Managing Grant Funds

Unallowable Costs
Please contact the Post-Award Officer prior to making a purchase if you need help determining whether a cost is allowable or unallowable.
Examples of unallowable costs:

    • entertainment (including amusement, diversion, and social activities and any costs directly associated with such costs – such as tickets to shows or sports events, meals, lodging, rentals, transportation, and gratuities

    • alcoholic beverages

    • alumni/ae activities

    • commencement/convocation costs

    • costs of organized fund raising, including financial campaigns, endowment drives, solicitation of gifts and bequests, and similar expenses incurred solely to raise capital or obtain contributions

    • costs of goods or services for personal use of the institution's employees regardless of whether the cost is reported as taxable income to the employees

    • costs of membership in any civic or community organization or country club or social or dining club organization
    • costs incurred either before the start of the project period or after the expiration of the project period

Please also refer to Montclair State University’s Travel and Expense Policies and Procedures for additional unallowable costs as designated by the University.

Hiring Procedures
To hire a position on your grant, please follow the appropriate instructions below.  Links to download the forms are included for your convenience. 

To hire an employee to be paid summer salary or to hire a degreed professional level on a project basis for a year or less, complete the following forms. 

1. Temporary Employment Position Action Approval and Payment Voucher
Click here to download Temporary Employment Position Action Approval & Temporary Employment Payment Voucher Forms

2. Job description in your own format

3. Temporary Service Employee Timesheet
Click here to download Temporary Service Employee Timesheet

To hire Graduate or undergraduate hourly student assistants, complete the following forms.

1. Position Action Approval Form for Student Assistant
Click here to download Position Action Approval Form for Student Employee

2. Request for Appointment for Student Employee
Click here to download Request for Appointment of Student Employee Form

3. Job description in your own format

4. Student Assistant Timesheet
Click here to download a Student Assistant Timesheet

To hire Full salaried positions, complete the following forms.

1. Position Action Approval Form- to initiate an employment action
Click here to download the Position Action Approval Form

2. Job Description Template- To document job duties, responsibilities, qualifications and educational requirements for the position requested above
Click here to download the Job Description Template Form

3. Position Announcement (Academic Affairs)-  To advertise faculty, managerial and professional staff vacancies for the Division
Click here to download the Position Announcement (Academic Affairs)

To hire a new employee in any employment category above, you will also need to have the following forms completed. 

1. Federal W-4 form

2. NJ State W-4 form

These forms can be found on the HR website,

3. Federal I-9 form: The processing of I-9 forms will be completed by staff in Human Resources for all new hires, including student workers, effective Monday, April 15, 2013. Human Resources staff will be available to assist new hires daily. The schedule is on the HR website. Before going to Human Resources to complete the I-9, remember to bring 2 forms of ID. Please see the HR website for the list of acceptable documents.


2015-2016 Grant Related GA Application Form B - Please fill out this application form and we will forward it to the Graduate School for processing. Stacy Pinto, Graduate Student Services Coordinator, will be in touch to help you hire a graduate assistant.


Travel Policy and Procedures
If you will be traveling as part of your grant, please carefully read MSU’s travel regulations.  Travel regulations have been developed to provide travelers with guidelines for cost-effective travel and ease/efficiency of recording travel expenses.  Click here to download MSU's travel policy and procedures

Travel, Lodging & Per Diem Rates
Before making travel arrangements, if you have questions about allowable US government travel, lodging, and per diem rates, please contact the Post-Award Officer. These rates are found on the General Services Administration website,

Airline Travel
The Fly America requires the use of US flag air carrier service in economy class for all air travel, including travel on grants, funded by the US Federal Government. Individuals affected by Fly America include US Federal employees, their dependents, consultants, contractors, grantees, and others. 

Below are the various travel forms you will need to complete.

1. Travel Authorization Form-complete this form before you make overnight travel arrangements
Click here to download a TR-1

2. MSU Faculty/Employee Travel and Expense Invoice- complete this form after you return from your trip
Click here to download Travel and Expense Invoice

3. Non-MSU Employee Travel Expense Form- to be completed by an individual who is not an employee of MSU, but who incurs travel related expenses while on business for your grant.  This form should be completed after he/she returns from their trip
Click here to download the Non-Employee Travel Expense Report

To Purchase Equipment with Grant Funds
The purchase of equipment specified in the grant budget must follow the MSU’s procurement guidelines:

    • obtain competitive bids (for purchases over $6,020, a minimum of three written email, telefax or sealed proposals are required)
    • purchase computer equipment that is supported by the University’s information technology services

For further information:

Click here to download Procurement Policies and Procedures

Click here to download computer software and hardware product vendors

Indirect Costs
Indirect costs are applied by the University to salaries on grants.  Examples of the kinds of indirect costs incurred by the University include:

    • operation and maintenance of facilities
    • security and safety
    • financial and accounting services
    • procurement services
    • general maintenance of university equipment
    • general university and departmental administrative expenses
    • use of computing resources
    • library
    • equipment and facilities use allowance (depreciation)

Typically, funders allow the University to request indirect costs when applying for a grant.  These costs are in addition to the direct costs in a grant. 

To provide faculty an incentive to apply for external funding from grants, the University allocates funds from indirect costs to the University (30%), Deans (15%), Academic Departments (25%), the Principal Investigator (10%) and the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs (20%).  Indirect costs can be used for any activities that will enhance your research.  Indirect costs cannot be used to pay for salaries and fringe benefits.

Allocation of indirect cost funds
Indirect cost accounts are grant revenue driven.  Funds are allocated into accounts four times a year, usually the month after the quarter ends (i.e. April, July, October & January).  Indirect accounts can be carried forward each fiscal year.

Creation of an indirect cost account
If your grant contains salary, Grant Accounting will assign you an indirect FRS account number.  You will be notified when an indirect FRS account has been assigned shortly after the award has been made. 

If you have received grants in the past, you have an existing indirect FRS account and the University will allocate funds into your existing account. 

Indirect cost agreement
Click here download MSU’s indirect cost policies and agreement.