INDIRECT (F&A) AND COST SHARING
Indirect or Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs
F&A costs are institutional or infrastructure costs of managing and running programs that cannot be directly attributed to a program or activity. This charge covers overhead items like clerical staff, utilities, snow removal, security, library usage, IT, and executive management that are hard to calculate but are a true cost for running sponsored programs. The indirect cost rate reimburses the college for that fraction of its indirect costs that the government agrees to bear and correspondingly charges each project for its allocated share.
In developing budgets for submission, project directors are encouraged to calculate project costs using the highest indirect cost percentage allowed. Recovered indirect not only reimburses the college for operating sponsored projects, but also provides a pool of discretionary funds for use by departments and individual investigators.
BSU has a federally negotiated rate established by an agreement with the federal government. This rate is 47.7% for on campus programs, and 21.8% for off campus programs. This rate will nearly always apply in the case of federal grants, and is always to be used as the default rate unless the funder's guidelines direct otherwise, or another rate is negotiated through OGSP.
Sometimes foundations, corporate funders, and state agencies will publish a "cap" or a different indirect rate to be used--for instance, the Massachusetts Department of Education often limits "indirect" to 8%. However, this percentage is applied to all direct costs, as opposed to just salary and fringe. Sometimes indirect can be waived or partially waved, although this requires approval from the Department Chair, Dean, etc. Sometimes indirect is not charged, but what the sponsor would have paid is used to meet matching funds requirements.
The OGSP staff will help you determine the proper indirect rate to use.
Cost Sharing and Matching Funds
Funding agencies sometime require that the University contribute a portion of the total project costs. The PI must seek approval from his/her school Dean or Vice President for Academic Affairs when the proposal requires matching funds from the University. Please allow at least five days for this approval. An account number must be included on the routing sheet for the funds. In-kind contributions also need approval. The Department Chair and School Dean should be aware if departmental supplies, publicity, hospitality, travel money, or similar funds will be used for the project.
Matching Funds: Many funders will pay only a percentage of the cost of a project and require the grant seeker to pay the difference with money or non-cash contributions, which are known as Matching Funds or Cash Match.
In-kind: A non-cash donation of space or services for which there is no cash expenditure; this may include volunteer time, the use of classrooms or public performance spaces, or the use of equipment. For example,
Use of offices, classrooms and other facilities may be included as part of the budget. For example, the use of a 10' x 10' (100 sq. ft.) office at $1.50 per sq. ft. is $150.00. This amount is prorated by the number of days, weeks or months that the facility is to be used for the grant activities. Other facilities are prorated based on the fee charged to rent the space.
Sometimes the University will also recommend including other expenditures, such as personnel time, as "in-kind," when the University wishes to show a contribution of resources, but will not be tracking them.
Last Modified: March 3, 2011