Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Cost Policies
James P. Becker, Executive Director of Grants and Contract Services
It is the policy of Indiana University that the appropriate Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs, also known as Indirect Costs (IDC), be included in all requests for externally-funded sponsored programs and are collected from all awards.
This policy is to provide direction for recovery of all program costs of grants and contracts by requiring that Facilities and Administrative Costs are included in the proposed budgets. F&A costs are costs that are incurred for common or joint objectives and cannot be identified readily and specifically with a particular sponsored project, an instructional activity, or any other institutional activity. OMB Circular A-21 provides guidance on determining whether a cost can be directly charged to a sponsored project or if it should instead be included as F&A. It is important to collect full F&A costs in order to offset the full costs of conducting research and other sponsored programs. These costs are reflected in the Facilities and Administrative Cost Rate Agreement negotiated with the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Full F&A cost recovery is to be included in all sponsored program proposals unless an exception is granted. The F&A cost rates are set through periodic negotiations with the federal government to recover actual expenses incurred by the university. Exceptions to the policy are made for certain proposals to the State of Indiana and proposals where the agency guidelines state that no F&A costs or less than full F&A costs will be paid. Non-federal organizations whose guidelines will not permit F&A costs will be reviewed to determine if some of the F&A items might be included as direct costs. Proposals to for-profit sources should normally include full indirect cost recovery.
Exceptions to the policy are to be initiated by the academic unit and approved by the school/responsibility center and the Associate Vice President for Research or her/his designee.
Indiana University’s appropriate F&A rate is dependent on the type of activity and the location (on or off campus). See the Definitions section of this policy for additional guidance that may be useful in identifying the type and location as it applies to determining the appropriate F&A rate.
See the following website for additional guidance: http://researchadmin.iu.edu/GrantContract/gc-propprep/gcs_rates.html
Facilities and Administrative Costs (F&A): Costs that are incurred for common or joint objectives and, therefore, cannot be identified readily and specifically with a particular sponsored project, an instructional activity, or any other institutional activity. F&A costs are synonymous with indirect costs and overhead costs.
Sponsored Research: Sponsored systematic investigations, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge that are established by grant, contract, or cooperative agreement.
Sponsored Instruction: Sponsored teaching and training activities of Indiana University that are established by grant, contract or cooperative agreement. This includes all such activities regardless of whether they are offered for credit toward a degree or on a non-credit basis.
Other Sponsored Activities (including service projects): Sponsored programs and projects that involve the performance of work other than sponsored instruction and sponsored research. Examples of such programs and projects are health service projects, and community service programs.
Off-campus research: All sponsored activities performed in facilities not owned by the university and to which rent is directly allocated to the project(s). Project costs should be apportioned between on-campus and off-campus components. Each portion will bear the appropriate rate. The off-campus indirect cost rate includes only the administrative pools of cost.
On-campus research: Any sponsored project that does not meet the definition of “Off Campus”.
Failure to adhere to the principles and processes in this policy may result in the adjustment of budgets and expenditures or the use of departmental funds to ensure that the correct F&A costs were collected.