Cost Principles, Cost Transfers and Fund Transfers

Cedars-Sinai follows the cost principles presented in Title 45, Part 74 of the Code of Federal Regulations (45 CFR Part 74). To be charged to a sponsored project, each cost must be allowable, allocable, reasonable and consistently treated. Cost transfers between projects are used to correct clerical or bookkeeping errors or to assign part of a cost to a sponsored project. The required form, a Direct Cost Transfer Brief, is in the Policy and Procedure Manual (PPM) under DCTR Workbook Form. Fund transfers are used to pay for an internally funded research project when funding a cost-share activity with prior approval, and when an approved request is submitted by the principal investigator or department research administrator to move funds between projects within fund codes 10, 15 or 17. An approved Fund Transfer Request Form (available in PPM) is required for any fund transfer request.


When is a cost allowable?

  • When it is permitted according to the terms and condition of the specific award, policies and federal regulations
  • When it serves a purpose consistent with the research and within the specific aims and timeline of the award

When is a cost allocable?

When the cost provides a sole benefit to the project or benefits the project and other work proportions that can be readily estimated


When is a cost reasonable?

  • When it is necessary for the performance of the sponsored project or for hospital operations
  • When a prudent person would purchase the item at that price given the circumstances
  • When the incurrence of the cost is consistent with established Cedars-Sinai policies and procedures

When is a cost consistently treated?

When like expenses are treated in the same manner under like circumstances — that is, costs are either directly charged to the award or included in F&A recovery, not both


When do I need to use a Direct Cost Transfer Brief when processing a cost transfer?

A DCTR Brief is required for all cost transfers with the exception of the following three scenarios:

  • The cost transfer moves costs from the 0 to 9 activity within the same project number.
  • The RFA is processing a fringe adjustment, F&A adjustment, salary cap adjustment, mismatch correction, funding quarterly cost sharing or adjustments/entries at project closeout.
  • A payroll error occurs that is initiated by the Payroll Department. The RFA must contact Payroll to make the correction within 30 days from transaction date on federal projects, and within 60 days from transaction date on nonfederal projects.

Can I use a DCTR Workbook to correct labor transfers for a PI who is on Time and Effort?

  • No. With errors involving the salary charges of individuals who are subject to Time and Effort Reporting (TER), submit corrections according to the Time and Effort Reporting policy and any associated instructions.
  • A DCTR Workbook is the tool used to facilitate cost transfers for any non-TER and/or nonsalary related errors.

Who processes fund transfers?

Your assigned SRFA RFA will process fund transfers in the following scenarios:

  • Funding cost share commitments on Fund 17 projects. Cost-share funding sources can be Fund 10, 15 or 17.
  • Resolving surpluses on Fund 17 projects. Note: Surpluses on Fund 17 projects can only be resolved using other Fund 17 projects.
  • Resolving deficits on Fund 17 projects. Note: Fund 17 monies cannot be used to cover deficits on Fund 15 projects.
  • With direction from Academic Affairs fulfilling annual Fund 17 institutional commitments.

Contact the SRFA Fund 15 RFA, Alyse Daniel ( or 323-866-6916), for assistance with fund transfers between Fund 15 projects.