Frequently Asked Questions About International Sponsored Projects
Can a proposal be submitted in a foreign currency? Can ASU accept proposal budgets in a foreign currency?
Arizona State University prefers proposal submissions and payments be made in U.S. dollars. Reasons for avoiding non-U.S. currency either in proposal submissions or awards include the following.
- Currency values rise and fall. When ASU engages in international business transactions, a swing in currency value can affect a project's final cost. What is initially budgeted for a project may become inadequate and may then result in a principal investigator’s department having to fund a project to ensure its completion.
- ASU may also be subject to foreign-transactional fees, also known as currency-conversion fees. These fees range from 2% and 3% of the payment made to ASU and may not be reimbursed as a miscellaneous expense. If categorized as non-reimbursable, the ASU principal investigator’s unit will be required to cover the cost.
What is a foreign-based worker?
A foreign-based worker is defined as a person who works in a country other than the U.S. Foreign-based workers who have U.S. nationality are referred to as expatriates.
The project requires foreign-based workers. What’s the best way to proceed?
There are many options concerning foreign-based workers on a sponsored project. For more information about those options and ASU guidelines, see Foreign-Based Workers, or email email@example.com.
Where can I find more information on what different rates for personnel need to be included in the budget?
The U.S. Department of State sets the rates and allowances for project personnel working outside the U.S. on projects funded by federal dollars. You can view a list of allowances by location. If you have specific questions about allowances, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Do expatriates and non-U.S. foreign-based workers receive the same allowances and benefits?
This varies by country, position and person. Typically, only U.S. personnel are provided allowances set by the U.S. Department of State. Project personnel who are citizens of the project location would receive benefits customary for the culture. Global Operations can help determine what allowances and benefits would apply.
Materials, supplies and equipment
Where can I find more information about purchasing equipment and supplies for my project?
For questions related to the purchase of materials, supplies, equipment and payments, see Foreign Purchases & Payments, or email email@example.com. We also recommend reviewing your sponsor’s rules and regulations.
For questions related to export controls, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For question related to the Buy American Act, see your sponsor’s rules and regulations or contact your Grant and Contract Officer.
Where can I find resources about foreign travel?
For questions related to foreign travel, or the Fly America Act, see Foreign Travel on the Global Operations website or email email@example.com. You may also visit International Collaborations and Travel hosted by the Office of Research Integrity and Assurance.
For travel to high risk areas (Levels 3-4 with the U.S. Department of State), please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information regarding recommended and required security protocols and additional costs. We recommend that you submit a travel request to a high-risk area at least one month in advance.
What is Value-Added Tax (VAT), and is ASU subject to this tax?
Value-Added Tax (VAT) is a sales tax that may be assessed on goods and services. ASU may be responsible for payment of this tax. ASU prefers that this tax not flow-down to ASU as a prime or pass-through recipient of federal funds.
VAT can be a significant and unexpected cost. ASU may not be able to reclaim a full or partial refund from a foreign country. If a full refund is not available, the ASU’s principal investigator will be contacted by ASU Research Operations to discuss options for payment.
During proposal development, we recommend checking to see if the sponsor resides in a country where VAT could be applied to ASU. The Worldwide VAT, GST and Sales Tax Guide contains country-specific information.
Legal and contractual review
For questions related to the legal review and negotiation of incoming and outgoing sponsored agreements, email email@example.com.
For questions related to creating and submitting a Trafficking in Persons Compliance Plan, see ORIA’s website.