What are Participant Support Costs?

This cost category is primarily used by the NSF, although the Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200.75) defined it for all federal sponsors. Participants Support Costs can only be used for direct costs paid to or on behalf of participants in a sponsored conference or training activity. Participant support costs are exempt from overhead, but funds awarded for this purpose cannot be rebudgeted without sponsor approval. Not all conference expenses qualify as participant support costs; room rental fees, catering, and supplies are not eligible for this category. To qualify as a “participant”, a person must be the beneficiary of the educational component of a workshop, conference, or training. Participants may not be MIT employees, and should not be speakers or organizer in the sponsored activity.