Facilities & Administrative Rates

The Facilities and Administrative Rate (F&A Rate) is the mechanism used to reimburse the University for the infrastructure support costs associated with sponsored research and other sponsored projects. The F&A rate is essentially an overhead rate. It is calculated as a percentage of overhead associated with, and allocable to, sponsored research and other activities, divided by the direct costs of sponsored research and other activities. To collect F&A, the University adds the negotiated F&A rate to invoices or other billing instruments submitted to sponsors. F&A costs are defined in federal circulars as costs that are "incurred for common or joint objectives and therefore cannot be identified readily and specifically with a particular sponsored project, an instructional activity, or any other institutional activity."  F&A costs are sometimes referred to as indirect costs.

Similar to the overhead costs of a business, facilities and administrative costs reflect actual expenses incurred in support of UNC Charlotte’s sponsored activities. F&A cost rates are based on the actual operating costs for a given base year. Using guidelines provided by the federal government, UNC Charlotte captures and calculates F&A costs on a regular basis. These costs are allocated to different activities, such as research or teaching, proportionate to the benefit provided. Once all F&A costs are determined, the University determines the portion of costs that are related to sponsored research activities. This information is then submitted to, and reviewed by, the Federal government F&A cost rates are negotiated every 4 years.

The F&A rate applied to individual awards remains in effect throughout the entire competitive cycle of the award.  F&A costs are charged to individual awards as direct costs are paid. The University does not recover F&A costs from sponsors until direct costs of the awards are incurred. F&A is normally applied to modified total direct costs (MTDC) of awards. MTDC represents the total direct costs of a sponsored agreement less the cost of capitalized equipment and other capital expenses, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, and the portion of each subgrant/subcontract in excess of $25,000 within a competing segment of an award.

Facilities & Administrative Rate Agreements: (links to the most recent F&A rate documents)