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Facilities and Administrative Costs Return Policy


Describe the guidelines followed to determine the distribution of facilities and administrative costs to academic units, research centers and other non-academic units, and individual researchers.

Applies to: 

Faculty members who participate in externally sponsored projects and heads of academic units, centers, and other nonacademic units.

Policy Statement: 

A fixed percentage of collected facilities and administrative (F&A) costs is returned to academic units, research centers or other non-academic units, and principal investigators. There are two components of this F&A return: (1) a 4% or 6% return to a research center, other non-academic unit, or the principal investigator, and (2) a 10% return to the deans and center directors based on the allocation of credit among the principal investigator and co-principal investigators, and on their appointments in academic and non-academic units.

  1. Four percent (4%) or six percent (6%) is distributed to research centers, other nonacademic units, or to the principal investigator.
    1. A principal investigator may assign  projects to research centers or other non-academic units. Six percent (6%) of the generated F&A is returned to the assigned center if a project is assigned to one of the following units:
      • Achievement and Assessment Institute
      • Biodiversity Institute
      • Bioengineering Research Center (BERC)
      • Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis (CEBC)
      • Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS)
      • Hall Center for the Humanities
      • Higuchi Biosciences Center (HBC)
      • Information and Telecommunications Technology Center (ITTC)
      • Institute for Policy and Social Research (IPSR)
      • Life Span Institute (LSI)
    2. If the project is assigned to any research center or non-academic unit not listed in (a), then that unit will receive four percent (4%) of the generated F&A.
    3. If the project is not assigned to a research center or other non-academic unit, then the principal investigator will receive four percent (4%) of the generated F&A. F&A is not returned to co-principal investigators. Only KU-Lawrence faculty and staff with principal investigator status may receive F&A return (see policy on principal investigator status).
    4. A project may be assigned to more than one research center or other non-academic unit. The principal investigator must indicate how the four or six percent return is to be divided among these units. Center assignments are specified by the principal investigator on the proposal review sheet. This assignment may be changed by informing KUCR.
  2. Ten percent (10%) of the facilities and administrative (F&A) costs generated by externally sponsored projects will be returned to the principal investigator’s and co-investigators’ college, school, or research center/unit based on participation credited in the project and appointments as follows. First, the F&A return will be allocated among the principal investigator and co-investigators based on the credit allocation specified by the PI on the proposal review sheet. The proposal review sheet is produced and distributed when the proposal is submitted to a sponsoring agency.  Second, the portion allocated to each investigator will be returned to the corresponding dean or center director based on the investigator’s appointment. If an investigator has appointments in more than one school, college, research center, or other non-academic unit, then the allocation between deans and directors will be made proportionately to those units.  The allocation of credit among investigators on the proposal review sheet can be changed by the PI by informing the Office of Research.  On the other hand, changes in appointment percentages among academic or research units need to be considered and approved by the academic and/or research units involved, the College, Schools and/or the Office of Research, based on the nature of the appointments, and the Provost Office.
Exclusions or Special Circumstances: 

The Vice Chancellor for Research may alter the F&A distribution process described above, or may authorize exceptions for specific projects or units where circumstances warrant.


Office of Research

Approved by: 
Vice Chancellor for Research
Approved on: 
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Effective on: 
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)

Providing leadership in the conduct of research on the state, regional and national levels is a hallmark of the University of Kansas. A pre-eminent goal of the Office of Research is to maintain and expand this leadership role by enhancing the research enterprise. Building and maintaining the human and capital resources necessary to foster and conduct high quality research is an increasingly expensive and difficult task. To accomplish this task and to catalyze future research endeavors, the Office of Research returns a portion of the facilities and administrative (F&A) costs (also referred to as indirect costs or overhead) to faculty members, academic units, research centers, and other non-academic units.

Facilities and administrative costs, F&A, indirect costs, overhead distribution, Research
Change History: 

10/01/2018: Updated Contact section.
01/18/2018: Updated contact information. 
07/06/2016: Updated to remove gendered pronouns.
05/02/2016: Updated policy to clarify that F&A is distributed to both PI and CO-PI units.
10/15/2015: Updated the list of Research Centers and Institute names under item 1a.
12/05/2014: Removed two units from the list of units receiving 6%; policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).
07/09/2014: Technical edits - selected 'Lawrence' for required Campus field; updated formatting of Policy Statement and Contact fields; updated references to 'Vice Chancellor of Research' and 'Office of Research' to reflect recent title changes; added link and updated formatting for Related Policies.
09/10/2012: Edit contact list and add two units to the list of units receiving 6%.

Academic Categories: 
Academic Work & Evaluations
Financial Categories: 
Financial Oversight
Research and Sponsored Projects Category: 
Research and Sponsored Projects

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