Memberships

Last updated on January 30, 2017

Individual memberships are not an allowable direct charge on a federally sponsored project.

UCSF Summary (click to expand)

An individual's membership in business, technical, and professional organizations is normally not an allowable expense as a direct charge on a federally sponsored project.
However, if there are exceptional circumstances that make a membership expense an allowable, allocable and reasonable charge to a federally sponsored project, preapproval should be obtained. The membership should be included in the proposal budget including justification of these costs related to the project objectives.
Costs of membership in any social, dining or country club or organizations whose primary purpose is lobbying remain unallowable on federal or non-federal sponsored projects.

UCSF FAQs (click to expand)

1. I must be a member of the association hosting the conference in order to submit an abstract or paper. Can this be direct charged to the federal award that supported the research?
Unless you have prior written approval from the agency, individual memberships cannot be direct charged to a federal award and are considered an indirect cost.
2. If I become a member of the association hosting the conference, I get a cheaper conference fee; in fact, the combined membership fee plus the member-conference fee is less than the non-member conference fee. Since I'm saving the government money, can I charge this membership fee to the federal award that supported the research?
While this sounds logical, unless you have prior written approval from the agency, individual memberships cannot be direct charged to a federal award and are considered an indirect cost.

Agency Specific Guidelines (click to expand)

• National Institutes of Health - Grants Policy Statement
Part II, Section 7.9 Allowability of Costs/Activities