ensure the following are completed

  1. Miscellaneous Expense Voucher (PDF)
    1. Under "Reason for Payment" please enter: "Stipend for attendance of name of program on dates of program."
  2. W-9 - Request for Taxpayer Identification (PDF)

Faculty, Staff, and Students

Please contact the post-award team for assistance at .

Participant Support Costs (Travel, Supplies, Food, Etc.)

  • Must be budgeted in the proposal
  • Supporting documentation is required for costs to be approved
  • Reimbursed as described in the normal policies and procedures of TU for reimbursement and travel
  • Original receipts are required
  • Non-TU affiliated individuals should be submitted via Miscellaneous Expense Voucher (PDF) using the appropriate account code

Please read and review the University's policies and procedures regarding consultants and honoraria

Accounts Payable must receive request 20 days prior to event in order to process payment in time.

To pay consultants and honoraria from a grant

  1. Consultants $500 or less

    1. Consultant Agreement - less than $500 form (PDF)
    2. W-9 - Request for Taxpayer Identification (PDF)
    3. Invoice from consultant required
  2. Consultants $500 more

    1. Contact Procurement Office before entering into an agreement with the consultant
    2. Consultant Agreement - more than $500 form (DOCX)
    3. W-9 - Request for Taxpayer Identification (PDF)
    4. Invoice(s) from consultant required
  3. Honoraria

    1. An honorarium is a small payment to a guest speaker, visiting scholars or other individual invited to provide a unique service to the University
    2. Letter of Invitation (DOCX)
    3. Honorarium Request Application (DOCX)
    4. Miscellaneous Expense Voucher (PDF)
    5. W-9 - Request for Taxpayer Identification (PDF)

Please 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 (DOC).

 Please visit the Graduate Assistantship Office website.

If your award has scholarships budgeted, please contact the post-award team at

As the subject of your email, include your award's PeopleSoft account number followed by "Graduate Scholarships."

Non-Personnel Expenses

Office supplies, postage, local telephone charges and membership fees are unallowable direct costs on most sponsored projects. Non-personnel expenditures are only allowed if the costs incurred are for the sole benefit of the sponsored project and are specifically budgeted and approved by the sponsor.

Paying for Non-personnel expenses from a grant

Please see Financial Service's Business Travel Office page for more information. 

For International Travel

  1. If foreign travel is not included in budget at time of award, please review award terms to determine if sponsor requires prior approval.
  2. Review and familiarize yourself with the Fly America Act.
  3. See if your foreign travel qualifies for a Fly America Exception (PDF).

Exceptions must be documented on the certification/justification statement and must accompany the travel authorization and/or voucher form(s) submitted.

For information on how to obtain, use, and properly manage a TU-issued Visa Pro-Card, please visit the Procurement website.

Please note the following Pro-Card policies:

  1. Purchases allowed up to $4,999 per transaction, and a total of $15,000 per month

    1. For purchases of goods or services $5,000 or more, see the Procurement section below
  2. Pro-Cards cannot be assigned to a PS grant number, but must instead be linked to the PI's department number

    1. Items purchased on this Pro-Card can be reallocated to the grant account before the month-end close
    2. Email the required information below to: , the PI / cardholder (if not the same person), and
      1. Cardholder's name
      2. Department number
      3. Account Pro-Card is linked to
      4. Name of vendor
      5. $ amount charged
      6. Transaction date
      7. Grant number and account expense is to be charged to
  3. An activity log must be maintained for each purchase (using the Pro-Card Web for reconciliation to maintain your monthly log is recommended)
  4. Completed activity logs and original receipts should be kept on file for auditing purposes, and copies sent to the post-award team
  5. If computers, technological devices, or participant support costs are charged to the Pro-Card, you are required to send a copy of the receipt to the post-award team

Our gift card purchases policies have recently changed. For assistance with processing gift card purchases, please email  for more details.

Gift cards may not be purchased with a Pro-Card.

  • Gift cards may not be given to any TU faculty, staff, or student employee in relation to employment activity
  • Gift cards may only be given to TU faculty, staff, or student employees if used as an incentive for attendance to a workshop, or for participation in a research study, event, or survey

For information regarding invoices, please view the Accounts Payable Invoices page.

To process an invoice to a grant:

  1. Invoices must be approved and signed by the PI
  2. 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 signature
  3. If submitting an invoice for a catered event, a memo of explanation must be included with a list of attendees and their affiliations (if a list is unavailable, please explain why in the memo)

    1. If the event is a conference, attach the conference brochure to the invoice
  4. All invoices must be returned to Accounts Payable within five (5) days of receipt

    1. In the event that there is a delay in returning the invoice, please note the reason for the delay on the invoice

A Miscellaneous Expense Voucher (PDF) can be used only for non-travel expenditures when an invoice is not available (such as reimbursements, memberships, gift card purchases, honorariums, or consultants).

To be reimbursed, requests should be submitted within a month after the expenditure is incurred.

For information regarding Account Payable's policies and the new Miscellaneous Expense Voucher process and forms, please view the Reimbursements page.


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

For information regarding Account Payable's policies, please view the Procurement Department page.  

For purposes of this section, equipment is defined as tangible non-expendable property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit.

For procedures on how to requisition equipment for a grant, please see the "Purchases totaling $5,000 or More" section above.

Please note: Any equipment that 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 sponsor.

Sales and Use Taxes

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.

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