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Indirect Costs - Sponsored Programs

Revised: July 1, 2007

Also refer to Signature Authority Policy

Table of Contents

Indirect Cost Policy
Indirect Cost Defined
Sponsored Program Defined
Indirect Cost Rate Defined
Additional Information


Indirect cost policy

Indirect costs are charged to all sponsored programs unless prohibited in writing by the funding agency. The University's indirect cost rate for Federal grants is negotiated with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Indirect cost defined

Indirect costs are expenses that cannot be identified specifically with a particular project or activity because these costs generally benefit many activities. Examples include:

  • general administration expense (accounting and payroll services, etc.),
  • research administration,
  • plant operation (including maintenance and utilities),
  • library expenses, and
  • depreciation.

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Sponsored program defined

Sponsored programs are externally-funded activities in which a formal written agreement is entered into by the University and the sponsor. A sponsored program represents an exchange transaction wherein both parties (the University and sponsor) receive something of approximately equal value Examples of sponsored programs include:

  • grants,
  • contracts, and
  • cooperative agreements.

Sponsored programs are jointly administered by the Principle Investigator, Office of Sponsored Programs, and Controller's Office.

Indirect cost rate defined

The rate is negotiated with the University's cognizant agent every four years. This negotiated rate is the result of a complex calculation process utilizing historical information and removing costs specifically disallowed by the Federal government. Contact the Post Awards Manager in the Office of Sponsored Programs for the current indirect cost rate and rates for non-Federal grants/contracts.

Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Office of Sponsored Programs

Sponsored Programs Accounting & Reporting