UCSF Costing Guidelines for the Allowability of Computing Device Support Recharges on Sponsored Project Awards

Ray Cheung's picture

Computing device support recharges are allowable direct charges on federal and other sponsored projects under the following conditions

  • The device, computer or workstation to which the support services apply must be university property or required for the conduct of remote connectivity to the university intranet.
  • Support services provided must be integral to the purpose of the award – i.e. they are needed to fulfill the objectives of the award.
  • Support Services must be specifically requested in the project proposal and approved in the award.
  • Persons using the device, computer or workstation must provide documented and traceable effort to the award (i.e., effort report).
  • Support services provided via recharge must have a recharge approval per UCSF policy 250‑11.
  • Allowable computer device support recharges are provided by BRM approved recharge service centers approved to provide this service such as the Information Technology Field Service Unit (ITFS) and specific recharges with the Center for Aids Prevention Studies (CAPS).
  • Charges will be applied to all funds based on a consistent and equitable methodology.

Computing Device Support Major Service Descriptions

Basic Subscription includes the services listed below

  • Platforms – Standardized platform that takes into account all of UCSF needs which includes hardware, software and operating systems enabling device stability.
  • Device Type – All devices required for staff to perform their duties. Mac/Windows desktops & laptops; Android, iOS (Apple), Blackberry & Windows mobile smartphones; iOS, Android, and Windows tablets.
  • Device Management – Device management includes the standardization of configuration/set-up of desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
  • Software Support – All software needed to run devices and perform work functions.
  • Software Patch Management – Patch management includes delivery of software updates to keep devices current and secure.
  • Storage – Storage and backup on centralized servers in secure data centers to minimize redundancy, and provide stable, secure, and recoverable data from loss.
  • Delivery Support – Software and hardware management
  • Tracking of Incidents and Manage Inventory 

Premium Subscription includes all services provided in the Basic Subscription level plus the following key services

  • Level 1 Service Desk support is available 24/7/365
  • Faster responses to incidents (i.e. within 2 business hours of receipt) 
  • Support of non-standard and out-of-warranty hardware models when a business justification exists.
  • Clinical applications requiring a local installation, Dragon, and other applications out of manufacturer support will also be provided to accommodate special situations when software upgrades are not feasible by special arrangement.
  • Increased storage quotas and extended retention times on up to 3 devices identified by customer.
  • On-site training for application support up to 30 minutes including specialized expertise in productivity software

Hourly Service Options

  • Specialized support not covered in subscribed service level for specific computing support.

Billing Service Categories/Rates

  1. Basic Subscription
  2. Premium Subscription
  3. Hourly Support

Examples of Departmental Computer Support Charges Which May be Allowable on Sponsored Project Awards

  1. A department maintains software installation, hard and software patch management, storage and backup of electronic data and provides service as needed for basic connectivity and functionality of laptops, desktops, and smart phones used by departmental personal listed on, paid from and committed to completion of specific sponsored awards.  Recharge costs, proportional to time and effort committed to specific awards, and approved and listed in the budgets of those awards are allowable.

    For example, a PI receives 50% salary support and validates spending 50% of his effort on specific Federal contracts and grants.  50% of the charge for that PI’s IT Field Service recharge may be allocated, in proportion to the pay and effort committed, to the specific federal awards so long as the costs were specifically included and approved in the project proposals.
  2. Communication connectivity support facilitating interaction between department and project personnel with university equipment over university intra and internet. 

Examples of Departmental Computer Support Charges Normally Unallowable on Sponsored Project Awards

  1. Department provides general desktop support to an academic department administrator who is not identified in the budget for any federally sponsored activity specifically. The administrator may provide administrative support for one or many federal and private awards.    A federal award cannot be charged for any part of the desktop support, without further justification as to how the support is integral to the purpose of the award and not related to the individual’s normal support duties. 

For questions concerning this document please contact any one of the staff below in the Costing Policy Unit in the Office of Budget and Resource Management (BRM)