When a project wholly or partly sponsored with federal funds generates income, the PI must follow federal standards in accounting for the income. In most circumstances, program income is retained by the recipient and, depending on the regulations of the federal awarding agency, should be used in one or more of the following ways:
- Program income is added to funds committed to the project by the federal awarding agency and the University and is used in pursuit of eligible project or program objectives.
- Program income is used to finance the non-federal share of the project or program.
- Program income is deducted from the total project or program allowable costs in determining the net allowable costs on which the federal share of costs is based.
When a sponsoring agency authorizes the use of program income according to items 1 and 2 above, income in excess of any stipulated limits must be applied to item 3.
If the federal awarding agency does not specify how program income should be used in its regulations or the program award, item 3 above should be automatically applied to all but research programs. Item 1 should be automatically applied to research programs when another use for program income has not been specified by the agency.
Unless the terms and conditions of the award or the regulations of the awarding agency specify otherwise, the following points apply to program income:
- The University has no obligation to the federal government for program income earned after the end of the project period.
- Costs incidental to the generation of program income may be deducted from gross income to determine program income when these costs were not charged against the award.
- The University has no obligation to the federal government with respect to program income earned from license fees and royalties for copyrighted material, patents, patent applications, trademarks and inventions produced under an award. However, Patent and Trademark Amendments (35 U.S.C. 18) apply to inventions made under an experimental, developmental or research award.