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F&A Rates and Costs

Does the UW recover the full amount of indirect costs related to sponsored activity?

The UW does not recover all the indirect costs that support research and other sponsored activity for a number of reasons, including Federal government caps on administrative costs related to faculty administrative effort, including proposal preparation, and an overall cap on total institutional administrative costs within both academic units as well as central administrative units. Another significant impact on the recovery of indirect costs involves sponsors and certain sponsored agreements that do not reimburse at the full negotiated indirect cost rate. These sponsors and agreements fairly consistently result in an under-recovery of indirect costs of approximately 25%.

How are research cost recovery (RCR) funds distributed?

The UW has complex approaches to budgeting and resource allocations. For indirect funds, however, the Provost’s current distribution policy (see OPB FAQ #2. What revenue is distributed by ABB?) is to allocate 65% of the funds to centrally fund facilities, compliance and administrative functions and 35% to schools and colleges, who then decide how much flows to departments/units or individual faculty.

If a portion of RCR funds are returned to faculty, how can they be used?

If the faculty member’s college, school or department has a policy to return RCR funds to faculty, the funds may be used to further support faculty research and/or other scholarly activities, including costs associated with sponsored proposal preparation. Fund use is flexible provided they are used in accordance with University and/or State rules and school/department guidelines.

What does recovery for the indirect cost rate include?

Indirect cost reimbursement includes partial recovery of, among other things, the cost of proposal preparation, as well as activities such as building maintenance, the cost of utilities, security, hazardous waste disposal, telecommunications, libraries, cost of office supplies and copies for sponsored projects, departmental and college administrative support, purchasing, payroll, human resources, central sponsored program operations and compliance support offices and other infrastructure costs necessary for supporting sponsored awards.