Financial Details

When applying to participate in the I-Corps Site program, teams must compose an Itemized Financial Plan for the amount of funds they are requesting. Teams may request anywhere from $1,000 – $3000 in funding. This financial plan will detail the allocation of requested funds to ensure that (1) teams use disbursed resources in compliance with Mason policies and NSF I-Corps Grant regulations; and (2) funds are not misspent. In composing this financial plan, teams should consider the below guidelines.

Basic Considerations:

  1. Reasonable Costs:
    1. A cost may be considered reasonable if the purchase of a good or service reflects the most cost-effective, necessary option. In making the decision of whether a cost is reasonable, ask yourself
      1. Is this cost necessary to the operation or development of my organization and/or the product/ service?
      2. Is this cost the most prudent decision? Are there any other options that are more cost-effective and equally as functional?
      3. Does this cost directly conflict with any Mason policies?
  2. Allocable (Justifiable) Costs
    1. A cost may be considered allocable if the goods or services acquired are chargeable or assignable to a clearly defined objective that furthers the organization or product development and meets the above qualifications for reasonability.

Expense Categories:

  1. Materials and Supplies:
    Materials and supplies are defined as tangible personal property other than equipment, costing less than $5,000.
    1. Only materials and supplies actually used for the performance of a sponsored agreement may be charged as direct costs.
  2. Meetings and Conferences:
    Costs of meetings, trade shows, and conferences are allowable. This includes the cost of meals, transportation, registration fees, rental of facilities, speakers’ fees, and other items incidental to such meetings or conferences.
  3. Transportation:
    Costs incurred for freight, express, cartage, postage, and other transportation services relating either to goods purchased, in process, or delivered.
  4. Travel Costs:
    Travel costs are the expenses for transportation, lodging, subsistence, and related items. Such costs may be charged on an actual cost basis or on a per diem or mileage basis in lieu of actual costs incurred.
    1. Lodging and Subsistence:
      1. Costs of lodging, other subsistence, and incidental expenses shall be covered as long as they are reasonable and allocable as defined above.
    2. Commercial Air Travel:
      1. Airfare costs in excess of the customary standard commercial airfare (coach or equivalent), or the lowest commercial discount airfare are unallowable except when such accommodations would:
        1. Require circuitous routing
        2. Require travel during unreasonable hours
        3. Excessively prolong travel
        4. Result in additional costs that would offset the transportation savings; or
        5. Offer accommodations not reasonably adequate for the traveler’s medical needs. Teams must justify and document these conditions on a case-by-case basis in order for the use of first-class airfare to be allowable in such cases.
  5. Contractors:
    Payments to contractors who are not associated with the business. These contractors will have to be pre-cleared by the Selection Committee to ensure no conflicts of interest exist. No payments are permitted to the grant recipients and/or team members.

If awarded a grant, the EL is required to submit the Request for Payment form in order to receive payment.