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Facts about Facilities & Administrative (F&A)/Indirect Costs

Find information about UC San Diego's Facilities & Administrative (F&A)/Indirect costs and impacts.

UC San Diego’s research funding

  • Ranked #5 in Research by NSF HERD Survey (2015)
  • 65% from United States Government Agencies
  • 3% from State of California
  • 13% from Industry
  • 19% from Non-Profit

 Negotiated F&A rate

  • Contractual obligation agreed upon between Universities and US Government
  • For every $1,000 in direct research costs, UC San Diego spends $756 to support the research
  • Administrative portion is capped at 26%
  • UCSD Federal negotiated rate = 55%; in effect since 2010 and is low compared to peer institutions
  • UCSD receives ~ 28-34% F&A
  • Why is it less than 55%? These factors impact the effective F&A rate:
    • F&A excludes equipment, capital expenditures, portion of sub-awards in excess of $25K, patient care costs, graduate student tuition remission, rental of off-site facilities, etc.
    • Off-campus F&A rate = 26%
    • Clinical Trials F&A rate = 30%
    • Some sponsors require lower F&A rates e.g.; non-profits, State of CA, foreign entities, etc.

F&A (Indirect Costs)


  • Building depreciation, equipment depreciation and debt service costs
  • Operations and maintenance such as utilities, repairs, custodial
  • Environmental health and safety
  • Libraries


  • Department, sponsored research and central services administration
  • Student services administration

Comparing Negotiated IDC (F&A) rate of peer institutions

IDC Compare

Links and supporting correspondence