Northeastern Research Allowability Advisory Panel


The Uniform Guidance requires that all costs charged to a federal grant, contract, and cooperative agreement must fulfill standards of allowability, allocability, and reasonableness. Other non-federal sponsored research may require similar if not the same standards. However, there is not always a clear determination on how a cost should be treated. Whether the cost can be allowable, allocable, and reasonable sometimes depends on a thorough review of the terms and conditions of the award and the nature of the specific project. To facilitate consistency and compliance across Northeastern a voluntary advisory panel will be created and tasked with receiving inquiries from the Northeastern research community including faculty and administrators seeking assistance with determining the allowability, reasonability, and allocability of a cost to a specific federally, or non-federally funded grant.

Northeastern Process

The Panel will include 7 members with representation from university colleges and departments, as well as NU-RES. The members will rotate on and off the panel on an annual basis. The objective is to have inquiries submitted before a cost is committed or actualized, however, assistance will be provided for the cost at any stage. If not enough information regarding the cost is included with the inquiry the Panel may reach back out for more detail.

When inquiries are submitted, the Panel will respond to the submitter and share a deidentified fact pattern. In reaching its determination, the Panel will consider the terms and conditions of the award, sponsor guidelines, University Policy, and federal cost principles, as applicable.

The Panel will aim to communicate the decision made by the majority of the Panel to the originator of the inquiry within 5 business days.

Deidentified Fact Pattern from Submitted Inquiries

Download the PDF to read deidentified fact patterns and case studies from the inquiries that were submitted to the Allowability Panel

Panel Members

  • Morgan Fielding, Associate Director of Training and Learning, NU-RES
  • Shawna Richardson, Associate Director – Post-Award Administration, COE Office of the Dean
  • Timothy Fay, Senior Financial Analyst – Grants, COE Office of the Dean
  • Heidi Copeland, Associate Director – Research Finance, NU-RES
  • Fiorella Chavez, Director – Research Finance, NU-RES
  • Kendra Todman, Research Finance Analyst, NU-RES
  • Christa Gonsalves, Associate Director – Sponsored Accounts, Research Finance, NU-RES

Last Updated on May 15, 2023