Sponsored Programs

Cell Phone Policy

Cellular Mobile Communications Policy for Sponsored Programs

Policy Statement: The College at Oneonta permits cellular phone plan reimbursement funded by sponsored programs under specific conditions. Basic cell phone plan costs may covered when a plan is deemed necessary to an employee’s work under the sponsored program by the Project Director. The reimbursement of cell phone expenses made on a personal cell phone must be directly related to activities required for a sponsored program. Cell phones shall be contracted for and purchased by the employee and the appropriate amount of reimbursement determined by the Project Director. Final approval for all reimbursements is made by the Office of Sponsored Programs.

On an exception basis only, Research Foundation owned cellular devices will be maintained for situations where the device is used exclusively for program- related business.

Applicability of the Policy: This policy applies to all individuals who are engaged with externally sponsored programs funded through the Research Foundation, and who have cell phone expenses paid by externally sponsored funds.

Policy elaboration: The College at Oneonta permits the reimbursement of cell phone expenses made on a personal cell phone for activities required for a sponsored program awarded to the College and managed by RF under the following circumstances:

The cost of the phone charges must be requested in the award budget and justified in the proposal submitted to the sponsor. If federally funded, the phone must be allowable under A-21.

The cost must be allocable such that the sponsored project to which expenses are charged must benefit from the use of the cell phone.

A phone plan is required in order to properly carry out assigned job duties.

All cellular devices that have personal usage on them must be employee-owned with no liability to the college.

The allowance is for the monthly recurring costs incurred for having a cellular device and not for any equipment or activation fees.


  • The Project Director is responsible for selecting as reimbursement amount the most cost-effective phone plan that will accommodate the minutes necessary for the conduct of business related to the sponsored program.
  • A Justification Statement and verification of cost from the Project Director must accompany the Authorization form to document the reimbursement amount.
  • Reimbursement will be made upon submission of a Research Foundation purchase requisition, accompanied by the front page of the phone bill indicating the dates of service.
  • Overage costs for minutes over pre-approved plan will not be reimbursed.
  • No tax will be reimbursed.
  • Any phones contracted and paid directly by the College (for work-required reasons such as Hotline phones) may only be used for business calls.

Exceptions to this policy must be addressed in writing and approved by Sponsored Programs.

Direct questions related to the daily operational interpretation of this policy to the Director of Sponsored Programs, Denise Straut, at strautda@oneonta.edu.