Paying Non-Appalachian State University Personnel

These pages provide guidance on including people in your budget who are working on your sponsored project but who are not, and will not be, employed by Appalachian State University.

Paying Consultants/Contractors

If allowed by the sponsor, you may include people who are not employed at Appalachian for their participation on your sponsored project. You would pay them as a consultant or contractor via a work order—as opposed to paying them via a subrecipient agreement with their institution—when:

  • They provide professional services (defined as unique, technical, and/or infrequent functions performed by an independent contractor qualified by education, experience, and/or technical ability to provide services);
  • They need little or no oversight or direction;
  • They are not involved in the overall project design and/or development;
  • They are not listed as co-authors on publications reporting project results;
  • They do not use their institutional resources but instead conduct work on their own time (evenings, weekends, vacation/holidays), using a home office and personal equipment (such as a personal computer).

Examples of professional services consultants/contractors might provide include marketing analysis, auditing, statistical analysis, project/program evaluation, translation services, website and software development/design, and editing services.

When including consultants/contractors in your proposal budget, keep in mind:

  • You should obtain a letter of intent from each individual that includes:
    • Services to be performed;
    • Period of time in which those services will be performed;
    • Daily rate of compensation.
  • Payment for a consultant's services may not exceed the daily equivalent of the current maximum rate paid to an Executive Schedule Level IV Federal Employee.
  • You may need to include his or her CV or resume in the proposal so the sponsor can verify skills and credentials.

Including Subrecipients

You may wish to pay a colleague(s) at another university or institution for their participation on your sponsored project. You would pay them via a subrecipient agreement with their institution—as opposed to paying them individually as a consultant or contractor—when:

  • They are collaborating with you on the scope and direction of the whole project;
  • They are involved in the overall project design and/or development;
  • They would be listed as co-authors on publications reporting project results;
  • They would be using institutional resources, such as offices, office computers, labs, etc.;
  • They would be overseeing students at their institution;
  • They would be conducting project activities as part of the research/scholarly endeavors expected of them in their position at the institution.

Note: There may be times when it is more appropriate to pay another institution/organization via a professional services agreement, rather than a subrecipient agreement. Learn more about the difference between a professional services agreement and a subcontract

When including subrecipients in your proposal, keep in mind:

  • In your proposal budget and budget justification, you will need to break out all costs for the subrecipient separately just as you do for the overall project: salaries and wages, student salaries, fringe benefits, travel, supplies, F&A costs, etc.
  • You will probably need to include your colleague's CV/ biographical sketch and list of current and pending grants, the same as you will do for yourself and any colleagues from your own institution; so request that information from your colleagues well in advance.
  • When including a subrecipient in a proposal, your colleagues' institution's sponsored programs office will need to provide the following items to Sponsored Programs here at Appalachian before the proposal is submitted to the sponsor:
    • Subrecipient Commitment Form (PDF) signed by that institution's authorizing official;
    • Scope of work;
    • Budget for the subrecipient's costs only;
    • Budget justification for the subrecipient's costs only.

Under reporting requirements mandated by the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA), Appalachian must now verify that all subrecipients and vendors paid a cumulative amount of $25,000 or more in federal funds have both a:

Please note: The University cannot issue a subrecipient agreement or purchase order until these requirements are met. Effective October 1, 2010, a DUNS number and CCR CAGE Code (a 5-digit federally assigned identifier) are required at the point of proposal submission.

What are CCR and DUNS?


Central Contractor Registration (CCR), the primary registrant database for the U.S. Federal Government, collects, validates, stores, and disseminates data in support of agency acquisition missions. Any institution or entity conducting business with the U.S. Federal Government, including subcontractors or subawardees, must be registered in the Central Contractor Registration.

DUNS Number

The Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number is a unique nine-digit identification number provided to a registered entity by Dun & Bradstreet. The federal government requires that all applicants for grants and contracts have a DUNS number. The federal government will use the DUNS number to better identify related organizations that are receiving federal funding. The DUNS number assignment is FREE for all businesses required to register with the US Federal government for grants and contracts. 

See Institutional Data for Grant Forms for information on Appalachian State University's CCR or DUNS number. 

Paying Human Subjects

If you have human subjects involved in your sponsored project, you may wish to compensate them for their participation.

The total cost is usually entered in the budget under the section for Other and should be detailed in the budget justification (ex: $100/participant for 50 participants).

Paying Participant/Trainee Costs

If you will be holding a workshop, conference, or institute as part of your sponsored project, you may wish to include payment to those who attend (i.e., participants) as an incentive for their participation, if such costs are allowed by the sponsor.

The total cost is usually entered in the budget as Participant/Trainee Stipends and should be detailed in the budget justification (ex: $100/participant for 50 participants).

Note: Fees for instructors at a workshop, seminar, institute, etc. should not be included with stipends for the participants—since they are leading and not participating in those sessions. They should be paid separately as a consultant and listed as such in your budget and budget justification.