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

Project budgets should include all costs required to accomplish the objectives in the proposal or agreement. These costs are itemized as either:

  • Direct costs (salary, fringe benefits, supplies, travel, etc.)
  • Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs incurred for sponsored programs administration and compliance, purchasing, accounting, library services, and building custodial services, depreciation, and utilities.

F&A costs cannot easily be allocated to individual projects, therefore sponsors require that they are budgeted and collected as a percentage of a project’s direct cost. When developing a contract or grant budget, use the appropriate rate below.

Negotiated Rates:

Sponsor Type of Project Activity/Contract Rate on MTDC Base
On-campus Off-campus
Sponsors without a pre-approved exemption (below)  
Research 52.5% 26% MTDC
IFAS AREC1 – Research activities 34.1% 26% MTDC
Other Sponsored Activity 32.6% 26% MTDC
Instruction 47.5% 26% MTDC
Department of Defense Contracts Research Contract or Subcontract 54.5% 28% MTDC

1 Agriculture Research and Education Centers (AREC) and Florida Medical Entomology Lab within the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

All sponsored projects must follow the University’s Facilities & Administrative Cost Policy found at F&A Policy and F&A Directives and Procedures. UF’s current federally negotiated F&A Rate Agreement is available HERE.

F&A Bases (TDC, MTDC)

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 non-UF owned facilities, space, or other property, 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

If the solicitation specifies a rate other than the federally negotiated rate, unless otherwise indicated TDC should be used as the F&A base.

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.

***Only ONE rate may 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.


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.

Exceptions under F&A Procedures & Directives section 2.3

For certain sponsors the University will accept the rates at or above those listed below without any additional documentation.

Sponsor Type of Activity Rate on TDC Base
Government Entities within the state of Florida including Florida State Agencies1 Any 10%
State of Florida Water Management Districts Any 25%
Non-Profit Grower/Producer Associations or Foundations Any 12%
Industry Clinical Trials 2 30% (effective 1 May 2018)
Industry IFAS Faculty Service Projects 15%
Miscellaneous Donations All Activities 0%

1 In cases where UF faculty are authoring proposals with the government entity for third party funding, the federal rates apply. The intent of this rate is for money that the government entity receives through Florida Legislature appropriation, county taxation, or other operating funds.  If the Florida entity’s solicitation allows for recovery of greater than 10%, the allowable rate should be included in the proposal. For the purposes of F&A rate application, SUS Universities are NOT Florida State Agencies. 
2For clinical studies using animal subjects, the appropriate federal negotiated rates are used, most common being on campus research.  See details on definitions of clinical trials and allowability in section 3 of F&A Directives and Procedures.