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Guidelines For Managing Expenses and Funds 

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Expense Guidelines

For a downloadable (print-friendly) version of the Expense Guidelines document, click HERE.

The table below outlines allowable and unallowable expenses as well as directions for how to charge and manage those expenses. For questions, please contact the Office of Cross-College Initiatives (occi@vanderbilt.edu), which manages the internal funding programs.

Utilization of funds in the established timeline is expected. As per the university’s accounting standards (GAAP: Generally Accepted Accounting Principles), carry forward of funds from one year to the next for multi-year awards or extension of funds beyond the award period are not allowed. 

See the table below for information on allowable and unallowable expenses, and managing expenses incurred by VU faculty.

Allowable and Unallowable Expenses and Guidelines

Expense Type Guidelines
Allowable
Capital expense – VU
  • Purchases for capital equipment should be charged to center, standard approval process applies. 
Post-Docs
  • Any portion of their effort may be paid with Discovery Grant funds.
Graduate Students
  • Graduate student stipends are allowed.
  • Funds can be used for graduate student fees.
  • Schools should be prepared to provide stipend/fee funding for graduate students after the award ends.
Travel – VU
  • Charged to center.
Staff
  • Non-administrative staff can be paid for project specific, skill-based work - subject to committee approval. 
  • Discovery Grant funds are not intended to be permanent sources of support.
  • Any portion of the employee’s effort may be charged.
Materials and Supplies
  • Charged to center.
CORES expenses
  • Researchers may log into the appropriate CORES site (VU or VUMC) to request and pay for the service.
 Unallowable
 Faculty lines
  • Not covered by Discovery Grant.
Graduate financial aid
  • Not covered by Discovery Grant.
Faculty salaries
  • Not covered by Discovery Grant.