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Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP)

Personal Service Contracts


The Personal Service Contracts budget category is used for line item costs to individual persons or entities who are providing their expertise, being paid as a research subject, or participating in a sponsored program as a non-employee.

Examples include:

  • Participation of persons as research subjects
  • Implementation of computer systems
  • Contract to conduct and provide survey results
  • Contract to conduct environmental studies and assessments
  • POD training
  • Professional consultants

Line item costs for vendors or suppliers who provide the same services to the general public or a special segment of the public DO NOT belong in this category and should be allocated to "Other Contractual Services".


A consultant is an independent contractor who is not an employee of the UW, nor do they have a faculty appointment (e.g., VA, Children's). Consulting services typically are provided by an individual who is considered an expert in the field.

List each consultant by name, specialty, and daily rate in the budget. Display the consultant's total projected cost on the budget. Consult specific agency guidelines for caps on consultant rates.

In the proposal, include a letter of collaboration (not on institutional letterhead). NIH considers consultants to be "Other Significant Contributors" and requires the consultant's curriculum vitae.

A consultant may be compensated for services and reimbursed for travel (including meals and lodging) and other miscellaneous expenses.

A contract with the consultant is required and must include at a minimum:

  • Dates of service
  • Rate of Pay
  • Invoicing procedures (including final invoice due date)
  • Scope of work to be performed
  • Deliverables and dates due

NOTE: Justify consultant costs thoroughly in the Budget Justification section.