This policy is applicable to all Saint Joseph's University colleges, schools, departments, centers and institutes, and their faculty, staff, and students. The policy applies to expenses charged to a sponsored research project funding through a grant or contract from a federal, state, local, or private agency.

Purpose of this Policy

It is the policy of Saint Joseph's University that expenses charged to sponsored projects be allocable, allowable, reasonable, and within the time frame of the grant. The OMB Uniform Guidance (2 CFR Part 200) and grant award documentation will be used to assist in determining allowable expenditures. Please refer to the Allowable Costs and Cost Principles Policy for additional guidance.

Policy Statement

  • Saint Joseph's University is committed to ensuring that all expenses are legitimate and are allowable in accordance with sponsor terms and conditions, government regulations, and University policy
  • All Principal Investigators (PI) are responsible for approving all expenses and ensuring they are charged to the correct sponsored budget.
  • Expenses can be applied to a sponsored research budget through the following methods: Payment of invoice; direct reimbursement; Purchasing Card (P-Card); and through an internal cost recovery charge.


  • To pay a vendor-issued invoice, a Request for Funds (RFF) form must be completed and signed by the PI or their authorized representative. The RFF, with the attached original invoice, must be submitted to the Office of Research Services (ORS) for approval. Once approved by the ORS, the RFF will be forwarded to accounts payable for processing.
  • To pay a vendor-issued invoice charged to a purchase order, the PO number must be clearly written on the invoice and the PI must sign the invoice. A Request for Funds form is not necessary. Please forward the signed invoice to the ORS for approval. Once approved the ORS will submit to accounts payable for processing.
  • When requesting a personal reimbursement an RFF must be completed and signed by the PI. A receipt indicating cash or credit card payment must be attached to the RFF. If the reimbursement is for the PI, then the PI's department chair must sign the RFF. If the PI is the chair then the dean will need to sign the RFF.
  • A Purchase Order (PO) is required for expenditures over $1,000. The ORS must approve all PO requests charged against a grant award budget to ensure allowability and is allocable to the correct project. Please refer to the Procurement Office web page for additional information and policy. A PO is not required for payment of services that have already been performed.
  • The University's Purchase Card Program (PCard) allows the PI to make small purchases for a grant project. When using the PCard it is important for the PI, or their responsible delegate, to reconcile the expenses to the correct grant budget. It is the PI's responsibility to ensure all card purchases are allowable. If an expense was reconciled to the wrong budget please notify the ORS as soon as the error is discovered. The ORS will submit a cost transfer moving the charge to the correct grant budget.
  • If the PI uses a service department on campus, such as the Print Shop, Creative Services, etc., then an internal transfer will be done to charge the grant budget. Approval is made when the PI initiates the order and gives the service department the grant budget number.


Allocable - A cost incurred specifically for the program, or several activities but can be distributed between them in reasonable proportion to benefits received, and is clearly necessary to the program.

Allowable Costs - Costs directly related to the performance of a sponsored award and permitted under its terms and OMB guidance that must be reasonable, necessary, allocable, and treated consistently with generally accepted accounting principles.

Principal Investigator - Is the holder of an independent grant award administered by the University and the primary individual responsible for the preparation, conduct, and oversight of a research grant, cooperative agreement, training or public service project, contract, or other sponsored project in compliance with applicable laws and regulations and institutional policy governing the conduct of sponsored research.

Reasonable - A cost is reasonable if, in its nature and amount, it does not exceed that which would be incurred by a prudent person under the circumstances prevailing at the time the decision was made to incur the cost.

Unallowable - Those charges to an award that the sponsor determines to be unallowable, in accordance with the applicable Federal statutes, regulations, or the terms and conditions of the grant or contract.


Last updated January 25, 2022