Conference/Workshop Food

Conferences and workshops should be budgeted using extraordinary care. Certain State of North Carolina Budget rules apply. Read the State Budget Manual, Section 5.8, for a detailed description of the applicable rules.


Specific Guidelines Include:

  1. Meal costs should be reasonable and defensible. A good rule of thumb is to apply State per-diem rates (not mandatory).
  2. University cannot use funds to pay for conference meals for state employees at which a conference fee was not charged unless the following conditions are met:
    • Federal grants, other grants, state or institutional trust funds (per G.S. 116-36.1) may be used if the conditions attached to those funds allow for the provision of meals for a conference, and
    • University must have documentation of the conditions.

Note: State employees may not request reimbursement for the meal.

Requirements and Limitations for External Conferences:

  1. Conference must be planned in detail in advance, with a formal agenda.
  2. There must be written invitation to participants, setting forth the calendar of events, the social activities, if any, and a detailed schedule of costs.
  3. Assemblies should be held in State facilities; however, non-State facilities can be rented and the cost charged to a State agency without allocation to the participants’ daily subsistence allowances.
  4. The sponsoring department may charge registration fees for participant costs of the external conference.

If, after reviewing the guidance materials, you have specific questions on this topic, please contact Contracts & Grants at 5-2153.


For specific guidance on this matter call SPARCS at 515.2444 or email sps@ncsu.edu.