Responsible Officer: Associate Vice Chancellor for Research
Responsible Unit: Office of Sponsored Research
Effective date: July 1, 2008
Last revised on: December 21, 2017

Policy Statement

Project Directors or Principal Investigators (PD/PIs) and Departmental Administrators (DAs) are responsible for tracking expenditures in order to prevent unallowable expenditures and overdrafts on sponsored projects. PD/PIs and DAs must immediately resolve unallowable expenses and cost overdrafts as soon as they are identified. These expenses will not be billed to the sponsor and must be removed from the project.

The Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) monitors sponsored projects to ensure resolution of unallowable expenditures and overdrafts in conjunction with the administrating department. If the unallowable expenses and overdrafts are not removed within the timeframe indicated in OSR’s communication, the expenses will be charged to the administrating department’s unrestricted chartfield string.

Roles and Responsibilities


  • Reviewing and reconciling sponsored projects on a monthly basis to ensure that all expenditures are correct and appropriate.
  • The PI is responsible for authorizing direct charges in accordance with Uniform Guidance 2 CFR §200.413 and applicable funding agency guidelines.
  • The DA is responsible for removing all unallowable expenses or correcting overdrafts immediately.


  • Managing regulatory compliance with Federal, University, and sponsor guidelines.
  • Maintenance of individual Project IDs for sponsored projects.
  • Review of transactions on sponsored funds.
  • Removing any unallowable or overdraft charges from a sponsored project if not completed by the department.


  • Expenditures: All charges made to a sponsored project.
  • Unallowable: Expenditures that do not meet the Cost Principles and are not able to be charged to a sponsor based on applicable Federal, Sponsor, or University regulations.
  • Overdraft: All charges in excess of the obligated funds provided by the sponsor, i.e. a negative balance.

Reason for Policy

The University must adhere to Federal, State, and University guidelines regarding financial oversight of sponsored projects in order to receive funding.

Procedures and Related Policies

Office of Sponsored Research: OSR Policy 500.22 Pro. 1 – Unallowable Expenditures and Overdrafts


For questions regarding this policy and any related procedure(s), please contact For questions regarding Pre-Award management or Post-Award administration, please contact the assigned Sponsored Programs Specialist. For invoicing, reporting and other financial matters, please contact the assigned Sponsored Projects Accountant. OSR Staff assignments may be found in RAMSeS or on the OSR website.


Revision History

  • 12/21/2017: Updated the policy to re-title the policy to “Unallowable”; updated per Uniform Guidance; added a procedure statement.

The policies in the Office of Sponsored Research Policies & Procedures Manual supersede any OSR policies, procedures and appendices previously included in the University Business Manual, a publication of UNC Chapel Hill’s Finance Division.