Telephone Exception Form

Telecommunication fees are generally considered part of a department’s regular operating expenses and thus are treated as indirect costs. However, when such expenses are solely for the benefit of a specific sponsored project (an account number beginning with a “5”), they may be charged as a direct cost.

Following are some examples:

  • dedicated telephone lines to ease communication between project participants, or to conduct surveys and/or receive feedback specifically relating to the sponsored project
  • an audio teleconference system used exclusively for a multi-site research project
  • cell phones for project personnel working off site
  • internet access (hot spot) for project personnel working in the field

To request an exception, complete the Telecommunication Exception form and submit it to the Office of Office of Financial Analysis, which oversees approval of such exceptions. The scope of work and/or award budget may be required to support the request. If you have questions, contact email ofa@usc.edu or call 213-821-1937.