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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.

Indirect costs - also referred to as Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs - are those costs not specifically identifiable for any one project or program, but which are valid expenses of conducting research, instruction and other sponsored activities at UC San Diego, such as building use, equipment depreciation, operation and maintenance of UC San Diego facilities, student services, departmental administration and administrative support offices. 

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 = 56%; in effect for FY2018 and is low compared to peer institutions
  • UCSD receives ~ 28-34% F&A
  • Why is it less than 56%? 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


Links and supporting correspondence