Facilities & Administrative (F&A) or Indirect Costs (IDC)

F&A costs are expenditures that cannot be allocated to a specific project. They are intended to recover the cost of sponsored programs administration, department and college research administration, research compliance, purchasing, accounting, libraries, custodial services, building depreciation, and utilities.  They are generally budgeted and collected as a percentage of the direct costs.

A sponsored project budget should include all costs needed to accomplish the objectives presented in the proposal or agreement. The total cost of any project includes both direct costs (salaries for the researchers, lab supplies, travel, etc.) plus Facilities and Administrative costs (F&A).

  • All sponsored projects are to follow the University’s Facilities & Administrative Cost Policy found at F&A Policy and F&A Directives and Procedures.
  • When building grant or contract budgets, you should use the negotiated rate listed below.  For longstanding relationships with some entities, the University has established acceptable rate minimums listed in the tables below. You may use the F&A rates and bases noted in the below chart.
  • UF’s current federally negotiated F&A Rate Agreement is available at F&A Rate Agreement.


Base: The F&A rate is applied to a base of direct costs in order to determine the F&A cost which can be calculated in one of the following ways:

  • TDC base = Total Direct Costs. All direct costs are included. There are no exclusions or modifiers. F&A cost = TDC base x F&A rate.
  • MTDC base = Modified Total Direct Costs. TDC minus equipment, patient care, tuition, participant support costs, rental costs of off-site facilities, scholarships, fellowships, and the portion of each subaward in excess of $25,000. F&A cost = MTDC base x F&A rate.
  • TFFA base = Total Federal Funds Awarded. For USDA or various other sponsor proposals, the F&A is considered to be on the full amount of the award, which is actually calculated using TDC

Off-Campus: The off-campus rate should be applied if the activity is conducted in any buildings that are not owned and maintained by UF and which rent is directly allocated to the project. Off-campus F&A can only be charged to projects where rent (which may be in the form of janitorial services, building maintenance, etc.) is directly charged to the project

Travel costs, field work and Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Research & Education Centers do not qualify for the off campus rate.

Other Sponsored Activity (OSA): According to 2 CFR 200, Appendix III, Section A.1.c, Other Sponsored Activity means “programs and projects financed by federal and non-federal agencies and organizations which involve the performance of work other than instruction and organized research.” At UF, this includes, but is not limited to IFAS Extension Activities, IFAS SPAs,and some Federal Clinical Trials. Visit Other Sponsored Activities for further clarification and examples.

***Only ONE rate should be applied to each award.  The rate will be determined by how the majority of activity is performed under the project (i.e. off-campus, in an REC, or for a particular activity – Research, Other Sponsored Activity, or Instruction), and that rate will apply to the entire award.

To calculate the TFFA, use the following TDC examples:

15% TTFA is equivalent to 17.647% TDC

22% TFFA is equivalent to 28.20513% TDC

30% TFFA is equivalent to 42.857% TDC

How does 30% of TFFA equate to 42.857% of TDC?

The Request for Application (RFA) limits indirect cost reimbursement to 30 percent of TFFA which is equivalent to 42.857 percent of the TDC. How does 30% of TFFA equate to 42.857% of TDC?

You can convert 30% of Total Federal Funds Awarded (TFFA) to Total Direct Costs (TDC) as follows:

Allowable indirect costs = 0.30 TFFA

Direct costs = 0.70 TFFA

0.30 TFFA / 0.70 TFFA = 42.8571%

Please note that for preparing budgets for USDA grants, the recovery of indirect costs is limited to the lesser of the institution’s official negotiated indirect cost rate or the equivalent of the appropriate TFFA.

To figure out which rate to charge, you will need to calculate both and use the lesser of the two. If there are no exclusions (i.e. equipment, tuition, subcontract amounts greater than 25k), the TFFA is usually going to be less than the University’s federally negotiated rate.  If you have significant exclusions in your budget, it is likely that the University’s federally negotiated rate will be less. The only way to know is to calculate the budget both ways and use the amount

Approved Rates:

Sponsor Type of Project Activity/Contract Rate Base
On-campus Off-campus
All sponsors not listed below        
Research 52.5%


IFAS AREC1 – Research activities 34.1% MTDC
Other Sponsored Activity 32.6% MTDC
Instruction 47.5% MTDC
Department of Defense Contracts Research Contract or Subcontract 54.5% 28% MTDC
Gov’t Entities within the state of Florida including Florida State Agencies2 If from Government Operating Funds 10% TDC
If Federal Flow-through with Fixed Price Award 10% TDC
If Federal Flow-through with Cost Reimbursement Award 25% TDC
State of Florida Water Management Districts –
District Funds only
All Activities 25% TDC
Domestic Gov’t Entities located outside Florida All Activities 25% TDC
Non-Profit Growers &  Producers, and the Associations and Foundations that support them All Activities 12% TDC
Industry Clinical Trials involving Human Subjects3 28% TDC
Non-Clinical Trial Activities Applicable Federal Rate  MTDC
IFAS Faculty Service Projects: Non-Federal Funds only All Activities 15% TDC
Miscellaneous Donations All Activities 0% TDC

1 Agriculture Research and Education Centers (AREC) and Florida Medical Entomology Lab within the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
  2 For the purposes of F&A rate application, SUS Universities are NOT Florida State Agencies. The intent of this rate is for money that the government entity receives through Florida Legislature appropriation, county taxation, other operating funds or from federal sources (such as block grants). This rate is not intended for requests at the proposal stage when UF is asking in a competitive environment (e.g., a grant proposal from the City of Gainesville to the US Department of Justice where UF is a subcontractor.)  This scenario would use the Federal negotiated rate.
 For clinical studies using animal subjects, the appropriate federal negotiated rates are used, most common being on campus research.