Santa Clara University


Fact Sheet

Below are various facts regarding how to read your grant accounting string, various expenditure forms, how to charge against your grant for student employment and travel expense guidelines.

Accounting String Information

All SPO grants will have an accounting string which will be given at the start of the grant in your Award Notice.

This grant accounting string is important because it's needed when charging all expenditures to your grant.

In order to start charging expenditures to your grant, your accounting string will be formatted as follows.

acct string


Account number (Ex: 6810 = Travel Account).
Please refer to the chart of account for more information


Always equals to 13001 for an SPO grant


Department name (Ex: JST = JSTGRD)


Examples include RSCH = Research, PS = Public Service, IN = Instruction, ASLIB = Academic Support Libraries


This part of the string is optional and describes expense at a more detailed level.
SPO office rarely uses this in the accounting string


This part of the string is optional
SPO office rarely uses this in the accounting string

This is the most important field for an SPO Grant and is used to identify the grant (Ex: HLF001 = Henry Luce Foundation

Types of Grant Expenditures

Payment Request Forms

Used for external vendors and students
Cash Reimbursement for students and SCU employees only < = $250
Quick Vouchers



All reimbursements for SCU employees (faculty and staff) must be submitted through Concur Purchasing Card application


Direct Purchase Order (DPO)

Used for ordering supplies less than $1,000
DPO forms must be picked up from the Sponsored Projects Office.


Purchase Requisition

Used for ordering supplies/equipment/services greater than $1,000


Business Expense Form

Used for travel expenses. When traveling using SPO grant funds, please complete this form. This form must be completed for any faculty and staff who are working on the grant.

Please fill out and scan this form along with the required receipts when using Concur.


SPO Expense Transfers

Used to transfer cost and expenditures to/from department and grant

Student Employment, Participation and Remission

Student Employment Authorization


Used when hiring a student on your grant. Form must be filled out and signed by PI and given to SPO for approval 


Student Employment Change Authorization

Used to make changes to hourly rate, extend end date, accounting string between SPO grants


Student Participant Stipend

The University may pay a student a stipend rather than an hourly wage if the student meets the legally defined criteria for a stipend as defined by IRS regulations identified in Internal Revenue Code (IRC) 117.The University must determine if the position renders a service to the University or is an extracurricular activity that provides a benefit to a group other than the University.

Tuition Remission

Used for processing financial aid for students on grant if budgeted.
NOTE: Must have PI and school's Dean's signature in order for SPO to approve. Tuition will be charged to department first, SPO will then use form to transfer funds from department to the grant.

Faculty Course Release, Summer Salary and Staff Requisitions

Course Release

A Course Release is when a faculty member is permitted to have a reduced teaching load under their normal academic year appointment. In other words, the person is "released" from part of their teaching obligation while still being paid their regular full time salary. 


Summer Salary

Many grants (if budgeted) allow faculty to pay themselves a summer salary while they are actively pursuing research in the summer months, essentially filling out the remaining 3 months of their salary that is not contracted through their employing institution with grant funds.

Staff Personnel Requisition

Used to hire a fixed-term staff on a grant before sending to HR.For the approval process please refer to the "Fixed Term Staff Appointments in SPO" flow chart.

Independent Contractors

Independent Contractors

Use SCU process and guidelines to determine qualifications.If vendor is a non-profit agency (e.g. Religious Order) an Independent Contractor form is not required.

Travel Requirements
Expenditures cannot exceed budget.Any over-expenditure will be charged to department/school at the close of grant

All receipts must be kept and submitted for reimbursement, no matter the amount.Unless per diem is requested

Must keep boarding passes to and from destinationUse the university approved (federal) mileage rate when traveling by vehicle

Domestic travel – per diem is $50 per day (not required to keep receipts for meals)

International travel – must use federal government per diem rate by country

Must use US Flag Air Carriers for federal grants when traveling internationally


Time and Effort Reporting
Time and Effort Reporting is required to comply with SCU policy, this form must be completed at the end of each month and summer session for each Principal Investigator, faculty member, and staff (exempt only) devoting time to externally SPO grants.
  • Submit form through campus mail or email to SPO on a monthly basis.
  • Effort on the grant is based on a percentage out of 100%, except in the summer months for faculty (9-month contract).
  • Department Head - Dean or Chair must approve this report.
  • 2 signatures are required.