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Cost Transfer Policy

A cost transfer to a restricted account occurs when an expense, originally charged to a different source of funds (a sponsored project or otherwise), is charged to a sponsored project.

Cost transfers may be appropriate under the following circumstances:

  • An expense was erroneously charged to the original account and the transfer is necessary to correct the error.
  • The charges directly benefit more than one program and the distribution of costs is justified based on the benefit received.
  • The two accounts involve closely related work.
  • The sponsor specifically authorizes pre-award costs to a project.
  • Charges on a continuing grant are charged to the old account number because the new account number has not yet been established.

Cost transfers are not appropriate when:

  • The transfer is for the purpose of using up an unexpended balance.
  • The transfer is for the purpose of avoiding a cost overrun by charging another, unrelated restricted account.The two accounts involve closely related work.
  • The transfer is merely for the convenience of the project director.

Requests for cost transfers to restricted accounts must include written justification.  The following is the requested format:

  • A “Request to Transfer Expenses on Sponsored Projects” form must be completed and sent to the Office of Sponsored Projects for approval.    Download “Request to Transfer Expenses on Sponsored Projects” form (DOC)
  • The completed form must contain all of the requested information including a specific description of how the error occurred and a justification for the transfer. A statement such as "to correct error" or "to transfer to appropriate account" is not an acceptable explanation.
  • The Principal Investigator (PI) must sign the completed request form and obtain approval from their department chair or dean before returning it to the Office of Sponsored Projects.
  • If the request for transfer is made 90 days or more after the original charge, an explanation of the reason for the delay is required.
  • Cost transfer requests, either approved or denied, will be forwarded to the Business Office for further action. A copy of the form will be returned to the Project Director.