Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Cost Rates

The federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) defines F&A costs as "those incurred for common or joint objectives and therefore not identified readily and specifically with a particular sponsored project, an instructional activity, or any other institutional activity."

Current F&A Cost Rates

Effective PeriodOn-CampusOff-CampusPrevious Period(s)
Organized ResearchJuly 1, 2021 through June 30, 202357.0% MTDC26.0% MTDC PDF
Other Sponsored ActivitiesJuly 1, 2021 through June 30, 202343.5% MTDC26.0% MTDC
InstructionJuly 1, 2021 through June 30, 202347.5% MTDC26.0% MTDC
Clinical Trials (for-profit sponsors)July 1, 2018 and beyond32% TDC32% TDC
State of California Agreements July 1, 2019 through June 30, 202330% MTDC**25% MTDC**
July 1, 2023 through June 30, 202535% MTDC**25% MTDC**
July 1, 2025 and beyond40% MTDC**25% MTDC**

**The UC Office of the President (UCOP) approved the use of this rate. This is the minimum rate applicable to State of California agreements. Federal funds flowing through a State agency will use the federally negotiated rates. Proposals to California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the California Energy Commission PIER and EPIC programs will use the rates published in the funding announcement. Unless a State agency program has a published F&A rate policy stated in a funding announcement or federal regulation (applicable to federal flow-through funds), UCI must use the UCOP approved rate. The F&A rate utilized in the proposal will remain in effect for the life of the project (e.g., all years will include the F&A rate in effect for the initial budget year). An amendment to the award that includes additional money and time is the same as a new agreement for the purposes of determining the appropriate F&A rate. As such, a new budget with the appropriate indirect cost rate in effect at the time of the amendment must be provided to the State agency.

Exceptions to the Negotiated F&A Cost Rates

University of California policy requires the full recovery of direct and indirect (F&A) costs whenever possible. Exception requests are considered for non-profit sponsors, a few situations involving for-profit sponsors and foreign governments, and a Campus Vital Interest. Class exceptions can be approved based upon sponsor policy. Exceptions based on Campus Vital Interest and the SBIR/STTR Phase 1 F&A Rate Reduction program are individual exceptions. See Research Policy 483-4: Policy on Full Cost Recovery and Facilities & Administrative (F&A) Cost Rate Waivers or Reductions for a description of the categories eligible for a Vital Interest waiver.

Investigators should submit the justification for a Campus Vital Interest waiver or a reduction of F&A costs along with the project budget to the Sponsored Projects Officer or Industry Sponsored Research unit in Applied Innovation (for research projects funded by for profit sponsors) assigned to your unit for review and consideration. Likewise, questions about this process should be submitted to the appropriate area (Sponsored Projects or Applied Innovation) depending on the public/private nature of the sponsor.

Applying and Calculating F&A Cost Rates in Proposal Budgets

The above rates must be used when estimating F&A costs in proposals to extramural sponsors. Use of a rate other than those identified above requires approval of a waiver request.

To calculate F&A costs in Clinical Trial budgets – Multiply the total of all budget items (Total Direct Cost, TDC), excluding UC campus subcontracts, by the Clinical Trial F&A rate.

For all Other Projects - Calculate the Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC) base by subtracting the excluded costs listed below from the budgeted Total Direct Costs:

  • equipment and capital expenditures;
  • patient care costs for services provided by a hospital or clinic, including UCI Medical Center, but not the laboratories of academic departments or organized research units or salaries of personnel providing the services;
  • rental, lease and maintenance costs of off-campus space;
  • tuition remission;
  • financial aid paid directly to University students, but not as salaries and wages, when allowable under the terms of the award;
  • subawards issued to other UC campuses; and
  • the portion of each non-UC subgrant and subcontract in excess of $25,000. Renewal of a prime award generally requires the issuance of a new subaward, hence indirect costs are charged to the first $25,000 of the renewed subaward. The indirect costs charged by a subaward recipient are not limited by this exception.

Multiply the result (MTDC base) by the appropriate F&A cost rate to find the F&A cost amount.

CIRM Proposals

When completing the Facilities Costs Page of a CIRM research application package, specific rates should be applied to Category A and Category B(1) (see worksheet with breakdown of rates).

Projects that utilize space in the CIRM funded facility should exclude Category B(1) rates from the CIRM application