Participant Costs


  • Participant
    • Recipient of services or training provided at a short-term information sharing or instructional activity/event
    • Not a human subject participating in a trial or survey
    • Does not have to provide any deliverable or product at the end of the activity
    • No repercussions if the planned activity is not completed
    • Cannot be UNO employees
    • Can be UNO students
  • Participant support costs
    • Expenses paid to a participant or on the behalf of the participant
    • Typically includes: stipends, travel, event registration fees, supplies, and tuition
    • Will vary with the type of activity and the sponsor's allowable expenses


  • Provide justification for including participants
  • Should include the following information:
    • Likely number of participants
    • Type of participants (age, sex, background, etc.)
    • Reason for the participants
    • Expected outcome
    • Need to demonstrate that the participants are an integral part of the project and will receive a benefit from the project


  • Costs generally separately identified on the proposal budget
  • Each sponsor may have different requirements
    • All costs shown under one participant cost budget line - more details in the budget justification
    • Types of participant costs listed separately, such as stipend, travel, supplies, etc.
  • Refer to the Request for Proposal or the sponsor guidelines for specifics
  • Indirect Cost calculations may be different
    • Not allowed on participant costs
    • Reduced rate for participant costs
    • Only allowed on participant costs
    • Refer to the Request for Proposal or the sponsor guidelines
  • UNO's budget requirements may be different than the sponsor's requirements
    • Provide enough information in the budget justification for the Office of Research to properly enter the budget in the financial system
      • The Office of Research will contact the investigator for more information if enough information is not provided
    • Or complete a UNO budget template
      • Separate column for participant costs
      • Separate indirect cost rate box
      • Indirect cost amount automatically calculated based on information provided

Budget Categories

This section identifies the usual participant costs and the corresponding budget category to assist in completing the UNO budget template. Some costs may not be allowed by the sponsor but are included here as reference for the instances in which they are allowed. Refer to the Request for Proposal and/or sponsor guidelines to determine if a particular cost is allowed. The budget category name is provided with the category number in parentheses.


  • Vary by type of participant:
    • UNO students (cannot be student employees)
      • Scholarship and Awards (Category #668000)
    • Other participants
      • Professional Services (Category #650100)


  • Two options for payment
    • Included in stipend amount – see previous discussion
    • Reimburse actual expenses – see below
  • Reimburse actual expense
    • Follow the same travel regulations as a UNO employee
      • Submit travel authorization form before the travel begins
      • Provide original receipts when the travel reimbursement form is submitted for payment.
    • Two budget categories for the different type of travel
      • Domestic travel (Category #620100)
      • International travel (Category #627000)

Meals or Snacks

  • Budget category depends on how purchased
    • If catered:
      • Operating Expenses (Category #630100)
    • If purchased directly (either through a UNO department or an individual purchases directly and seeks reimbursement):
      • Supplies (Category #640100).

Housing and Subsistence

  • May allow for the duration of the project
  • Housing provided through UNO Student Housing
  • Subsistence provided through campus dining with a meal card in the requested amount
  • Budget category for both housing and subsistence
    • Operating Expense (Category #630100)

Miscellaneous Costs

  • Conference fees:
    • Other (Category #660100)
  • Participant supplies:
    • Supplies (Category #640100)
  • Tuition, depends on type of student:
    • Undergraduate students - Scholarships & Awards (Category #668000)
    • Graduate Students - GA Tuition (Category #668010)
  • For any costs not identified above, contact the Office of Research if need assistance

After Awarded

Budget and Reporting

  • Two projects - one for participant costs and another for non-participant costs
    • Allows for different indirect cost treatment
    • Easier to identify participant costs in the system for reporting
    • Different speed keys – make sure correct one
  • Budget adjustments may not be allowed
    • Includes increasing/decreasing participant budget amount and adjusting within the participant budget
    • May need sponsor approval – refer to award document or sponsor guidelines
    • Sponsor Programs Accounting manages and processes budget adjustment forms
  • Reporting requirements
    • May need to report on number of participants, a classification of the participants, and the types of costs incurred
    • Refer to award document or contact the Office of Research for assistance

Payment Methods

Participant cost payment methods will vary depending on the type of payment and the type of participant. The cost types and payment methods are listed below. Remember to use the correct speed key to properly segregate the participant costs from the other costs.

  • Stipends, varies by type of participant:
    • Current teachers in the state of Louisiana
      • Teacher's Participation Support Agreement with their high school – managed by Financial Services
      • UNO pays the high school and then the high school pays the participant
    • UNO students
      • Award Request Form – managed by Financial Aid
    • Others
      • Stipend Request Form - managed by Accounts Payable (only for AMRI summer program, Project PASS, and Upward Bound)
  • Tuition:
    • Award Request Form – managed by Financial Aid
  • Other costs
    • Follow normal UNO payment policy
    • Examples:
      • Travel expenses – Travel Reimbursement form through Accounts Payable
      • Registration fees – Check Request form through Accounts Payable


Principal Investigator

  • Properly identify and segregate participant costs
  • Utilize the proper payment method based on the type of cost and participant
  • Use the correct speed key on payment documents
  • Prepare required reports

College or Department Offices

  • Ensure proper payment method is utilized
  • Ensure proper speed key is used

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs

  • Properly segregate the participant cost budget

Sponsored Programs Accounting

  • Assign the proper speed keys
  • Ensure invoices are properly prepared