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Meetings and Conferences

Meetings and Conferences

Costs of meetings and conferences, the primary purpose of which is the dissemination of technical information, are typically allowable.  Additional documentation may be requested.  This includes costs of meals, transportation, rental of facilities, speakers' fees, and other items incidental to such meetings or conferences. (OMB Circular A-21 J.32) Allowability of gratuities is subject to institutional policy.  

The University of  Montana defines "technical information" to include information such as: 

  • lab protocols;
  • experiment designs;
  • primary data review;
  • laboratory notebook management information;
  • raw data (e.g., blots, PCR, charts, read-outs);
  • project milestones;
  • safety training information;
  • instrument specification review; or,
  • discussion of draft publications or reprints.

To be allowable, costs for meetings, conferences, symposia, or workshops usually 1) include an agenda,  2) are held during standard working hours, and 3) are clearly identified in the proposed scope of work and budget approved by the sponsor, or otherwise approved in writing by the sponsor. 

Typically unallowable costs include those for 1) meetings to discuss, debrief, or otherwise work during mealtimes, and 2) meals or coffee breaks for intramural meetings of University of Montana employees or students.

Entertainment Costs

Costs of entertainment, including amusement, diversion, and social activites and any costs directly associated with such costs (such as tickets to shows or sports events, meals, lodging, rentals, transportation, and gratuities) are unallowable.  (OMB Circular A-21 J.17)