Office for Research & Economic Development
Research
Development
Physical: Business & Technology Center; 1651 Alvin Ricken Dr., Pocatello, ID 83201 | Mailing: Stop 8046
Phone:(208) 282-2592 | Fax: (208) 282-4723 | Web: www.isu.edu/research/development
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Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Rates
aka Indirect Costs


Employee Benefit Rates

Graduate Research Assistant Tuition Subsidy Rates

Travel Reimbursement



Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Rates

The F&A rate, also known as the Indirect Cost rate, have been established for:

Projects with agencies of the FEDERAL government:

Projects with agencies of the STATE of Idaho:

Projects with Idaho municipal, county, health districts, and other public non-profit agencies:

Projects with PRIVATE entities; profit and non-profit:

NOTE: Any deviation from these standard rates must be approved through the Office of Sponsored Programs.  The Principal Investigator must provide a written statement from any agency that limits indirect costs.




What is the distinction between direct and F&A costs?

Circular A-21 states that, "direct costs are those costs that can be identified specifically with a particular sponsored project... relatively easily with a high degree of accuracy." By contrast, "F&A costs are those 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 those involving resources used mutually by different individuals and groups, making it difficult to assess precisely which users should pay what share. Direct costs are easily assigned to a specific research project and paid by its direct grant funding.

In some cases it is easy to make this distinction. For example, if an investigator has to buy a chemical for a specific experiment, then that clearly is a direct cost to the grant. On the other hand, an investigator's use of electrical power, water and other utilities, or the services of the purchasing and accounting offices, are not normally charged directly because it is not practical to account for them separately. Installing individual meters to monitor usage levels of electricity, and carrying out the associated accounting and billing functions, would probably cost as much as the electricity itself.

Attributing an appropriate F&A cost amount for the use of research space for grant-related activities can be even more difficult. If, as is typical, a building houses dozens of investigators who are involved individually and collectively in teaching, research, public service and other functions, determining the building costs that should be attributed to a particular faculty member's research projects is not practical. For example, each faculty member may have several grants, which may use common space differentially. Although one could imagine a means of attributing a cost for the repair of a section of the roof (which may last 20 to 30 years) to a specific grant, it has generally been agreed that using a more macroscopic and statistically averaged method is much more sensible and cost effective. The basis for distributing space related costs is an annual space study.



How important is F&A cost reimbursement to the University?

F&A cost reimbursement is the primary source of infrastructure support for the ISU’s extensive graduate education and research programs. The F&A cost reimbursements pay for a wide range of support services and administrative activities. They make it possible for the institution to operate a first-rate library system for research and scholarship; they allow us to service, maintain and renew our research facilities. Without the F&A cost reimbursements, our research and graduate teaching enterprise would be only a shadow of its present size and quality.


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