Sponsored Projects Procedures

Budget for Consultants

Research, Sponsored Projects   |   Approved October 9, 2015


Comply with federal and university limitations when budgeting professional services.


Investigators and administrators developing a sponsored project budget or managing award funds. Use of consultants is governed by sponsor regulations and policies and by university policies.

For more information, see the Sponsored Programs Administration website on Collaborations and Subrecipients.


  1. Determine whether the professional services should be budgeted as a consultant or as a subaward.
    1. Consultant services are described as follows:
      1. Consultants provide expert advice or services, usually with specific deliverables, and are not heavily involved in the design or execution of the project.
      2. Consultants do not bear responsibility for progress of the project. They focus specifically on the defined deliverables, milestones or services described in a consulting agreement.
      3. Consultants are independent contractors, often paid on a per hour or per day basis.
      4. Consultants perform work for hire. The consultant agreement states that UMB owns deliverables and intellectual property resulting from a consultant’s work.
    2. UMB faculty and staff may not be paid as consultants on a federally sponsored project. (Refer to 2 CFR 400.459)
    3. Faculty or staff from other University System of Maryland institutions are usually paid through a subaward. They may be paid as consultants on a University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB) award only with the approval of their institution's president.
  2. Budget and proposal:
    1. Review sponsor instructions for restrictions or limitations on consultant costs.
    2. Consulting fees and reimbursement for travel and other contracted costs are budgeted as “Other Direct: Consultants”.
    3. Obtain a letter of commitment from the consultant. The letter should include a statement of the consultant's willingness to participate in the project if funded, a description of the consulting activities or services to be provided, and the consulting rate (usually per day or per hour).
  3. Consultant agreements are issued by Procurement. Submit a procurement requisition in eUMB.
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