As a faculty member, can I use grant funds to pay for job accommodations for a graduate student?

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If a faculty member anticipates that there will be a need to provide accommodations he/she can include expected costs in the grant proposal budget. If accommodation requests arise after the grant has been funded, the proposed budget can generally be reduced in other areas in order to cover accommodation costs. The funding source can be contacted for details about their policies. For example, the National Science Foundation offers suppemental Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities to purchase special equipment, modify equipment or provide services required specifically for the work to be undertaken.

Many campuses have a grant assistance office where there is guidance in this area. Faculty members can also contact funding sources directly for information. Some resources are available online. For example, the United States Department of Education (DOE) maintains a website called EDGAR that describes administrative regulations relating to DOE grant money expenditure. The National Science Foundation (NSF) offers their Grant NSF Policy Manual online.

For more information about providing accommodations to graduate students and other employees, consult the Accommodations and Universal Design section of the Faculty Room.

Last update or review: January 18, 2013