Research Administration

Facilities and Administration Costs FAQ

See below for answers to common questions on facilities and administrative costs.

What are the differences between direct costs and F and A costs?

Direct costs are funds used to pay for the cost of conducting the research, including:

  • Salaries and benefits
  • Supplies, equipment, travel and contractual services
  • Patient-care costs on clinical studies

F and A costs are used to maintain Children's infrastructure, including:

  • Building rents and depreciation
  • Research support services (centralized administrative costs)
  • Research center administrative and discretionary support
  • Recruitment commitments

What are the current F and A rates?

See the Office of Research Finance web page.

How are a project's F and A costs calculated?

The methods for determining F and A are:

  1. Calculate the grant's Total Direct Costs (TDC), which equal the sum of all direct costs, including salaries, supplies, equipment, etc.
  2. Calculate exemptions based on sponsor guidelines. NIH exclusions typically include equipment, patient-care costs, tuition and a portion of subcontract agreements (exceeding $25,000 for each subcontract).
  3. Deduct exemptions from TDC to determine modified total direct costs (MTDC).
  4. Multiply the MTDC by the current F and A rate to determine F and A costs.
  5. Add the TDC to F and A costs to calculate Total Project Costs.
    • TDC - Exemptions = MTDC
    • MTDC x F and A Rate = F and A Costs
    • TDC + F and A Costs = Total Project Costs

What if I am applying for a non-federal grant that pays less than the full F and A rate?

Contact your center business manager to discuss the specifics of your application and obtain approval to before you apply. Include the approval, and any other relevant information, with the OSR-10 form submitted to the Office of Sponsored Research.